The PoliBlog

The Collective
Sunday, May 28, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

As we all know by now, General Michael V. Hayden was confirmed last week to be the new Director of the CIA.

Based on resume alone there is little doubt that Hayden is quite qualified for the position in question. I, however, have serious qualms about various NSA programs that he oversaw which gives me considerable pause over his appointment.

Regardless of all of that, what I am struck be in regards to his confirmation is the utter cowardice shown by the Congress, especially the Democrats, in regards to the opportunity presented to them with the nomination.

By not using the situation to pursue vigorous questions about the NSA programs that have been of controversy of late, they demonstrated that much of their public outrage on the subject has been nothing more than preening for the cameras.

One begins to wonder if any of them known how do anything other than dramatically complain in ways designed to stoke the fires of the base/the folks back home. If there really was as much real angst in the bellies of the opposition as they displayed on TV, then one would think that they would have used this chance, even knowing that they couldn’t stop the nomination, to find out more about the NSA programs, and to specifically pin down Hayden on his view of the rights of the citizens of the US vis-à-vis the whole war on terror business.

However, while it is true none of us knows what happened in the closed sessions, it would appear that the Democrats punted on this topic.

Indeed, the whole situation is a grand display of political cowardice. The Republicans, even those who have made public pronouncements of concern over the NSA programs were not going to rock the boat since their party controls the White House–not exactly an admirable approach to the situation. The Democrats, hoping to score big in November didn’t want to look weak on national security, so similarly demurred.

An unimpressive display all around.

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Filed under: US Politics | |


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    1. We have a Party of Power and a Party of Punt. But nowhere is there to be found a Party of Principle.

      And we are all poorer for that.

      Comment by Matthew Shugart — Monday, May 29, 2024 @ 2:11 pm

    2. Indeed.

      Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, May 29, 2024 @ 2:13 pm

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