The Democrats have done it again. Sen. Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) shot his entire party in the foot (again) during the Intelligence Committee’s questioning of Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, who has been nominated by President Bush to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
As former head of the National Security Agency, Hayden’s experience in the national intelligence apparatus has been praised by liberal Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) and closet Republican Sen. Joe Lieberman (D.-Conn.) as befitting an excellent choice to head the CIA.
Not so fast. Anyone who doesn’t move in lock-step with the far-left base of the Democratic Party risks having their entire life come crashing down around them. You certainly don’t hear Bill Clinton talking up a storm about his former ambassador to the Vatican, Ray Flynn, is a star Democrat. Oh wait — Ray Flynn is a devout Catholic who voted his conscience in 2004, not his party. By default, he is now an illegal alien in a blue state. Feinstein better watch her step when fawning over handsome hunks in Air Force uniforms. I guess some liberals, in their hearts of hearts, still find soldiers sexy.
In the circus the Senate Intelligence Committee called a hearing, Levin pressed Hayden long and hard about the administration’s "illegal" wiretapping efforts to combat terrorism. While it initially always surprises people when they learn the government is filled with traitors, one must bear in mind that after September 11, liberals fought intensely against any retaliation; instead they wanted send al Qaeda members to Chuck Colson’s prison ministry rehabs. (Note to liberals — two types of criminals can never be rehabbed: Muslim extremists and pedophiles.)
Recently, USA Today editors decided to recycle New York Times headlines from November. Anything to sell papers I guess. Reporting that the NSA had obtained millions of phone records from the nation’s telecommunications giants, the USA Today story set anew a blaze that sparked feigned outrage on Capitol Hill. Calls for impeachment were renewed, and the ACLU threatened widespread litigation against the federal government. To add insult to injury, Hayden had supervised the anti-terror wiretapping program during his tenure at the NSA. Levin grilled the general for his alleged disregard for civil liberties, citing the efforts of the administration to protect the country as unconstitutional. The suggestion that the telecommunications industry would blindly submit to the federal authorities without consulting a lawyer of their own defies logic when the request could potentially jeopardize customer rights. The ironic part is that we knew about the databases when the Times broke the wiretapping story last year.
Sen. Pat Leahy (D.-Vt.) accused the Bush Administration of considering the U.S. citizenry as terror suspects, not citing the fact that the databases contained only phone numbers, not names or addresses. The liberals’ lion, Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.) joined the chorus of outraged criticism, as did the "impeach Bush!" poster child, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan. While their feigned outrage over old news is comical, their noted absence of protest when they gave former President Bill Clinton the power to monitor every phone call made in the United States (a classified program called "Echelon") for suspicious language that might imply terrorism, as reported bySteve Kroft of "60 Minutes" in 2001, is intriguing. On the other hand, Sigmund Freud would be at a loss for words if he performed psychoanalysis on liberals.
Despite the Democrats’ attempts to stump Bush nominees, men like Chief Justice John Roberts and Gen. Michael Hayden continue to run circles around the likes of Levin. Hayden responded to Levin that privacy and civil liberties are a priority in every anti-terror measure we take. President Bush has said repeatedly that we are not listening to Mabel call Connie to invite her to a church supper, but to monitor suspected terrorists. If we did not take steps to monitor terrorists, we wouldn’t have to worry about "civil liberties violations," because we’d all be dead. As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, men are entitled to their own opinions, but they’re not entitled to their own facts.
Perhaps instead of trying to pin a career military veteran out of contempt for the President, liberals on the Senate Intelligence Committee should focus on trying Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times reporters for treason.