Trevor Timm at the Columbia Journalism Review writes—Stop treating former CIA chief Michael Hayden as an arbiter of truth:
ON THE SUBJECT OF DONALD TRUMP and his relationship with intelligence agencies, there’s one commentator you are bound to see quoted more than anyone else: Michael Hayden, the former NSA chief and CIA director under George W. Bush.
It doesn’t matter what cable channel you prefer (CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News), what talk show you watch (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Real Time with Bill Maher), or website you read (The New York Times, Washington Post, or The Wall Street Journal), Hayden is everywhere, commenting on the day’s news, while inevitably being portrayed as Mr. Reasonable: a post-partisan straight shooter who will tell you How It Really Works.
But members of the media who play along with this fantasyland portrayal of Hayden should be embarrassed. Hayden has a long history of making misleading and outright false statements, and by the estimation of many lawyers, likely committed countless felonies during the Bush administration. It is something of a wonder that someone responsible for so many reprehensible acts is now considered a totally above-the-fray, honest commentator on all issues intelligence.
It’s easy to see why television bookers keep calling his phone. Hayden smiles and tries to tell jokes (like when he “joked” about putting Edward Snowden on a kill list—so funny!), he uses clever turns of phrase (he called the NSA’s massive metadata surveillance program “dipping our toe” in domestic collection), and occasionally overshares about US intelligence activities (Comparing US and Russian cyber aggression, he said: “A foreign intelligence service getting the internal emails of a major political party in a major foreign adversary? Game on. That’s what we do.”)v […]
In the Senate’s blistering 2014 CIA torture report, the name “Michael Hayden” is singled out more than 200 times. He was named CIA director in 2006, after the worst of the CIA’s crimes went down, but it was his job to be chief defender of the agency in Bush’s second term when many of the stories of torture first came to light.
The Senate’s report ends with a special appendix that is over three dozen pages long that is almost exclusively dedicated to Hayden. It is filled with his testimony to Congress, next to the actual facts showing statement after statement he made was inaccurate, misleading, false, or outright lies. Three dozen pages! […]
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“The struggle today is not one between communism and fascism; it is a struggle between tolerance and bigotry—bigotry preached equally by communism and fascism. Here in this country the worst Fascists are those who, disowning fascism, preach enslavement to capitalism under the cloak of liberty and the constitution. They steal not only wages but honor. It rests with the liberals and the tolerant to preserve our civilization. Everything of importance in this world has been accomplished by the free inquiring spirit and the preservation of that spirit is more important than any social system. That spirit must prevail. So long as it does it won’t happen here.”
~Sinclair Lewis, manuscript, February 23, 1939
TWEET OF THE DAY
BLAST FROM THE PAST
At Daily Kos on this date in 2005—Guantanamo Bay military tribunals: “I don’t care about international law”:
The government is holding about 550 terrorist suspects at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba. An additional 214 have been released since the facility opened in January 2002—some into the custody of their home governments, others freed outright.
Little information about those held at Guantanamo has been released through official government channels. But stories of 60 or more are spelled out in detail in thousands of pages of transcripts filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, where lawsuits challenging their detentions have been filed.
The previously anonymous detainees provide accounts of their imprisonment and impressions of U.S. justice. Some express defiance, others stoic acceptance of their fate.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: More on Bannon and his weirdo patrons, the Mercers. The great danger of mixing politics and intel. The 27th Amendment: the feel-good procedure story of the century! And the Russia story doesn’t stop here. Do you know about The French Spanish connection?
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