John Kerry, was in New Hampshire today delivering a speech to the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. He told members of the firefighters’ union that he had “serious reservations” about the nomination of Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden to head the CIA.
“I’m very troubled by the nomination because he is one of the main supporters representing Donald Rumsfeld who helped to put in place the programs of spying on Americans and has been one of the biggest defenders of it,” Kerry said.
President Bush nominated Hayden as CIA director Monday, after former director Porter Goss resigned under pressure Friday. Hayden, former head of the National Security Agency, ran a controversial domestic surveillance program initiated after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
A number of congressmen and senators have said the program violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act because intelligence officials failed to get permission for monitoring domestic phone calls from a secret intelligence court.
“We passed the law that gave them all the ability to protect America, which I obviously want to do, but to protect America and also protect the constitution,” Kerry told reporters after a formal speech to the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire.
“We gave them a court that they could go to on the shortest notice necessary. If they need to fix (the law), we’ll help them fix it, but we want to do it in a way that honors America’s respect for our constitution,” he said.
Photos in the news:
George Krause of Globe Manufacturing Co. shows Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a new stlye of firefighter boots Monday, May 8, 2006, in Nashua, N.H. Kerry addressed the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire’s convention. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)