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.
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