Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Senate Confirms Hayden to Head CIA

After all the ranting and raving about the NSA programs to intercept Al Qaeda communications and to collect phone call data, the Senate decided the complaints were not well founded. In voting 78-15 to confirm General Hayden, the Senate clearly decided not to hold his role in these programs against him. That would not have happened if the Senate truly felt that the programs were illegal or improper.

Here are the 15 senators who voted against confirming Hayden:

Bayh (D-IN)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Obama (D-IL)
Specter (R-PA)
Wyden (D-OR)

The list includes 14 Democrats and only one Republican (Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania). The senators voting for confirmation included several critics of the NSA programs, such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), and Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

What happened to the argument that the NSA programs violated the law and did not contribute to national security? Oh well, never mind. When it came down to a serious vote on someone involved in the NSA programs, most complaining senators ignored their own critical statements.

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