Hayden: We'll Have To Clear Interrogation Practices With ACLU, New York Times (VIDEO)

05/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden lashed out at the Obama administration on Sunday for releasing memos on interrogation techniques used on detainees, warning at one point that the future processes would need clearance from the ACLU and New York Times.

"I think the really dangerous effect of this... is that you have agency officers stepping back from the kinds of things that the nation expects them to do," said Hayden. "I mean, if you were to go to an agency officer today and say 'go do this' and [they'd respond] 'why am I authorized to do this?' I say it's authorized by the president, the attorney general said it's lawful and it's been briefed to congress. That agency officer is gonna say 'yeah I know... but have you run it by the ACLU. What about the New York Times editorial board? Have you discussed this with any potential presidential candidates?' You're going to have this agency on the front line of this current war playing back from the line."

The remarks came during an appearance on Fox News Sunday and were several days removed from an op-ed Hayden penned that was similarly critical of the Obama administration's decision. On Fox, Hayden offered a defense of some of the harder interrogation techniques, insisting at one point that important intelligence was gleamed from waterboarding. He declined, however, to discuss reports that Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was waterboarded 183 times in one month, when asked if such treatment was inhumane.

Hayden left the program on a rather interesting note. Asked if he thought further revelations about, or investigations into, these interrogation practices would take place - something the Obama administration has largely insisted won't happen - Hayden said he was positive of it.

"God no it is not the end of it," he said. "If you look at the letters that director Panetta and director Blair put out to the intelligence community workforce, they make it very clear; literally, explicitly say, this is not the end of it. in fact They suggest it's just the beginning. There will be more revelations. There will be more commissions. There will be more investigations. And this to an agency, again, I'll repeat, that is at war and is on the front lines defending America."