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Mike Hayden Has Fun With Adjectives

Somehow it took former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden over two weeks to respond to the report from five government inspectors general on warrantless

Jul 31, 2020
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Somehow it took former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden over two weeks to respond to the report from five government inspectors general on warrantless surveillance, and this, in The New York Times, is what he’s got:
The reflexive judgments to the contrary seem hasty at best. Although the inspectors general report notes that the compartmented nature of the program hurt its utility (it should be noted that restricting access to especially sensitive data is hardly a unique phenomenon in an intelligence community that forever has to balance using information and protecting it), it also notes that users of the information rated the program “of value,” “useful” and a “key resource,” albeit one that was most often used in combination with other intelligence sources.
Wow! It’s unclear from his op-ed how and why Hayden considers a report that combined five agencies’ inspectors general and took a year to complete “reflexive,” but one option is that it came to rather different conclusions about the utility of the program to counterterrorism. Hayden offers a series of decontextualized adjectives to paint an odd picture: if, as he puts it, the report found the program to be “of value,” then why’s Hayden so agitated by the report? Well, because in context, that’s not what it says.
I also like this:
There is also one very large finding in the report that hasn’t received the attention it deserves: “No evidence of intentional misuse” of the program was discovered.
And when I kept my loaded guns around the house while my children played nearby, I didn’t fire them off willy-nilly, braying like Yosemite Sam all the while. I consider that to be evidence of responsible stewardship.
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Rhyley Carney

Rhyley Carney

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Rhyley Carney is a New York Times bestselling author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content designer, and writing teacher/lecturer who has won five Bram Stoker Awards. More than a dozen countries have purchased her novels.
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