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Michael Hayden
Former CIA chief Michael Hayden, comic
Stand-up comedy has never been the forte of Michael Hayden, former four-star Air Force general, former director of the National Security Agency and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But, this guy with the unique interpretation of the Constitution and a penchant for problematic domestic surveillance as well as torture, was in rare form on CNN Friday. Commenting on Sen. Dianne Feinstein's blistering speech accusing the agency of spying on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, of which she is chairwoman:
“There’s a chance that [the] CIA looked after the fact—well after the fact — at the data logs of computers that were used by Senate [Intelligence] Committee staffers and contractors. I think the agency’s already admitted that,” Hayden said Friday on CNN’s “New Day.”

“Now, if you want to call that spying on the Senate, well, I think that’s a bit of a reach,” [adding that] that all the facts should come out before rushing to judgment.

Hahahahaha. And #@^&!¡*%

CIA foot-dragging is one of the reasons all the facts on the agency's use of torture and black sites have not come out publicly. Fifteen months ago, the SSCI approved its three-years-in-the-making, 6,300-page torture report. The CIA has had far more than enough time to provide a response to be included in that report. Instead, it created a rebuttal that its officials and SSCI staff and committee members have been arguing over for months. Meanwhile, it's been revealed that there is a lengthy internal CIA "deliberative" document, a memo, that tends to corroborate what the official torture report says and refutes what the official CIA rebuttal says.

In other words, one of those agency documents cannot be true.

So why should anyone believe what the CIA or its former director says about Feinstein's accusation? Why should we believe that the public or the committee will get the straight skinny on what the agency was doing without letting the SSCI chairwoman or any of its other members or staff know?

One of the premier independent researchers into the activities of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, Marcy Wheeler, has just written a damning background piece on how the agency's torture has been covered up at the highest level for years. While we cannot know for certain, there is ample reason to believe that the CIA's spying—yes, Gen. Hayden, I said it—on the committee that is supposed to oversee it is part of the cover-up.

Given what we already know from years of journalistic exposés, the committee's torture report must be a doozy, even though it is bound to be filled with hedging and cautious wording and omissions. That makes Hayden's comment about Feinstein's accusation being "a little overly dramatic" a candidate for the week's most hilarious line.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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