Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Congressman Ford Says General Hayden Should Not Head CIA

The following is a partial transcript from Congressman Harold Ford Jr's appearance on Monday's Imus in the Morning:

Imus: "What do you think of this CIA deal?"

Rep. Harold Ford Jr.: "General Hayden should not be the new director of the CIA."

Imus: "Really?"

Rep. Harold Ford Jr.: "I know it's a surprise."

Imus: "Well no I don't know, I don't care about it."

Rep. Harold Ford Jr.: "I think the challenge he faces is not from democrats but from republicans, and frankly the country who are asking a simple question, is he independent enough to lead this agency? I think this White House over the years has been more comfortable with people they like, and people who will tell them the things they want to hear. We are at war and we need the best intelligence. You choose people, much like President Clinton when he chose Bill Cohen who was a former republican senator from the Northeast, made that choice because he was the best choice for the job. General Hayden is too close to the military. Frankly, Secretary Rumsfeld who made some interesting comments over the last several days and indicated that he was not in the intelligence business, well he controls eighty percent of the budget and General Hayden would come from the military. I'm concerned that we would not have an independent minded person in that position. I don't know General Hayden, everything I have read about him suggests he has great experience and all of that, but it's the independence I'm looking for at this point and I don't think he brings it and I hope that..."

Imus: "Think he can't be trusted or..."

Rep. Harold Ford Jr.: "No I just think if given a choice of saying what President Bush wants to be said or what the country needs to be said, I'm a patriot before I am a partisan and I think this guy would be a little more partisan then he'd be a patriot first and we've had enough of that over last six years, last five and half years, so I hope he withdraws his own nomination before he is rejected."

Comments: I wonder if Ed Bryant, Van Hilleary, and Bob Corker support General Hayden's nomination? I wouldn't hold your breath expecting an answer to that question.

They just don't have a great record on telling us where they stand on much of anything.