Hayden Says They Did Surveillance In A 'Madisonian' Way

from the floundering-father? dept

By now you probably know the name Michael Hayden. Former NSA and CIA Director Hayden now seems to focus all his time on pimping the security state to the American public. He steadfastly claims that all negative impact and lawlessness on the part of the spy agencies is fiction, and that state secrets and your privacy are ironically equal. He also enjoys the occasional wistful guffaw at the notion of assassinating Edward Snowden. When it comes to dealing honestly about the spying state of our nation, he's the kind of man you could fit into briefcase if you gave him an enema.

But, look, he's a professional spy, which means he's a professional liar about spying. That's what they do. But on Meet The Press this Sunday, he decided to expand the lying to envelope some of the much-smarter founding fathers that I happen to love. Here's a clip of his interview:


In case you can't watch the clip, here are some highlights with some minor, ahem, commentary after them.

"I didn't see the excesses. I saw the potential for problems. There is no abuse. Oh, and by the way, I don't see any unlawfulness either."
In other words, true to Hayden's form, the blatant abuse by the NSA of spying on Americans that was uncovered, and to which the NSA themselves admitted at least minor problems, never happened. It must be very nice to live in a world where you get to pretend to be a Monty Python Black Knight. We've abused you! No you haven't, it's just flesh wound. Brilliant.
"This was all done according to the Madisonian formula. President authorized, the legislature legislated and the courts oversaw."
If you have studied even the barest basics of the American government in history, you'll recognize the "Madisonian Model" as the separation of powers. However, Hayden is oversimplifying things here to the absolute extreme. The entire concept behind James Madison's model was about restraining the Presidential office to nominating judges, signing bills, negotiating treaties and commanding the nation's troops. It takes some serious logical gymnastics to claim that the massive spying done by the alphabet agencies at the behest of the past two presidents would fit within Madison's vision.

Still, I don't mind seeing Hayden come on programs like this and spout this kind of nonsense, either about the abuses of the NSA in general or his lack of historical knowledge more specifically. That's because he comes off purely as a smarmy, lying, self-serving blowhard without an ounce of credibility. Nothing will bury the NSA spying program more quickly than its proponents, if they keep this up.



Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:39am

    BS!

    He got the model wrong. What we're looking at would be the Hamiltonian model where the plutocrats run all forms of the government and does everything in secrecy and deceit without regard to the protections the Constitution is supposed to uphold.

    Madison wanted more democracy while Hamilton helped usurp it through his many maneuverings through the law to aglow the minority rules to usurp the majority.

    Maybe Hayden should go back and read the Federal Papers and see what the Framers actually said.

     

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    Anon Agent, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:20am

    Stop spreading lies

    The NSA has helped me so much, I was having issues stalking my ex, and with help of the NSA help I don't even have to stalk her in person!

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    Gee, Timmy, much as I'd like to agree, you misunderestimate the audience.

    They (generally "conservatives" who think they're being kept safe from the menace of insane Muslims) love fascist lies, never question, never analyze. It's the bubba version of Techdirt: have their guru who's held to be always right, particularly through contradictions that should send up red flags. It's the Rush Limbaugh method (or at least where I first noticed): build up credibility with truisms, mostly by letting your audience assume you're with them, then put over key points; with Limbaugh it was NAFTA, in which he and other "conservatives" united with Clinton to pass a "free trade" deal that'd bring prosperity to all and especially end illegal immigration from Mexico. But we all know how NAFTA worked out: The Rich got richer, and the poor got poorer.

    ANYHOO, if you think Hayden is universally reviled, you're just wrong.

    Most "conservatives" and "libertarians" haven't taken to heart the American Revolution to overthrow Inherited Tyrants, but are mere Tories who've been tricked into supporting the same old Economic Royalists.

    06:35:01[h-226-1]

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:38am

    It's the other Madisonian formula

    Maybe he meant this:
    In a Government where numerous and extensive prerogatives are placed in the hands of an hereditary monarch, the Executive department is very justly regarded as the source of danger, and watched with all the jealousy which a zeal for liberty ought to inspire. In a democracy, where a multitude of people exercise in person the Legislative functions, and are continually exposed, by their incapacity for regular deliberation and concerted measures, to the ambitious intrigues of their Executive magistrates, tyranny may well be apprehended, on some favorable emergency, to start up in the same quarter.


    -- James Madison, Federalist Paper 48

     

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    Mark Wing, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:41am

    More Orwellian than Madisonian, but yeah, OK, whatever you say Mister Hayden.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    These lies have pretty much buried the NSA with government support when asked. Remember not long ago the NSA was complaining that Obama wasn't supporting them as they felt he should. Within a month or two he took the chance to do just that.

    Despite the request to grant Snowden amnesty, the White House put out there was no way that was going to happen. The returns on the investigation committee will turn into actions solely cosmetic with no substantial and meaningful reign in.

    I've often with out any sort of proof speculated that Obama and the NSA have a deal. His support for them in exchange for no exposure on his birth certificate. No I'm not really a birther but I would call note to the fact that by the sheerest of coincidence, the woman that signed and released Obama's supposed birth certificate died in a plane crash last week I think it was. Given everything else happening this is a sort of odd newsworthy event.

    I have no idea if this hit the national news as I don't tend to watch the propaganda machines anymore. It would not surprise me that some sort of accident was helped out to happen. Obama has no qualms at ordering drone strikes that result in mistake deaths, such as the funeral procession mistakenly hit. Funny how no crowing in the national news happened over that one.

     

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  7.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re: Gee, Timmy, much as I'd like to agree, you misunderestimate the audience.

    Most "conservatives" and "libertarians" haven't taken to heart the American Revolution to overthrow Inherited Tyrants, but are mere Tories who've been tricked into supporting the same old Economic Royalists.


    You hit the nail on the head. Have an Insightful click.

     

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  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:06am

    Re:

    "I've often with out any sort of proof speculated that Obama and the NSA have a deal. His support for them in exchange for no exposure on his birth certificate. No I'm not really a birther but I would call note to the fact that by the sheerest of coincidence, the woman that signed and released Obama's supposed birth certificate died in a plane crash last week I think it was."

    You're a crazy person.

    "I have no idea if this hit the national news as I don't tend to watch the propaganda machines anymore."

    Yeah, it did, but nobody cared because it's a non-issue. There are plenty of reasons to think Obama is unfit for the office. Where he was born isn't one of them. That's just a boondoggle for people who don't want him in the office for other reasons. It's also a silly part of our governmental law to limit the intelligence of the person in office by where his or her parents copulated.

    "Funny how no crowing in the national news happened over that one."

    That was actually covered by most of the media outlets, which you again wouldn't realize because you don't watch them, which leads me to wonder why you made the statement to begin with.

     

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  9.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    Re: It's the other Madisonian formula

    Even if he really meant Madisonian (as in separation of powers), I would argue that he's wrong.

    The judicial and legislative branches are missing. Sure, they're there on paper, but the FISC is a very far cry from meaningful judicial oversight, and the legislature is being actively lied to too much to be able to provide meaningful oversight.

     

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  10.  
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    Jasmine Charter, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    Let's face it...

    Let's face it... if Madison were alive today, he'd be leading a revolution against a tyrannical government that eclipses ANYTHING the British EVER did to us.

    We are so far gone off the type of freedom our forefathers intended that not a single signer of the Declaration of Independence or original Constitution would recognize us as what they risked their lives for.

     

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  11.  
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    HegemonicDistortion (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    The Fourth Amendment was a reaction against the very type of thing that we're talking about, and that the NSA is doing, here: the authority of the government to access and search people's records, communications, associations, etc. without any specific charges or reasonable suspicion of their involvement in some crime. This wasn't just some theoretical concern -- the use of such "general warrants" was common.

    Hayden says the NSA isn't abusing the power, but the Fourth Amendment wasn't (and isn't) about the abuse of general warrants, it's about the government's power to conduct such searches at all, and it recognizes that not only was there no way to adequately prevent its abuse, but that the power itself was the abuse.

     

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  12.  
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    fjpoblam (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    The NSA seems to have forgotten what itís protecting

    Truth, justice, and the American way? Now we seem to be looking for a connection between the three. Perhaps Hayden suffered mental abuse as a child. When I see this, and I saw the earlier techdirt article in which the NSA suggested itís time we reform the 1st Amendment, I deduce the NSA is ready to reform history itself. All the way back to the principles of logic.

     

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  13.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:14am

    I don't think "the courts oversaw" is meant to mean stick a sticky tag on yourself that reads 'the courts' and rubber stamp it.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    These types of interviews are not done to change opinions, they are done in order for the supporters of these programs to have something to point to as justification for burying their heads in the sand like nothing has happened.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Re: It's the other Madisonian formula


    Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. Howís that again? I missed something.

    Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Letís play that over again, too. Who decides?

    Lazarus Long; a Robert Heinlein character

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    "Nothing will bury the NSA spying program more quickly than its proponents, if they keep this up."

    Nothing will bury these programs at ALL. They are in place and active and will remain so. No matter what happens in Congress, in POTUS's office or what promises any of these agencies make, most of these programs WILL remain in place and active. They will be renamed or buried in the budget of another program or bill. All that will happen with any of this is these programs will be pushed further on the rug. It's easy to see. The NSA have been getting clobbered multiple times a day since June with new revelations and it has made not even the slightest dent in the attitudes and stances of the programs defenders and the people who run them.

    Would be nice, but this is now the world we live in and have for a long time. They'll be buried but not the way you think they will be or the way you want them to be and you are dreaming if you think this will ever end...

     

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  17.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    Re: Let's face it...

    Oh, they'd recognize us all right. We're being ruled by the Tories (aka Royalists, King's Men) in the same vein as the days of the Revolutionary War. They would know their enemy instantly.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    "I didn't see the excesses. I saw the potential for problems. There is no abuse. Oh, and by the way, I don't see any unlawfulness either."

    I couldn't see any of this because my head was firmly planted in the sand. When I left the agency I removed it from the sand and proceeded to implant it in my posterior, where it has remained ever since, so naturally I can't see any of it now either.

     

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  19.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    The exact same thing has been said about every major injustice perpetrated by the government that has caused a major uproar. And you know what? We've managed to fix those then. We'll manage to fix this now.

    That's not to say the problem won't reappear again in the future. It will. Then we'll have to have this fight all over again. That's how the world works.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    Re:

    oh, but the laws are now so convoluted and far reaching that *anyone* can be reasonably suspected of a crime. even without secret interpretation of laws.

    Of course they will never openly argue that, because it would fully expose how fucked up the whole situation has become.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Re:

    oh these programs will be buried eventually. alongside the people who started them and the ones who enforced them. this will not end without blood.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Gee, Timmy, much as I'd like to agree, you misunderestimate the audience.

    WTF? Making up your own words now too, I see. What the hell is "misunderestimate" supposed to mean?

     

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  23.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re:

    You better hope we can find a way to end it without bloodshed because if it comes to that, most of the blood shed won't be coming from the people involved in these programs. Most of it will be from us, our families, friends, and neighbors.

     

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  24.  
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    Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:41pm

    The Madisonian Formula?

    Madison condemned slavery but owned slaves and never actually set them free, even in death. I guess this IS the Madisonian formula! Comdemn illegal or unlawful spying but refuse to acknowledge you are doing that and just keep doing it!

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    I find it amusing that Hayden even has a voice in this since he's no longer paid by us .. .. but then I checked who his current employer is a indeed he is still funded by us indirectly but there's huge contracts awarded to his group
    https://en.wikipedia.orr/wiki/Michael_Chertoff#The_Chertoff_Group

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    The same Chertoff group run by DHS director Chertoff that represented makers of airport x-ray systems just prior to their becoming prevalent in airports across our previously less-surveilled nation?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re:

    yes sir that him ... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/fear_pays_chertoff_n_787711.html .. sorry digging but i find it quite disturbing

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re:

    While I think it is a nice sentiment to feel that these can be 'fixed' (and previous injustices are fixed? Gitmo is still open!) I think that the technologies involved are now so pervasive and part of our lives that this kind of thing is always going to happen. It IS human nature to pretty much abuse any level of power. (seriously go work a few years in retail!)

    I also really truly do not believe that this issue has captivated the general populations interest and it would take massive momentum to make deep meaningful changes.

    As I have learned over the years, that while privacy and copyright issues may be an issue we are all (we're on TD so of course we are!)deeply interested in, nothing makes people who aren't really interested in this stuffs eyes glaze over like privacy or IP issues.

    I just don't think that the momentum will be there to 'fix' this before the next thing that comes along and distracts the sheeple.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    forgot something .. if you do a search you'll find the chertoff group site , I gotta say it's pretty terrifying to think our data can or could take a walk with hayden or the next guy in charge of the nsa

     

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  30.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    (and previous injustices are fixed? Gitmo is still open!)


    I was talking about historical injustices, not recent ones. Slavery, etc. We've fixed a LOT of them. Doing so is not a speedy thing, though. Just because we can't fix a problem in a decade or two doesn't mean we can't fix them.

    It IS human nature to pretty much abuse any level of power.


    Absolutely. Which is why I said that these kinds of battles will have to be refought. There is no permanent fix for anything. This is what is meant by "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

    I also really truly do not believe that this issue has captivated the general populations interest and it would take massive momentum to make deep meaningful changes


    Polling indicates that this issue has indeed captivated the general population. The momentum is building.

    BTW, please don't use the word "sheeple". Using it undermines anything else you say in exactly the same way that right-leaning radicals are undermined every time they accuse something of being "socialist".

     

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  31.  
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    GEMont, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:19pm

    ... and the winner is....

    "When it comes to dealing honestly about the spying state of our nation, he's the kind of man you could fit into a briefcase if you gave him an enema."

    My nomination for Best Line of the year. :)

     

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  32.  
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    GEMont, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:31pm

    Re:

    Damn, its refreshing to see that someone is actually paying attention.

    Absolutely correct.

    In fact, the research for better methods of spying on the world's populations will get a huge boost now that the old cat is out of the bag.

    In a year or so, they should have tech that'll do the job and leave no trace and a humungous secret budget to insure that the population remains ignorant of the new systems.

    All they need now is a really big war to allow them to reprogram the next generation into believing that surveillance equals protection.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re:

    "All they need now is a really big war to allow them to reprogram the next generation into believing that surveillance equals protection."

    Or a terrorist attack ..major database hacked .. or android virus

     

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  34.  
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    Pragmatic, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:34am

    Re: Re: Let's face it...

    Except that there's no king. The East India Company's financial issues were what brought things to a head, and it's the part everyone misses in these debates.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Tea_Party#Background

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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