Glenn Greenwald has a good post pointing out which "Democrats" are providing cover to the Administration for nominating a sitting general to head the CIA. This proves you don't need to be (a) any kind of political scientist or historian, or (b) attuned to the will of your constituents to be in Congress.
PoliSci 201: No one is stupid enough to attack the United States openly. Even bin Laden initially denied responsibility for 9-11. This means that modern wars are instigated not in response to an enemy's overt action but through murkier intelligence operations: we learn through intelligence that someone has attacked or is planning to attack us, the President sells the war to Congress by selectively disclosing cherrypicked intelligence, Congress falls for it, we go to war.
Shorter: He who controls the intel, controls the military.
In America, civilians are supposed to control the military. The military doesn't get to decide which wars it wants to fight; it obeys civilian orders. That's part of the Founders' genius.
It's fine for an ex-general to hold high office: Dwight Eisenhower and Colin Powell didn't violate the principle I've enunciated, because they weren't in uniform when they held their positions in the civilian government.
But General Hayden is a sitting officer, responsible to the President. He cannot serve two masters. He cannot tell the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, for example, things the President tells him not to. Sitting officers have no discretion to disobey lawful orders, and under military law, "lawful orders" has a very, very, very broad definition.
Hayden's confirmation to the CIA will mean that (a) the President will, even more than he has previously, cut Congress utterly out of the intelligence loop, and (b) the military will effectively be in charge of justifying its own wars, cutting even the President out of the loop he's trying to create.
Any Senat0r who doesn't understand that doesn't deserve to hold office, and is no loss to the Democratic Party. Dianne Feinstein? Jane Harman? Hello?
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