Hayden would replace Porter Goss, who resigned May 5 as CIA director after serving less than two years in that post. The job of CIA director has become less important since the creation last year of the national intelligence office, whose director, John Negroponte, has taken over a number of functions once performed by the CIA chief.
The creation of John Negroponte's job (Director of National Intelligence) in itself weakened the authority of the CIA director, yet the creation of Director of National Intelligence has less control over Pentagon's intelligence gathering apperatus. So because of the way DNI's job was defined in legislation contrary to the recommedations of the House-Senate Intelligence Committee accountabilty, breaking down barriers of communication and rapid response has been weakened. Yet the military has been given an incredibly free hand, to the point of acting outside of FISA law at the president's direction. Apparently the fringe right, ever faithful Bush lap dogs are trying to make the case that the military has always been involved with the CIA. As with most arguments made by Bush supporters they're cherry picking the facts. There haven't been any active duty military to head the modern era CIA, Sidney William Souers was active duty for about the first seven months after his appointment , but was relieved of active duty in July of 1946.(for key events in the evolution of the US intelligence community see here)
Then there is the question of General Hayden's veracity. So far Hayden's record shows a tendency to cover for the administration at the expense of the rule of law ( if we are indeed at war isn't now the very time that devotion to the principles of democracy should be Hayden and his conservative supporter's guide, rather then misguided zealotry), Hayden Dodged Questions on Whether Spying Program Targets Political Opponents or Journalists
HAYDEN: Chris, this is focused on al Qaeda. The only justification we have to undertake this program is to detect and prevent attacks against the United States. We don’t have the time or the lawful authority to do anything except that.
Multiple news reports have shown that the program was used to spy on thousands of innocent Americans with no ties to al Qaeda, and the Bush administration has been caught spying on political opponents on multiple occassions.
The scale of warrantless surveillance, and the high proportion of bystanders swept in, sheds new light on Bush's circumvention of the courts. National security lawyers, in and out of government, said the washout rate raised fresh doubts about the program's lawfulness under the Fourth Amendment, because a search cannot be judged "reasonable" if it is based on evidence that experience shows to be unreliable. Other officials said the disclosures might shift the terms of public debate, altering perceptions about the balance between privacy lost and security gained.
Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the nation's second-ranking intelligence officer, acknowledged in a news briefing last month that eavesdroppers "have to go down some blind alleys to find the tips that pay off."
Still, the DOD database includes at least 20 references to U.S. citizens or U.S. persons. Other documents obtained by NBC News show that the Defense Department is clearly increasing its domestic monitoring activities. One DOD briefing document stamped “secret” concludes: “[W]e have noted increased communication and encouragement between protest groups using the [I]nternet,” but no “significant connection” between incidents, such as “reoccurring instigators at protests” or “vehicle descriptions.”
The right will once again whip out its domestic terrorist spying blow up doll to argue that some conservatives and all Democrats of course are against this fine up standing man because we're against violating the 4th amendment and FISA law to indiscriminately gather large pools of intelligence data on American citizens. Hayden will be Negroponte's ideological clone,
SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): Mr. Ambassador, without getting into what the specific programs might be, can you assure us today that there are not other intelligence collection — and I emphasize collection — programs that you are aware of and that you are keeping from the full intelligence committee?
NEGROPONTE: Um… Senator, I … I don’t know if I can comment on that in an open session.
The sum of effects so far on the ebtire intelligence community has been to weaken the civilian side while putting more operations and authority in the hands of the military. It might help the right's case for the militarization if they could clear up a few points; like name a successful democracy who's intelligence community was controlled by the military. Two, rationalize away the lies ( very likely breaking the law) that Hayden has told so far that can only be explained by partisan loyality and membership in the cult of Bush. Lastly, at least for today the American public should be informed as to why the pool of intelligence talent is so small that Hayden, an active military officier is THE man to handle the job – is Bush once again rewarding partisan loyality over what is good for the country by setting a disturbing precedent.
Mr. Hyde shrank back with a hissing intake of the breath. But his fear was only momentary; and though he did not look the lawyer in the face, he answered coolly enough: “That is my name. What do you want?”
“I see you are going in,” returned the lawyer. “I am an old friend of Dr. Jekyll’s—Mr. Utterson of Gaunt Street—you must have heard my name; and meeting you so conveniently, I thought you might admit me.”
“You will not find Dr. Jekyll; he is from home,” replied Mr. Hyde, blowing in the key. And then suddenly, but still without looking up, “How did you know me?” he asked.
“On your side,” said Mr. Utterson, “will you do me a favour?”
“With pleasure,” replied the other. “What shall it be?”
“Will you let me see your face?” asked the lawyer.
Mr. Hyde appeared to hesitate, and then, as if upon some sudden reflection, fronted about with an air of defiance; and the pair stared at each other pretty fixedly for a few seconds. “Now I shall know you again,” said Mr. Utterson.” It may be useful.”
from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson Louis
and yes I do think of this story as paleo-pulp fiction.