Senator Feinstein Supports Michael Hayden
Michael V. Hayden is the nominee to replace outgoing CIA head Porter Goss, who left under mysterious circumstances, yet his nomination has come under fire from those who believe his career in the military should preclude him from serving in the CIA, and others who admonish the National Security Administration (NSA) surveillance program, which he was an integral part of. The former concern is almost laughable, claiming that a 'military man' in charge of the CIA is dangerous. In reality, intelligence is a vital aspect of military operations; one in the lead in gathering intelligence should understand the military needs. However, the controversial NSA surveillance program will likely be a more contentious issue.
With that in mind, Feinstein's statements are somewhat of a surprise. Senate democrats have been quite vocal about the NSA terrorist surveillance program, a program Hayden has been intimately involved in during his stint at the NSA. Other prominent senate democrats are already on the front-lines, decrying the horrors of the program. "General Hayden directed and subsequently defended the president's illegal wiretapping program," said Russ Feingold who also said he "might" (read "definitely will") vote against Hayden.
I suspect that if concerns over the NSA program is the only major concern about General Hayden's appointment, he will easily be confirmed. Opposition to the program, though it has continued despite public support for the program and highly-favorable testimony by FISA judges, is not strong enough to oppose such a well qualified candidate.