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The Mix

Gen. Michael Hayden, the new CYA Director

The general's role is not to head up the intelligence agency, but to cover up the Bushites' trail.
This post first appeared in the Huffington Post and is republished here with permission.

General Michael Hayden was picked by the Bush administration to head the CIA for one reason and one reason only -- to cover their ass. He is not going to be their CIA Director. He is going to be their CYA Director.

Anyone who works in the corporate world -- or the Bush administration -- is familiar with the CYA principle. The most important thing to do is Cover Your Ass. Getting the job done often times becomes a distant second priority to making sure you don't get blamed for whatever goes wrong. The Bush folks have taken this to an art form.

Michael Hayden was the unofficial spokesperson for the administration when it became clear that they were breaking the FISA law and ignoring the Fourth Amendment. As the former head of the NSA, he went on a publicity tour touting the wonders of warrantless spying. What are the chances this guy puts the brakes on a program at the CIA that has gone overboard? None.

General Hayden can be trusted -- not necessarily by the American people, but more importantly, by the Bush team. If they need him to cover up, he can do that. If they need him to lie to Congress, he can make that happen. If they need him to carry out yet another program of questionable legality, no problem. He's their go to man in the CYA.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) agrees. He said today on The Young Turks, "I have no doubt about it... this Administration doesn't really want intelligence. They want confirmation of their ideology... The President is trying to CYA." By the way, you should know that this was in response to a clearly leading question. We might not be balanced, but we are fair. Watch the whole interview here (another great quote by Harkin was in reference to the upcoming elections, "It smells like 1974.").

The Senator added on Hayden,"This is a guy who's been in charge of all of the secret spying on Americans!"

Think about that, the Bush administration wants to put the guy who went along with their brazen law breaking at the NSA in charge of the CIA. What kind of damage could he do there? Do you really want a guy who has no boundaries in that position?

Plus, why are we rewarding a man who clearly bungled his position at the NSA? President Bush loves to blame intelligence failures for the missing WMD in Iraq. Okay, let's take him at his word. So, then why would we promote one of the people responsible for that failure as the head of our Central Intelligence Agency?

That doesn't make any sense if you actually care about the intelligence. But it makes perfect sense if you only care about covering up your past mistakes, going beyond the law again and rewarding someone for purposely manipulating intelligence to fit around your misguided policy. Glad to see the Bush administration has really learned from 9/11 and cares to get it right in the future.

Would someone who cared about protecting this country really put the person who didn't see 9/11 coming and completely mangled the Iraq intelligence in charge of the CIA? No, but he would put him in charge of the CYA.
Cenk Uygur is co-host of The Young Turks, the first liberal radio show to air nationwide.
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