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Friday, October 25, 2013

The Real Mike Hayden

For John, BLUFSome folks are calm, cool and media savvy and some aren't.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Over at The Washington Post is an item on someone eavesdropping on former CIA and NSA Director, retired Air Force General Michael Hayden.  The big thing I take from this article is that General Hayden continues to be a smooth operator, actually joining the eavesdropper for an quick interview, where they agreed to disagree.  That is to be expected, in that the eavesdropper was Mr Tom Matzzie, a former Washington director of the political group

Interesting, but not really picked up by the TV Show Democracy Now (Lowell local access channel 8, 0800 to 0900), General Hayden not only gave Mr Matzzie an interview, but also posed with him for a picture, which Ms Amy Goodwin flashed on the screen of her show Democracy Now.

Best line in the article was:

“Everybody’s a reporter,” said Hayden.
For those who dismiss bloggers and other "new media" people, General Hayden sets the record strait.

Regards  —  Cliff


Eric J said...

CNN had Matzzie on this afternoon. According to him Hayden was talking so loudly on the phone that he could easily hear him from 7ft. away. Talking about sensitive subjects like rendition and doing it in such a cavalier way is very concerning.
There have been a spate of stories over the last week where government officials in very sensitive positions have been fired for irresponsible behavior. And by sensitive positions I mean people in charge of nuclear weapons. From Fox News:
“ The Air Force announced Friday that Maj. Gen. Michael Carey was removed from command of the 20th Air Force, which is responsible for three wings of intercontinental ballistic missiles -- a total of 450 missiles at three bases across the country. The circumstances of Carey's firing were unclear. Two officials told the Associated Press it had to do with alcohol use.”
“Earlier in the week, the Navy announced that the deputy commander of U.S. nuclear forces, Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, was relieved of duty amid a military investigation of allegations that he used counterfeit chips at an Iowa casino.”
And finally, there was this story also this week. “Nuclear missile officers were twice caught leaving blast door open while napping.”
There’s seems to be a growing culture of incompetence infecting our government. Nobody is responsible or accountable. There should be criminal penalties for those in such sensitive positions who abdicate their responsibilities.

Neal said...

I find it interesting as well as troubling that you focus only on military personnel who, according to you, "abdicate their responsibilities." Surely there must be abdication and incompetence on the civilian the supervisor of the military. I won't belabor this conversation with the litany of abhorrent, incompetent, reprehensible instances of civilian mismanagement and outright criminal bungling.

To the point, you, nor I, nor any of those "reporting" "news" have a clue what is the real story behind the firings. "Had to do with alcohol use" is a flimsy, worn-out cliche long used when the real reasons were not going to be given. My that he lost his job because of his political views...not his professional judgement. How on earth would a 3 star admiral acquire "counterfeit chips" at an Iowa casino? Did he make them in his office? Did he purchase them in an alley behind the casino before going in. You obviously know little about the comings and goings of General or Flag officers. They are rarely....if ever....all by their lonesome. There are always staff around them....standing guard if you will.....and the more important the position held....the greater the number of "minders."

Gee.....caught twice leaving the blast door open while napping? Oh come you know how many hours are spent in those command centers.....and the only error is leaving the blast door open twice???? While napping??? Which, BTW...if you knew anything about missile complexes and operations you would also know that they come equipped with beds.

Finally, when it comes to nuclear surety and safety, there are so many checks and balances in place that the possibility of some inadvertent launch or drop of a weapon through incompetence is astronomically small. After a 33 year career in and around nuclear weapons operations, I am not losing a moment's sleep. BTW....since the command centers for the Minuteman complexes are secure facilities....that can't enter without a lengthy vetting process...and then only if the crew below allows tell...were they caught "napping" and "leaving the blast door open?" Sounds pretty made up to me. OH...and before you go there......there are multiple doors that must be opened in order to get to the actual control center.

Eric J said...

Neal – Pop a Xanax and get a grip.
Whereas Mike Hayden is a retired General and a former CIA/NSA employee, I was including BOTH military and civilian personnel in my criticism, so therefore your assertion that I was focusing solely on military is incorrect as well as knee-jerk and reactionary.
I defer to your superior knowledge of military protocols and procedures and I certainly agree that civilian incompetence is also troubling and very often undermines the military.
As far as made up stories and such I can only go by what is reported. One of my sources was Fox News, hardly a foe of the military. I also accept that things are not always what they seem.
I support the military and have an enormous respect for the work that they do and the obstacles they overcome to do it, whether they are foreign enemies or grandstanding politicians. And while I am a little bit comforted by your assertions that the checks and balances in place make a tragedy very unlikely, I am also a little unsettled that your reactionary response to my post suggest a less than objective view of potential military incompetence.

Neal said...

My "less than objective view" is derived from 33 years of being a military professional. Of course we find folks who do stupid things, even illegal things. The military is nothing more than a mirror of the society from which we draw our resources. HOWEVER, the level of tolerance for "misadventure" is exceedingly narrow and the ax falls quickly.....especially when nuclear weapons are involved. When the "media" "reports" stories that are slanted to make one wonder if our nuclear capability is in good hands and is safe......I do become reactionary. I have lived through countless Nuclear Surety Inspections as well as SAC operational inspections during which, even the slightest hair out of the nuclear hairdo is grounds for immediate expulsion from the club. Where nukes are concerned, there is an inviolate rule that the use of deadly force is authorized (read that ORDERED) where compromise is threatened. So far....nobody in the AF or Navy has been shot for mishandling nukes. Why? Because the process for selecting, qualifying, and requalifying personnel for responsibilities involving nuclear weapons is rigorous almost to a flaw.

My purpose for knee-jerking on the AF Major General fired for "unnamed reasons" but "speculated" alcohol abuse is that none of it rings true. I have fired people in the AF....and trust me....if I truly wanted to do it......there was no way to prevent me from finding a good reason. The reason we don't have more of that is called integrity, honor, and a sense of duty. But, as of recent, it has become quite vogue for senior leadership to suddenly find themselves on the outs simply because their political or religious beliefs are not "compatible" with the "current climate." Though you will NEVER find any sort of transcript that documents it, General Hamm was relieved of his command by his Vice Commander when he insisted on preparing to send rescue forces to Benghazi. Amazingly.....the guy who relieved him stepped into the command leadership position and was accordingly rewarded. There once was a day in our military in which these sorts of matters would have been dealt with internally, quietly, and quickly. The entire Petraeus affair was a set-up from the word go.....and he was just dumb enough to allow himself to be set up....well....his staff helped. Someday THAT truth will emerge.....and it will not be what you think.

It is well known in the military that disagreement with Obama is the kiss of death. It is also well known in the military that expression of religious beliefs...well...CHRISTIAN beliefs is a quick way to punishment. You can call it what you want or rationalize it away in any way you choose...but I can tell you.....this only began with the Obama presidency. Not a coincidence or some sort of huge epiphany.

BTW....I don't do drugs.