President Bush nominated General Michael Hayden as CIA Director.
WASHINGTON — President Bush on Monday chose Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden to lead the embattled Central Intelligence Agency, re-igniting a debate over the domestic surveillance program that the onetime head of the National Security Agency once ran.
Republican and Democratic critics also questioned the wisdom of putting a military officer in charge of the civilian spy agency.
“Mike Hayden is supremely qualified for this position,” Bush said in the Oval Office, with Hayden at his side. Without mentioning Hayden’s critics or their objections, the president said: “He knows the intelligence community from the ground up.”
General Hayden is a superb choice for several reasons:
Some Republicans are concerned about Hayden’s being in the military, as if that sets some kind of scary precedence. It doesn’t. James Joyner at Outside the Beltway provides a list of all former CIA directors. Upon a cursory review, it’s hard to miss the fact that many, if not most, former CIA directors were military officers.