Former CIA, NSA Boss Says Senator Feinstein Is Too Emotional To Judge CIA Torture Fairly
from the shameful dept
Since the two are normally in lock-step on various issues, it's interesting to see what happens when they differ. On Fox News over the weekend, Chris Wallace asked Hayden about the report, and Hayden pretty explicitly tossed out the ridiculous misogynistic argument that Feinstein was, effectively, too emotional to judge whether the report should be released. While he didn't make that claim exactly, he came about as close as possible to saying it without saying it:
Of course, as Amy Davidson at the New Yorker notes, while the Ignatius report does suggest this as potential motivation for Feinstein, it's actually taking a Feinstein quote completely out of context. Rather than it being the motivating factor in creating the report, it was actually Feinstein's response to reading the completed report and arguing that its key findings should be made public. That is, rather than being emotionally motivated to create the report (as Hayden falsely claims), Feinstein realized that the report was so damning that it needed to be made public to stop future CIA torture and abuse.
WALLACE: But the report says that more prisoners were abused than we had previously known and that the enhanced interrogation produced little intelligence of significance.
HAYDEN: Yes. I read an article by David Ignatius earlier this week. And he said --
WALLACE: He's a columnist for The Washington Post.
HAYDEN: Right. He said that Senator Feinstein wanted a report so scathing that it would ensure that an un-American brutal program of detention interrogation would never again be considered or permitted.
Now, that sentence, that motivation for the report, Chris, may show deep emotional feeling on part of the senator. But I don't think it leads you to an objective report.
WALLACE: I mean, forgive me, because you and I both know Senator Feinstein. I have the highest regard for her. You're saying you think she was emotional in these conclusions?
HAYDEN: What I'm saying is -- first of all, Chris, you're asking me about a report. I have no idea of its content. No one responsible for that report has spoken a word of this to me, to George Tenet, to Porter Goss, to anyone else that is involved in these events. But it's very hard for me to make a judgment.
And, really, can anyone explain what's wrong with suggesting that preventing an "un-American, brutal" torture program from happening again would be a beneficial result? Is Hayden honestly arguing that the US should continue with un-American torture efforts?
Either way, the choice of words by Hayden is deliberate and obnoxious. He's suggesting that a female Senator might be too emotionally driven and fragile to understand the "realities" of war, where people like him -- people who apparently sold out their morals long ago -- make important decisions like when and how to violate the Geneva conventions, torture people and to then lie to Congress about it. Call me crazy, but when it comes to stopping a "brutal" and "un-American" program of torturing people in violation of international law, a little emotion might be a good thing.