Cronyism At Any Cost, Once Again!

Today’s Comment is by TvNewsLIES co-editor:

Let’s see if the mainstream media once again ignore the incompetence, the ignorance, and the unmitigated hubris of the man whom President George W. Bush has just nominated to head the CIA.  Let’s see if they if they bother to go back just five months to point out the shameless liberties that General Michael Hayden recently took with the content of the US Constitution. 

Let’s see if they remind the American people of the statements made by today’s nominee to succeed Porter Goss as head of the agency.  Let’s see if they quote his response from a reporter last January, when asked about the NSA warrantless spying being in violation of the fourth amendment. 

For the sake of accuracy, here’s the actual exchange between Jonathan Landay of Knight Ridder and General Hayden.  The highlights are ours:

JONATHAN LANDAY: …I’m no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American’s right against unlawful searches and seizures.

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Actually, the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure. That’s what it says.

JONATHAN LANDAY: But the measure is probable cause, I believe.

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.

JONATHAN LANDAY: But does it not say probable –


JONATHAN LANDAY: The court standard, the legal standard —

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.

JONATHAN LANDAY: The legal standard is probable cause, General. You used the terms just a few minutes ago, “We reasonably believe.” And a FISA court, my understanding is, would not give you a warrant if you went before them and say “We reasonably believe.” You have to go to the FISA court or the Attorney General has to go to the FISA court and say, “We have probable cause.” And so what many people believe, and I would like you to respond to this, is that what you have actually done is crafted a detour around the FISA court by creating a new standard of “reasonably believe” in place of “probable cause,” because the FISA court will not give you a warrant based on reasonable belief. You have to show a probable cause. Can you respond to that, please?

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Sure. I didn’t craft the authorization. I am responding to a lawful order, alright? The Attorney General has averred to the lawfulness of the order. Just to be very clear, okay — and believe me, if there’s any amendment to the Constitution that employees at the National Security Agency is familiar with, it’s the fourth, alright? And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. So, what you’ve raised to me — and I’m not a lawyer and don’t want to become one — but what you’ve raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is reasonable. And we believe — I am convinced that we’re lawful because what it is we’re doing is reasonable.

So, here we go again.  Another inept, unqualified crony in place.  This time its General Michael Hayden, close associate and disciple of Iran-Contra hit squad expert John Negroponte, who heads the entire Homeland Security Agency.and who, like the the power brokers in the White House, revises the US Constitution at will.

You just know this story won’t appear on CNN or FOX.  You just know Sean and Rush and Matt will sweep it under the rug - or find a way to justify the General’s words.

And, by the way, as we once again watch the DECIDER in action:  Do you feel safer now?

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