Michael Hayden

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Michael Hayden (1945-) is a principal in the Chertoff Group of former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the George W. Bush Administration. He is a retired general in the United States Air Force. Previous assignments included Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (2005-2006) and director of the National Security Agency (NSA) (1999-2005). He has served in the Department of Defense senior mentor program.[1]

He succeeded Porter Goss, and restored continuity by bringing back senior professional executives including Stephen Kappes.[2]

Improving analytic capability

In 2007, he testified to the Senate that a number of steps had been taken to improve the intelligence analysis capabilities of the CIA.[3] These begin with a 16-week basic analysis and a 22-week advanced analysis course, the latter named for Sherman Kent. He has also focused on building "tradecraft teams" that work across the United States intelligence community, as well as "red teams" that explore contrarian alternative.

Counterterrorism and interrogation

As he left office, he defended the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques [4]

Along with former attorney general Michael Mukasey, he has said that the methods used against terrorism suspects, during the Bush administration were justified and legal, and that Congress was informed of them. He opposed the disclosure of Office of Legal Counsel memoranda justifying the techniques. "The release of these opinions was unnecessary as a legal matter, and is unsound as a matter of policy. Its effect will be to invite the kind of institutional timidity and fear of recrimination that weakened intelligence gathering in the past, and that we came sorely to regret on Sept. 11, 2001..." [5] Hayden and Mukasey made the argument "public disclosure of the OLC opinions, and thus of the techniques themselves, assures that terrorists are now aware of the absolute limit of what the U.S. government could do to extract information from them." That argument is not trivial, and needs to be examined in the overall context of interrogation theory. They said "fully half of the government's knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations...Details of these successes, and the methods used to obtain them, were disclosed repeatedly in more than 30 congressional briefings and hearings beginning in 2002, and open to all members of the Intelligence Committees of both Houses of Congress beginning in September 2006. Any protestation of ignorance of those details, particularly by members of those committees, is pretense."[5]


  1. "Military mentors paid well for advice", USA Today, 15 December 2009
  2. Timothy J. Burger (June 01, 2006), "Exclusive: Kappes Will Return as CIA Deputy", Time
  3. General Michael V. Hayden, Director, Central Intelligence Agency (11 January 2007), Unclassified Statement for the Record to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, pp. 4-5
  4. Pamela Hess (January 15, 2009), "CIA Director: Harsh Interrogations Were Effective: Outgoing CIA Director Michael Hayden says waterboarding, harsh interrogations were effective", Associated Press
  5. 5.0 5.1 Michael Hayden and Michael Mukasey (April 17, 2009), "The President Ties His Own Hands on Terror: The point of interrogation is intelligence, not confession", Wall Street Journal