Monday, May 08, 2006

Bush names Hayden as CIA head

A number of politicians, including some from the president's Republican party, say they are concerned about Hayden because he is a general with close ties to the military. They are also worried by his role in an eavesdropping programme which critics say was a violation of civil rights.

Peter Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican who heads the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said: "It sends the wrong signal, I'm not sure he can adapt."

If confirmed, this would be the first time in US history that the military ran all the intelligence agencies in that country.

Thanks to Wayne Madsen for the following articles:

General Michael Hayden, the man George W, Bush selected to be the deputy to new National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, has presided over the systematic dismantling and demoralization of America's premier technical intelligence collecting outfit—the National Security Agency (NSA).

According to NSA insiders, Hayden's seven-year tenure at the agency, the longest for any NSA director, has witnessed the cashiering of experienced analysts, linguists, and field personnel and the crippling of America's ability to protect itself.

Up to now, little has been reported on how the Bush administration’s disastrous intelligence policies have affected the super secret National Security Agency (NSA). According to NSA insiders, the chief U.S. signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection agency has been wracked by much of the same internal feuding, senior management failures, and external political pressure that have plagued other U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Geo-spatial Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office.

NSA insiders lay blame for the problems at NSA’s Fort Meade, Maryland headquarters squarely on the shoulders of agency Director Air Force General Michael V. Hayden and his small coterie of close advisers, a few of whom have no substantive intelligence background.

With revelations that NSA permitted UN ambassador nominee John Bolton access to sensitive NSA intercepts of the communications of senior Bush administration and other elected U.S. officials, including New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, the NSA is in a management furor.

Many NSA officers are upset that the agency has been drawn into a political fight involving Bolton and view the current NSA leadership as too willing to allow heretofore carefully restricted intercepts to be used by neo-conservatives in the Bush administration to further their agenda.

According to National Security Agency insiders, outgoing NSA Director General Michael Hayden approved special communications intercepts of phone conversations made by past and present U.S. government officials.

The intercepts are at the height of the current controversy surrounding the nomination of Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. It was revealed by Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd during Bolton’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing that Bolton requested transcripts of 10 NSA intercepts of conversations between named U.S. government officials and foreign persons. Later, it was revealed that U.S. companies [also treated as "U.S. persons" by NSA] were also identified in an additional nine intercepts requested by Bolton.

However, NSA insiders report that Hayden approved special intercept operations on behalf of Bolton and had them masked as "training missions" in order to get around internal NSA regulations that normally prohibit such eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.

On August 1, 2001, just five and a half weeks before the 911 attacks, NSA awarded Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) a more than $2 billion, ten-year contract known as GROUNDBREAKER. The contract was never popular with NSA's career professionals. Although GROUNDBREAKER was limited to outsourcing NSA's administrative support functions such as telephones, data networks, distributed computing, and enterprise architecture design, the contract soon expanded into the operational areas -- a sphere that had always been carefully restricted to contractors. NSA was once worried about buying commercial-off-the-shelf computer components such as semiconductors because they might contain foreign bugs. NSA manufactured its own computer chips at its own semiconductor factory at Fort Meade. Currently, NSA personnel are concerned that outsourcing mania at Fort Meade will soon involve foreign help desk technical maintenance provided from off-shore locations like India.

CSC had originally gained access to NSA through a "buy in" project called BREAKTHROUGH, a mere $20 million contract awarded in 1998 that permitted CSC to operate and maintain NSA computer systems. When General Michael V. Hayden took over as NSA Director in 1999, the floodgates for outside contractors were opened and a resulting deluge saw most of NSA's support personnel being converted to contractors working for GROUNDBREAKER's Eagle Alliance (nicknamed the "Evil Alliance" by NSA government personnel), a consortium led by CSC. NSA personnel rosters of support personnel, considered protected information, were turned over to Eagle, which then made offers of employment to the affected NSA workers. The Eagle Alliance consists of CSC, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, CACI, Omen, Inc., Keane Federal Systems, ACS Defense, BTG, Compaq, Fiber Plus, Superior Communications, TRW (Raytheon), Verizon, and Windemere.

In October 2002, Hayden, who has now been promoted by Bush to be Deputy Director of National Intelligence under John Negroponte [and now nominated as director of the CIA], opened NSA up further to contractors. A Digital Network Enterprise (DNE) team led by SAIC won a $280 million, 26 month contract called TRAILBLAZER to develop a demonstration test bed for a new signals intelligence processing and analysis system. SAIC's team members included Booz Allen Hamilton, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Eagle Alliance team leader CSC. TRAILBLAZER, according to Hayden's own testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is now behind schedule and over budget to the tune of over $600 million.

Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., said Hayden could leave agents with the impression that the CIA has been "just gobbled up by the Defense Department." Many others in the Congress, on both sides of the aisle, have reservations about Hayden.


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