Cantwell Statement on General Michael Hayden's Confirmation as CIA Director

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) voted against nomination of General Michael Hayden to serve as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) citing concerns about his handling of National Security Agency security and privacy issues. Cantwell released the following statement on her decision to vote against Hayden’s nomination:

“As Director of the National Security Agency, General Hayden was responsible for creating and implementing the Terrorist Surveillance Program, which involves NSA warrantless electronic surveillance in the United States. According to press reports, the NSA has also secretly collected the domestic telephone records of tens of millions of U.S. households and businesses. There are serious unanswered questions about the legal authority for those NSA activities. During his confirmation hearing, General Hayden asserted that the President has inherent authority to authorize the NSA program. While Hayden said that he relied on advice from government lawyers that the program was legal, the Bush administration has not provided Congress with all important and relevant documents setting out the legal grounds for the program.”

“We must protect both national security and the civil liberties of our citizens.”