Say, Why Should Mikey Hayden Get a Say on Torture that Purportedly Preceded Him?

My favorite call for John Brennan’s head thus far comes from Fred Fleitz, who helped John Bolton sex up WMD claims leading into the Iraq War.  He says John Brennan has to resign not just to shore up CIA’s relations with Congress, but also NSA’s.

I believe CIA director John Brennan and agency officials involved in the monitoring of computers used by the SSCI staff must resign to help mend the CIA’s relationship with Congress. Such resignations would go a long way toward restoring the confidence of the SSCI in the CIA and, it is to be hoped, would win the agency and the National Security Agency some crucial allies in both houses of Congress to fend off several ill-advised intelligence-reform proposals currently under discussion there.

But that’s not my favorite part. Nor is where this “intelligence” professional says a report voted out with support from John McCain (in the first vote) and Susan Collins (in the second) is a Democratic vote. Nor is the bit where Fleitz claims the program was properly briefed, which it wasn’t.

My favorite part is Fleitz’ conflicting claims about Michael Hayden.

The main focus of the SSCI probe reportedly is to prove Democratic claims that the effectiveness of the enhanced-interrogation program has been exaggerated. Former CIA director Michael Hayden and other former senior CIA officials involved in the enhanced-interrogation program dispute this. According to Hayden, as late as 2006 fully half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al-Qaeda came from harsh interrogations.

Despite their firsthand knowledge of the enhanced-interrogation program, there is no input in the SSCI report from Hayden, former CIA general counsel John Rizzo, or other CIA officials, since the report is based solely on an examination of documents.

Assertion 1) Michael Hayden claims half of the government’s knowledge about al Qaeda came from torture, meaning no more than half came from the illegal torture he was conducting at the time over at NSA (and also meaning that relatively more intelligence has come in from SIGINT since Hayden left).

Assertion 2) Michael Hayden, whose entire CIA tenure post-dated the Detainee Treatment Act that made the torture program illegal, should have some say in a torture report.

Maybe Hayden was spying on the CIA while he was in charge of NSA. Or maybe (ok, in fact) Hayden continued torture after such time as Congress made it doubly illegal.

But in the same way that Cofer Black should not need to have a say in torture if the CIA’s false narrative were not false, Michael Hayden shouldn’t either.

Man, as much as this report is demonstrating how much CIA lies and how useless their torture program was, it also demonstrates the misnomer of the whole “intelligence” label.

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5 Responses to Say, Why Should Mikey Hayden Get a Say on Torture that Purportedly Preceded Him?

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emptywheel @joshgerstein LOL. Thanks for the clarification.
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emptywheel @jon_dunn I've been here 20 years, almost to the day. Keep promising I'll pick it up every time I play but alas.
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emptywheel RT @MikeSacksEsq: BREAKING: D.C. Circuit sides with #NSA in the Klayman case, vacates Judge Leon's decision from December 2013. Opinion not…
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bmaz @emptywheel Yer worse than Ashley Madison!
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emptywheel @MicahZenko Also, ISIS is not organized? Man they ARE politicizing intelligence if he believes that.
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emptywheel @bmaz Haven't yet.
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bmaz @emptywheel After you outing me to Sweet Judy Blew Lies??
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emptywheel @bmaz If only we had a trash talk to discuss such things... Weekend coming up.
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bmaz RT @Atrios: it really was, simply, "black people live there. they are scary."
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bmaz RT @Atrios: there was so little mainstream commentary on this at the time. it was mindboggling
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bmaz RT @Atrios: desperate new orleans residents were treated like enemy combatants instead of being rescued during katrina aftermath
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bmaz So @ESPN's Chris Mortenson is a flat out liar. No credibility at ESPN over #Deflategate http://t.co/tyqPyyPNhF via @ProFootballTalk
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