THE BLOG
01/24/2006 12:09 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

NSA Director Hayden--One Needle in a Growing Bush "Hay"stack of Lies

The Bush Administration has continually used 9/11 as an excuse to break the laws of our great nation. A simple reading of the September 11th story shows that General Michael Hayden and the Bush Administration are, once again, contradicting themselves in their use of 9/11, this time with regard to President Bush's illegal domestic spying program.

1. NSA DIRECTOR, GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN CONTRADICTS HIS 2002 TESTIMONY TO THE JOINT INQUIRY OF CONGRESS:

January 22, 2006 - General Michael Hayden, in defending the illegal NSA Surveillance Program, stated:

"We're not violating the law ... Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States."

October 17, 2002 - Lieutenant Michael Hayden said the following:

"In early 2000, at the time of the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, we had the al-Hazmi brothers, Nawaf and Salim, as well as Khalid al-Mihdhar, in our sights. We knew of their association with al Qa'ida, and we shared this information with the community. I've looked at this closely. If we had handled all of the above perfectly, the only new fact that we could have contributed at the time of Kuala Lumpur was that Nawaf's surname (and perhaps that of Salim, who appeared to be Nawaf's brother) was al-Hazmi."

"There is one other area in our pre-September 11th performance that has attracted a great deal of public attention. In the hours just prior to the attacks, NSA did obtain two pieces of information suggesting that individuals with terrorist connections believed something significant would happen on September 11th. This information did not specifically indicate an attack would take place on that day. It did not contain any details on the time, place, or nature of what might happen. It also contained no suggestion of airplanes being used as weapons. Because of the processing involved, we were unable to report the information until September 12th. To put this into some perspective, throughout the summer of 2001 we had more than 30 warnings that something was imminent. We dutifully reported these."

*** General Hayden should reconcile his contradictory statements. I note that President Bush's illegal NSA surveillance program was in effect at the time of Hayden's testimony in 2002. I also note that Hayden was a Lieutenant-General in 2002. Since 2002, Hayden has been promoted to a full-fledged General.

2. NSA DIRECTOR, GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS TO JOINT INQUIRY OF CONGRESS REGARDING APPROPRIATENESS OF NSA CARRYING OUT DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE:

January 22, 2006 - General Michael Hayden, in defending the illegal NSA Surveillance program, stated:

"We're not violating the law ... Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States."

In 2002 - NSA Director Hayden testified before the Joint Inquiry that:

"The collection of communications between the United States and foreign countries will most likely contain information about domestic activities and thus, is the responsibility of the FBI, not NSA."

According to the Joint Inquiry, Hayden "contrasted the foreign intelligence value of such intercepts and their domestic security value. If the former is at stake, he asserted, NSA should intercept the communications; if the latter, the FBI."

The Joint Inquiry found: "General Hayden, senior NSA managers, NSA legal staff, and NSA analysts made clear in Joint Inquiry testimony and interviews that they do not want to be perceived as focusing NSA capabilities against U.S. persons in the United States. The Director and his staff were UNANIMOUS that lessons NSA learned as a result of Congressional investigations during the 1970's should not be forgotten."

*** General Hayden should explain why he now deems the illegal surveillance program being carried out by the NSA appropriate and constitutional. Once again, I note that President Bush's illegal NSA surveillance program was in place when General Hayden testified in 2002.

Perhaps, the American people would be better served with a Director of the NSA who understands that agency's capabilities regarding terrorist surveillance - both past and present. Hayden's statements indicate one of two things - he is either incompetent or a liar. In either case he should not be heading up the NSA.

Once again, I encourage President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Former President Bush, Attorney General Gonzales and General Hayden - all of whom were recently on TV spouting utter nonsense to the American people regarding the need and justification for this illegal program - to review the findings of facts and conclusions held by the Joint Inquiry of Congress and the 9/11 Commission.

The Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission did not find that there was a failure to collect information on the 19 hijackers. Rather, they held that:

Better coordination between NSA and FBI might have improved prospects for determining that al Mihdhar was in this country in early 2000; led to the collection of information concerning international communications by other hijackers; identified radical suspects; and created leads for the FBI. Both NSA and FBI are authorized to access international communications between the United States and foreign countries.

Please, Gentlemen: Stop deliberately and grossly misleading the American public.