Senate Confirms Hayden as CIA Director

The United States Senate has confirmed Gen. Michael Haden as CIA Director, by a vote of 78-15.

Hayden, a four-star general, currently is the top deputy to National Intelligence Director John Negroponte. Hayden, 61, would be the first active-duty or retired military officer to run the spy agency in 25 years. He was approved by a vote of 78-15.

President Bush, in a written statement, applauded Hayden’s confirmation. “Winning the war on terror requires that America have the best intelligence possible, and his strong leadership will ensure that we do,” he said. “Gen. Hayden is a patriot and a dedicated public servant whose broad experience, dedication and expertise make him the right person to lead the CIA at this critical time.”

At his confirmation hearing, Hayden sought to assure lawmakers he would be independent from his military superiors but said he would consider how his uniform affects his relationship with CIA personnel. If it were to get in the way, he said, “I’ll make the right decision.”

Indeed, given that he is surely entitled to the maximimum military pension already, it’s unclear why Haden wouldn’t retire and double dip as a senior civilian employee anyway. That it would remove one major cause for concern without having any obvious downside is a bonus. Surely, Hayden is not in line for Air Force Chief of Staff or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs; those positions are reserved for line officers.

Related stories below the fold.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I believe this is the first time one man has been both the Director of the NSA and the CIA director.

  2. Jem says:

    It’s probably the first time someone has been director of both, though Adm Bobby Ray Inman was NSA Director and CIA Deputy Director.

    Also, James, in the Air Force, Intelligence officers are line officers–I believe the term you want to use is “non-rated” officer.

  3. James Joyner says:


    That’s just another one for my “the Air Force is barely military” files!

    I’m just looking for a Service-neutral term equivalent to the Army’s “combat arms.” I’ve always thought “rated officer” was a synonym for “pilot.”

  4. Christopher says:

    Thank God he got confirmed! At least the democrats are not total idiots. (wow, I just said something nice about democrats!)

  5. DC Loser says:

    AF rated officers are the pilots and navigators. The navigators today are EWOs or Radar Navigators (on B-52s), basically bombardiers or weapons officers. They are “rated” because they have to go through evaluation checks every so often to be qualified to fly. Missiliers are non-rated according to this logic, even though they too have to be evaluated on a continual basis. Basically, when AF officers talk about “rated” and “non-rated,” they are talking about first and second class citizens in the pecking order. This is just part of the pilot mafia bias of the service.

  6. McGehee says:

    This is just part of the pilot mafia bias of the service.

    Heh. I was wondering why they don’t call it the Ground Force…

  7. DC Loser says:

    McGehee, the pilot mafia is trying to stave off the revolution in military technologies by insistence on expensive manned aircraft. Already, their planes are being marginalized by the UAV, UCAV, and unmanned space systems. The need for a man in the cockpit combat platform is close to being obsolete. The USAF might as well be called the Air and SPACE Force, as its space operations mission is as great, if not greater, then its air warfare mission.