General Michael Hayden served as George W. Bush's Director of the NSA for five years. During much of that time, Hayden oversaw "the terrorist surveillance program," which – after an executive order – authorized the NSA to engage in the warrantless surveillance of all communications originating overseas (even if the end-point of that communication was in the United States).
Hayden is also the man who, after his promotion to become Bush's Director of National Intelligence, famously misrepresented the Fourth Amendment when challenged about whether or not the NSA was violating Americans' civil liberties.
Relive the memory:
Hayden is also a man who, today, has written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claiming that there is no willful, illegal domestic spying on American citizens currently going on under President Obama.
Indeed, writes Hayden without any sourcing, all surveillance violations made by NSA staffers – thousands per year – have been unintentional mistakes. And why would the NSA never violate an American's civil liberties intentionally? Hold on to your hat: because, according to Hayden, those in the United States are "protected by the Fourth Amendment" from such surveillance.
In short, this is a man who lacks all credibility on surveillance. This is a man who, as a former architect of the surreptitious violation of Americans' civil liberties, knows something about obfuscation.
And this is the man who, during a press briefing today, the White House chose to point to and say, See? He wrote there is no 'domestic spying' in the Wall Street Journal today. So, as you can see, there's no domestic spying.
Forgive me for being incredulous.
I'd like to add a thought: any system constructed such that it allows 'accidental' mistakes thousands of times per year is not 'accidental.'