Monday, January 23, 2006

Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden Defends the NSA

Former NSA director Michael Hayden gave a speech at the National Press Club today in which he passionately defended the NSA's terrorist surveillance program.

In a wide-ranging defense of the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program, the government's No. 2 intelligence official said Monday that the spy agency's operations are not a drift net over U.S. communities.

Gen. Michael Hayden, the former NSA director, described the 4-year-old program as narrowly targeted, using the same tools and techniques employed to decide whether to drop a 500-pound bomb on a terrorist target.

Hayden now holds the second-ranking job in the Office of the National Intelligence Director, John Negroponte.

"Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States," Hayden said in an appearance at the National Press Club.

You can read the entire speech here , and I strongly advise you to so.

Power Line's John Hinderaker also has much of the speech posted, along with commentary. Note especially the bolded sections of the speech in his post and the Q & A portion at the end.