Michael Hayden Is a Liar

With the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report imminent, a quartet of former CIA directors were dispatched to the media to downplay the whole thing and call it inaccurate. Michael Hayden was chief among them. But the report itself shows exactly why Hayden can’t be trusted. Indeed, the last 30 pages or so of the executive summary is a chart of statements made by Hayden (and a few others) in sworn testimony, contrasted with the evidence showing he was lying.

For years, as the 480-page executive summary of the report documents in meticulous detail, these officials lied to the Senate, the Justice Department, the White House, to the American public and to the world. They prevented CIA officers involved from being disciplined. They investigated and marginalizedthose who were investigating them. They happily leaked classified information to journalists – much of it false – without worry of consequence.

For the past few days, we have seen many of the same resentful politicians andformer CIA leaders in charge of the torture-denial regime being handed virtual royalty status by the American media to respond to pre-emptively respond to the report without much of any pushback. Dick Cheney basically got to write his own interview in the New York Times, while Michael Hayden, the former NSA and CIA director in charge of lying to the Senate for years, was handed softball after softball by Bob Schieffer of CBS News to make his case. It is borderline propaganda.

As Schieffer innocently asked Hayden a few days ago: “Do you know of anybody from the CIA, in your view, who lied to Congress about what was going on there?” Hayden’s name appears in the torture report more than 200 times, and most of the references document the various times he knowingly misled one government body or another. As media organizations continue turning to Hayden for comment time and again, they should understand the Senate report indicates that basically every time he’s opened his mouth about “enhanced interrogation” over the past decade, he’s has been lying.

Even if it’s not Hayden, you can bet over the next few days that in almost every newspaper article and on every cable-news network, there will be a former intelligence official – trying to defend the indefensible, refusing “to use the word ‘torture’”. Already, this op-ed published at the Wall Street Journal, where all the complicit former CIA directors in an attempt muddy the waters, gives you a good idea of what they’ll be saying.

Go read it for yourself, starting on page 488. It’s page after page of statements from Hayden and the evidence that he was lying. As Trevor Timm noted above, every time Hayden testified about interrogations, he can be proven to be lying. And now he wants us to believe him. Hayden should be in prison.

Follow Us!
POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    To get to the bottom of this, we’ll need to Rendition (Extremely, for the hard cases, and to Gitmo for the Worst of the Worst) them and subject them to the types of interrogation that we didn’t do and we did do but it’s not torture when we do it and it is torture when we do it but Keep Us Safe and anyway you can’t tell anybody because admitting we do it is worse than us doing it, somehow

    In any event, how messed up must Al Qaeda be if “They hate us for our values” and these are our values?

  • caseloweraz

    Just an aside: the first item in the sidebar for that editorial: the most popular article on the WSJ is “How Moses could have parted the Red Sea.”

  • illdoittomorrow

    I realize you’re not serious, Modusoperandi, but that’s exactly what I’d like to see done. Preferably televised globally.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    illdoittomorrow “I realize you’re not serious, Modusoperandi, but that’s exactly what I’d like to see done.”

    Call me naive, but choosing revenge over justice is what dug us in to this torture-shaped hole in the first place.

  • caseloweraz

    The editorial contains these paragraphs:

    The majority on the Senate Intelligence Committee further claims that the takedown of bin Laden was not facilitated by information from the interrogation program. They are wrong. There is no doubt that information provided by the totality of detainees in CIA custody, those who were subjected to interrogation and those who were not, was essential to bringing bin Laden to justice. The CIA never would have focused on the individual who turned out to be bin Laden’s personal courier without the detention and interrogation program.

    Specifically, information developed in the interrogation program piqued the CIA’s interest in the courier, placing him at the top of the list of leads to bin Laden. A detainee subjected to interrogation provided the most specific information on the courier. Additionally, KSM and Abu Faraj al-Libi—both subjected to interrogation—lied about the courier at a time when both were providing honest answers to a large number of other critical questions. Since other detainees had already linked the courier to KSM and Abu Faraj, their dissembling about him had great significance.

    Sounds plausible — but it raises a troubling question: if information obtained through EIT torture was so specific about this courier to bin Laden, why did it take so long to get bin Laden?

    Of course, the editorial is carefully worded to allow some “wiggle room.” But it does explicitly contradict the SSIC Study, which says that the courier was identified without information obtained by torture. I know which source I trust.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    Modus (#4) “Call me naive, but choosing revenge over justice is what dug us in to this torture-shaped hole in the first place.”

    Don’t think of it as revenge. Think of it as “enhanced irony.”

  • Rob

    Mudus @4

    Call me naive, but choosing revenge over justice is what dug us in to this torture-shaped hole in the first place.

     

    QFT

  • Rob

    Sorry, Modus

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Rob, oh. I thought you had a cold.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Hayden should be in prison.

    His shit files on prosecutors and politicians will ensure that he never has to go to prison; nor even appear in court.

  • caseloweraz

    Another bit from the WSJ op-ed:

    “The committee selectively used documents to try to substantiate a point of view where ample and contrary evidence existed,” they write. “Over five years and at a cost of $40m [£25m], the staff “cherry picked” through 6 million pages of documents to produce an answer they knew the majority wanted. In the intelligence profession, that is called politicisation.”

    $40 million? Just about as much as the investigation of Bill Clinton’s Lewinsky affair by Kenneth Starr.

  • beezlebubby

    What I don’t understand is all this concern that releasing the report will cause an uptick in terror threats. Here’s a little secret I’d like to share with anyone who is worried. The rest of the world already knew that we were unlawfully snatching people from their communities, shipping them to black sites, illegally detaining them indefinitely, and torturing them. The only people in the world who DON’T know this are American conservatives.

  • Rob

    Modus – just my Kiwi accent.

  • Michael Heath

    beezlebubby writes:

    What I don’t understand is all this concern that releasing the report will cause an uptick in terror threats. Here’s a little secret I’d like to share with anyone who is worried. The rest of the world already knew […] The only people in the world who DON’T know this are American conservatives.

    One of the most absurd revelations in the torture report was that President Bush wasn’t directly briefed that his executive orders resulted in torture until 2006 where he was reportedly aghast at what he had wrought. The rest of the informed world knew in 2004, prior to the Nov. elections, that Mr. Bush had both authorized and was administrating torture.

  • comfychair

    From The Guardian:

    [CIA director John Brennan] has struck a defiant tone in his first public remarks since a Senate report into torture excoriated his agency, insisting the CIA “did a lot of things right”

    “I mean, look around you. Do you see anyone in the room who was tortured? There are literally billions of people in the world we never – not even once! – stripped naked, duct taped to a plank, and shoved a rubber hose up their ass. You People should be grateful and give us some praise here, it could have been much worse,” Mr. Brennan did not add.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    The Liars called and said they resent being lumped in with Hayden.

  • lorn

    Unless you want Haden to testify by miming answers, or, my favorite, answering using interpretive dance, was anyone expecting him to tell the truth? The guy is the head of the CIA. An organization dedicated to lies. The choice is not between the truth and a lie, but rather the particular flavor of lie you prefer. Lies are what is on the menu.

    I think I’ll take two big lies, with a sides of white lies, and finish up the meal with a deep dish of lies of omission topped with a sprinkling of lying self-serving flattery.

  • Johnny Vector

    caseloweraz @5: Read that statement again.

    There is no doubt that information provided by the totality of detainees in CIA custody, those who were subjected to interrogation and those who were not, was essential to bringing bin Laden to justice…. A detainee subjected to interrogation provided the most specific information on the courier. Additionally, KSM and Abu Faraj al-Libi—both subjected to interrogation—lied about the courier at a time when both were providing honest answers to a large number of other critical questions.

    (Emphasis mine.) “Subjected to interrogation.” Conspicuously not “Subjected to enhanced interrogation.” We already know, from the person actually in charge of actually interrogating KSM, that he gave up all the useful information they got out of him before they started torturing him. So what they’re doing here is lumping effective techniques with torture and saying “see, the overall program worked!” Making the statement in the editorial one of those things that is a blatant lie despite being technically true in the particulars.

  • caseloweraz

    Johnny Vector: Good point. I was sort of hinting at that deceptive use of language, but your making it explicit is better.