Floating a trial balloon, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-TX, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told Congress Daily President-elect Obama should keep Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and CIA head Michael Hayden on for "continuity."
Trial balloons are floated to gauge reaction.
Allow me an opportunity to react.
Both domestically and internationally these two individuals carry the stain of the very worst aspects of the Bush regime.
Domestically, Michael Hayden came to the CIA from the NSA and is believed to be the architect of the illegal domestic wiretapping program and one of its chief defenders. He misled congress, telling them that any surveillance of persons in the United States was done consistent with FISA, a claim later refuted by Bush by claiming that FISA "doesn't work.
Internationally, as the head of the CIA, Hayden was chief defender of torture, quaintly called "harsh interrogation techniques", defended the destruction of videotapes of such "sessions" which seriously damaged American relations abroad.
DNI head Mike McConnell was the Bush point man in obtaining the retroactive immunity for the telecommunication companies, quashing several lawsuits forever sealing the ability to determine how rampant this illegal domestic wiretapping program was, and the creation of broad new sweeping powers of executive surveillance.
These are just a few of the main points of contention I have with these two individuals.
From the very beginning, President-elect Obama touted his opposition to the war, his opposition to teleco amnesty and his opposition to torture. As Senator, Obama voted against Hayden being appointed as CIA director due to Hayden's creation and defender of the illegal warrantless wiretapping program. His performance at the CIA has not been any better.
These two individuals represent a bright red line which Obama should not cross. For two consecutive elections, the policies of the Bush administration have been roundly rejected, most notably with the election of Obama as the next President of The United States. "Continuity" is not what is called for here--change is.