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Hayden Lies and No One Notices

CNN has an overview of the hearings, which is painful for anyone with a memory to read.

NTodd focuses on the most egregious lie about the effectiveness of Hayden pet project, and Larry Beinart expands on the point.

This is my take:

Get real, you sniveling little twit. You were a three-star flag officer and a staff weenie, which makes you a busboy at the Pentagon. No matter what you had, no one in this administration was listening. Rumsfeld barely acknowledges the existence of four-star flag officers, and then, only if they agree with him and his magic plans to “reform the military”. You wouldn’t even have been able to get a memo past a receptionist at the Pentagon.

Let’s review:

Richard Clarke was at the White House trying to get someone to listen to him about the threat, and he was ignored. He was dealing with a National Security Advisor who was blissfully unaware that she was supposed to be coordinating the nation’s intelligence efforts through the National Security Council. She ignored the Presidential Daily Briefing warning of what was to come.

Coleen Rowley couldn’t get anyone in the FBI to respond to the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, which isn’t surprising since Attorney General John Ashcroft had no interest in counter-terrorism, slashing million from the budget on 9/10/2001.

Cut to the chase:

There was something you could have, and should have done, but failed to do with your three stars. You were the commander of the largest group of linguists in the military. The majority of all military linguists end up as part of the National Security Agency, that you commanded. You were responsible for allocating those language slots and tasking the Defense Language Institute to hold the classes in the languages NSA needs.

Where are the Arabic, Farsi, and Dari linguists? Why wasn’t the training ramped up to provide them? After all of the problems in the Middle East, why couldn’t you figure out that you needed them? We were watching Irag, Iran, and Afghanistan before September 11th, so why didn’t you have the people qualified in those languages.

If you had done your job effectively, maybe the message intercepted on 9/10/01 talking about the event of the following day wouldn’t have had to wait until 9/12/01 to be translated.

We still don’t have the linguists we need, and that is your fault, General. Collecting all of these phone calls is a real waste of time when you don’t have the people trained to understand them.


1 andante { 05.19.06 at 9:24 am }

We still don’t have the linguists we need, and that is your fault, General

While the General bears a lion’s share of the blame, there’s plenty to go around in this administration. Native-speakers haven’t exactly stood in line for the jobs, for good reasons.

2 Bryan { 05.19.06 at 9:54 am }

Andante, we’ve have years to train them and one of the best language instruction systems in the world to use. I went through the system for Russian.

The teaching positions are good jobs with benefits located in Monterey, California. There are a lot of first generation native speakers in Los Angeles to fill the slots, refugees from Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.

The lack of linguists is definitely Hayden’s problem as DirNSA, because that’s where the staffing level originates.