Michael V. Hayden

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Air Force Lieutenant General Michael V. Hayden was chosen May 8, 2006, by President George W. Bush to run the Central Intelligence Agency. [1] Hayden, confirmed by the U.S. Senate May 26, 2006, replaced Porter J. Goss, who resigned as CIA director May 6, 2006. [2] He is a director of BlackPoint Cyber. [1]

Hayden was appointed February 17, 2005, by President George W. Bush to be the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which was formed in February 2005 to "coordinate all U.S. intelligence functions" and which is headed by John D. Negroponte. Hayden's nomination was sent to the Senate on April 11, 2005, and he was confirmed April 21, 2005.

In February 1999, Hayden was named as director of the National Security Agency, "which is responsible for monitoring and evaluating foreign electronic communications." [3]

Hayden "has a stellar résumé for a spy and has long been admired at the White House and on Capitol Hill," Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti wrote in the May 6, 2006, New York Times.

"But General Hayden," they wrote, "the principal deputy director of national intelligence, would also face serious questions about the controversy over the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program, which he oversaw and has vigorously defended.

"His Senate nomination hearing, if he is chosen to succeed Director Porter J. Goss, is likely to reignite debate over what civil libertarians say is the program's violation of Americans' privacy," they wrote.

Two degrees of separation from the "Duke"

Hayden, while serving as the director of the National Security Agency, "contracted the services" of retired Lt. Gen. James C. King, then a senior vice president of MZM Inc., the "company at the center" of the Randy "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal, "according to two former employees of the company," Justin Rood reported May 8, 2006, for TPM Muckraker.

MZM Inc. was owned and operated by Mitchell J. Wade, "who has admitted to bribing former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham with $1.4 million in money and gifts. Wade has also reportedly told investigators he helped arrange for prostitutes to entertain the disgraced lawmaker, and he continues to cooperate with a federal inquiry into the matter," Rood wrote.

"King has not been implicated in the growing scandal around Wade's illegal activities. However, federal records show he contributed to some of Wade's favored lawmakers, including $6000 to Rep. Virgil Goode (D-VA) and $4000 to Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL)," Rood wrote. Harris is now "in hot water" in her own defense contractor investigation.

"Before joining MZM in December 2001, King served under Hayden as the NSA's associate deputy director for operations, and as head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency," Rood wrote.

In 2004 and 2005, while working at NSA Headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland, King was "doing special projects for Hayden as an MZM employee," Rood reported. The exact details of these activities are unknown, although Rood learned that one former employee "said he thought [King] was doing 'special projects' for the director," while another "speculated it was 'high-ranking advisory work.'"


Creators Syndicate's Molly Ivins wrote May 8, 2006, in Truthdig:

"So now they’re turning the CIA over to a general who not only ran the warrantless wiretap program [see below] but still can’t figure out that it’s unconstitutional. Why do I get the feeling this is W. and Karl again flipping the finger at some grown-up they don’t like?
"Gen. Michael Hayden had mixed reviews as director of the National Security Agency—he’s evidently not a good manager, which makes him a perfect Bushie. But is he straightforward enough to have admitted that some warrantless spying has been done for political reasons? None of the usual Washington insiders seems to have a bead on this. Hayden would theoretically report to John Negroponte, Bush’s supposed intelligence czar. Negroponte is widely considered worthless. His major achievement so far seems to be organizational charts and buying furniture."

Warrantless wiretapping

The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy arose when the New York Times revealed on December 16, 2005, that the agency had been eavesdropping on U.S. citizens and other people within the U.S. without seeking warrants from a special court, as ostensibly required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.[4]

Hayden received personal criticism for his role in the controversy when he spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on January 23, 2006, to defend the practice of warrantless surveillance. During the question and answer period following his speech, Hayden appeared to deny that a "probable cause" standard is contained in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution--which limits the government's ability to conduct searches and, by extension, surveillance.

Knight Ridder reporter Jonathan Landay prefaced a question by noting that "the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures." Hayden responded: "No, actually--the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure.... That's what it says." When Landay continued, "But does it not say probable--" Hayden said: "No. The amendment says...unreasonable search and seizure."

In fact, the amendment refers to both "unreasonable searches and seizures" and "probable cause."

Later, responding to Landay's question, Hayden stated:

Just to be very clear--and believe me, if there's any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you've raised to me--and I'm not a lawyer, and don't want to become one--what you've raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is "reasonable." And we believe--I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we're doing is reasonable.

Writing up the exchange, the online magazine Editor & Publisher (January 23, 2006) wrote that Hayden "appeared to be unfamiliar with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when pressed by a reporter with Knight Ridder's Washington office--despite his claims that he was actually something of an expert on it." --Subscription required.

Hayden's dishonest defense of the extraordinary rendition program

Facing mounting criticism of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, Hayden defended it in a September 2007 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. His claims included:[2]

Claim Reality
Renditions have "...been conducted lawfully, responsibly, and with a clear and simple purpose: to get terrorists off the streets and gain intelligence on those still at large." According to a December 2005 Washington Post article on the abduction of German citizen Khaled El-Masri,[3]
"Masri was held for five months largely because the head of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center's al Qaeda unit 'believed he was someone else,' one former CIA official said. 'She didn't really know. She just had a hunch.'"
"...In the first weeks of 2004, an argument arose over whether the CIA should take Masri from local authorities and remove him from the country for interrogation, a classic rendition operation. The director of the al Qaeda unit supported that approach. She insisted he was probably a terrorist, and should be imprisoned and interrogated immediately. Others were doubtful. They wanted to wait to see whether the passport was proved fraudulent. Beyond that, there was no evidence Masri was not who he claimed to be -- a German citizen of Arab descent traveling after a disagreement with his wife. The unit's director won the argument. She ordered Masri captured and flown to a CIA prison in Afghanistan."

Once the mistake was realized, the agency appeared to be more concerned about avoiding scandal than about the fact they'd kidnapped and tortured an innocent man:

"At the CIA, the question was: Now what? Some officials wanted to go directly to the German government; others did not. Someone suggested a reverse rendition: Return Masri to Macedonia and release him. 'There wouldn't be a trace. No airplane tickets. Nothing. No one would believe him,' one former official said. 'There would be a bump in the press, but then it would be over.'"
"...a European Parliament temporary committee has claimed that, and I quote, 'at least 1,245 flights operated by the CIA flew into European airspace or stopped over at European airports between the end of 2001 and the end of 2005.' And it said so in a context that implied that many--or even most--were rendition flights. The actual number of rendition flights ever flown by CIA is a tiny fraction of that. And the suggestion that even a substantial number of those 1,245 flights were carrying detainees is absurd on its face." Hayden's quote from the report is misleadingly incomplete. In fact, the report made clear that not all the flights were rendition flights, and does not speculate in any way about what proportion of the total number of flights were rendition flights. Here is the full quote, including the clauses deliberately omitted by Hayden:
"Stresses that at least 1 245 flights operated by the CIA flew into European airspace or stopped over at European airports between the end of 2001 and the end of 2005, to which should be added an unspecified number of military flights for the same purpose; recalls that, on one hand, there may have been more CIA flights than those confirmed by the investigations carried out by the Temporary Committee, while, on the other hand, not all those flights have been used for extraordinary rendition."[4]


In February 1999, Hayden was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and assigned as the Director of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) headquartered at Fort George G. Meade, MD.

As the Director of NSA/CSS, Hayden was "responsible for a combat support agency of the Department of Defense with military and civilian personnel stationed worldwide. [5]

"The General entered active duty in 1969 after earning a bachelor's degree in history in 1967 and a master's degree in modern American history in 1969, both from Duquesne University. He is a distinguished graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. The General has served as Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, both headquartered at Kelly Air Force Base. He also has served in senior staff positions in the Pentagon; Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany; the National Security Council, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Embassy in the People's Republic of Bulgaria. Prior to his current assignment, the General served as deputy chief of staff for United Nations Command and U.S. Forces Korea, Yongsan Army Garrison. [6]


1967 Bachelor of Arts degree in history, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
1969 Master's degree in modern American history, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
1975 Academic Instructor School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
1976 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
1978 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
1980 Defense Intelligence School (postgraduate intelligence curriculum), Defense Intelligence Agency, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, DC
1983 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA
1983 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL

Major awards and decorations

Defense Distinquished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal

Hayden's military profile is current as of November 2001.[7]

Resources and articles


  1. LEadership, BlackPoint Cyber, accessed August 24, 2022.
  2. CIA Public Affairs, "Remarks As Prepared for Delivery By Gen. Michael V. Hayden, Director, Central Intelligence Agency at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York 7 September 2007", PR Newswire, September 7, 2007.
  3. Dana Priest, "Wrongful Imprisonment: Anatomy of a CIA Mistake. German Citizen Released After Months in 'Rendition'," Washington Post, December 4, 2005.
  4. Giovanni Claudio Fava, "Report on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners" (PDF), page 11, Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners, January 30, 2007. Available in other languages from here.

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