As I reported earlier, the Senate voted 78-15 today, to confirm General Michael Hayden as “Bush’s choice to replace Porter J. Goss, who announced May 5 that he was stepping down after 20 months on the job.”
John Kerry issued the following statement in regards to the confirmation and his vote against the nomination:
“I opposed the nomination of General Michael Hayden to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Circumstances make him the wrong nominee in the wrong place for the wrong job.
“The abuse of the CIA by the Rumsfeld Pentagon and the Cheney White House has hurt our credibility with unfounded claims of ‘slam dunk’ evidence of mythical weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I don’t think General Hayden is the person best equipped to restore the CIA’s independence and credibility. It’s not just that he comes from Secretary Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, but because he was the Administration’s principal spokesperson and defender of an illegal domestic spying program.
“We are all committed to destroying terrorists and preventing terrorist attacks before they happen. But this vote was a test of this Congress’s willingness to restore the Founding Fathers’ checks and balances and stand up to a government run by people who hold themselves above the law. How many times will government secrecy shield decision-makers from any kind of accountability? It was a mistake to confirm General Hayden.”