20060519

Briefed Coincidence (The NSA, CIA and Hayden's confirmation)


Briefed Coincidence

It just has to be a coincidence that the day before the Senate Committee on Intelligence was to begin the confirmation hearings (with the former head of the NSA) to fill the top post at the CIA the full committee was briefed on the NSA spying program for the first time. Bush was obviously under the impression that a briefing at the 11th hour would put to rest any questions regarding the president's disregard for the separation of powers, violations of the 4th Amendment and the administrations hypocrisy when it comes to their belief in "strict constructionism."

I like a few hundred thousand others watched the coverage of the Senate confirmation hearing on C-SPAN. I was looking for transcripts of the confirmation hearing but failed to find any beneficial links. The closest I came was this link here. The link, like many of General Hayden's responses have one thing in common, they lack substance.

So, a quick review of what I watched. Senator Russ Feingold (D) was the only senator to point out the previously address "coincidence" between the Wednesday's full Senate briefing on the NSA program and Thursday's confirmation hearing. Through Feingold I learned that while at the NSA Hayden believed (and relied upon) the "oversight" by a attorneys for the administration as opposed to going before the FISA court, or complying with the National Security Act of 1947.

Saxby Chambliss (R) was concerned with 15 U.S.C. Section 403c. He asked several questions regarding the following sections of the Chapter 15.
(c) Military status of Director and Deputy Directors
(1)
(A) Not more than one of the individuals serving in the positions specified in subparagraph (B) may be a commissioned officer of the Armed Forces, whether in active or retired status. [and]

(3) A commissioned officer of the Armed Forces, while serving in a position specified in paragraph (1)(B)—
(A) shall not be subject to supervision or control by the Secretary of Defense or by any officer or employee of the Department of Defense;
(B) shall not exercise, by reason of the officer’s status as a commissioned officer, any supervision or control with respect to any of the military or civilian personnel of the Department of Defense except as otherwise authorized by law; and
(C) shall not be counted against the numbers and percentages of commissioned officers of the rank and grade of such officer authorized for the military department of that officer.

While I wish I could say that General Hayden had been vociferiously questioned by every Republican and Democrat committee member, this was not the case. I give you the suprisingly entertaining Pat Roberts (R), who admits he was briefed on all 13 occassions regarding the secret activites being undertaken by Hayden while he was the head of the NSA. Robert's described his participation as, "I was acting independently, or I'd like to think I was acting independently." He thinks he "acted independently"? With Roberts at the helm, Hayden should sail through the committee on his way to being confirmed by the full senate before the end of the month.

That remindes me. It looks like my skills at prognostication need some work.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

I mean "separation", but that was a typo.

Please elaborate on your problem with the President's "disregard for the seperation of powers", specifically?

5/19/2006 6:06 AM  
Blogger M A F said...

Try the link on strict constructionism for starters. Feel free to click on the other links as they should help answer your question.

5/19/2006 6:37 AM  

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