U.S. President George W. Bush nominates Gen. Michael Hayden as director of CIA

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Monday, May 8, 2006

Michael Hayden

United States Air Force General Michael Hayden has been nominated as the new director of the CIA.

"The men and women of the CIA will have a strong leader to support them," said U.S. President George W. Bush in a press conference today.

"This is simply too important to not get absolutely right," said Hayden.

The nomination sparked controversy from Republican and Democratic critics, who claim that the military background of Michael Hayden makes him unsuitable, because the CIA is a civil institution rather than a military arm of the government. Saxby Chambliss calls it a "major problem" due to the intelligence budget that is already controlled by The Pentagon up to and/or more than 80 percent. Peter Hoekstra, Intelligence Committee Chairman, says he would oppose the nomination of General Michael Hayden as "the wrong person, the wrong place at the wrong time".

Hayden was head of the NSA from 1999-2005 and was in charge of the eavesdropping program that allows the U.S. government to monitor e-mail and international telephone calls of suspected terrorists without obtaining a warrant. Last year, he became the deputy for the director of National Intelligence John Negroponte.

Hayden also is currently serving more than 35 years in the U.S. Air Force and from 1980-1982 he served as intelligence chief at Osan Air Base which is located in South Korea.

On Friday, Porter Goss resigned as director of the agency.


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