Gen. Michael Hayden (USAF ret.) defended PRISM on Fox News Sunday and NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, perhaps elsewhere.
The message here is the distinguished official packaging: Gen. Hayden formerly led both the CIA and the NSA under Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama. He exemplifies both intelligence experience and bi-partisanship.
What more solid, soothing spokesman could there be for this highly controversial program conceived, they say, to prevent terrorist attacks from occurring?
That's the packaging.
The ex-intelligence chieftain, however, draws a blank on jihad -- the specific source of the vast majority of terrorism that threatens Americans. I know this from talking to him in October 2010; from asking him what he thought about the Muslim Brotherhood after a lecture he gave at a National Interest magazine luncheon in January 2012 (his reply: "The jury is still out"); and from a fantastically undiscerning statement he made on Al Arabiya TV as recently as March 2013.
Michael Hayden: During my last trip to the Middle East, I met former [Egyptian] President Mubarak. Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman asked me to stay another day in order to meet with Mubarak. So I stayed there on Friday and went to meet the president on Saturday in his palace. For 90 minutes, the former Egyptian president spoke to me harshly about U.S. policies, saying that we Americans did not understand what was going on in Egypt and in the Arab world, and did not understand the Muslim Brotherhood and other issues.
Time has shown, however, that our estimate was more accurate than President Mubarak’s. I believe that in the long run, we all realize that what we are seeing now is a necessary stage of transition from the autocracies of the Arab world to a better future. The change is essential, although perhaps not enjoyable or guaranteed. If I were in the government today, I would encourage the politicians and the American public opinion to exercise a little patience with regard to these events. There will be difficulties, but this is worth the effort and the support.
It is at least fair to say that Hayden has a patience as infinite as it is misguided regarding his expectation that a "transition" to a "better future" will befall the Muslim Brotherhood. He really seems to believe the MB's path of jihad is merely a "stage" on a pre-ordained political journey toward Western-style democracy. The man doesn't seem to consider the possibiity that the MB movement is driven to extend sharia to a nascent (the MB hopes) global caliphate -- despite its own unabashed declarations and plan.
Why is a former intel chieftain so committed to a narrative based on wishful thinking instead of facts and points of MB doctrine?
Let's go back to what Hayden told me in October 2010 (link to column above).
"People I trust say to be careful not to use the term `jihadist' because it does have a broader use across the Islamic world," he said.
My hunch is "people Michael Hayden trust" are subverting US intelligence. They are either themselves in positions of authority or they have duped the leaders of the vast, vast intelligence bureacracy into believing that jihad should never be discussed, never be pegged to terrorism, never be seen as a war on Western liberty, never be taught as enemy threat doctrine. Further, the US government line is that those patriots who continue to view jihad as a threat in intelligence and military communities must be purged.
This is exactly what has happened.
What we are left with is a rigid set of official lies and government propaganda.
1) "Profiling" is worse than terrorism
2) Terrorism is generic, unpredictable
3) Islamic movements such as MB are evolving toward Jeffersonian democracy; give them time and money
4) "Islamophobia" must be eradicated -- like the plague
Adhering to this ideology, "naturally" Uncle Sam must see every American as a suspect. "Naturally," 100 million Verizon customers "must" have their phone records "mined," or "stockpiled" or whatever verb best describes this meta-government, mass computerized intrusion that is so very, very ripe for politicized targeting and widespread abuse. "Naturally," the now-infamous PRISM program permits, as Jed Babbin writes at the American Spectator, "the FBI or NSA to have its own equipment on-site at [various Internet companies] and that equipment is apparently enabled to penetrate and access the “SIGADs” in question without any further interaction with the Internet company." "Naturally," there must be still more and deeper state supervision of Americans to fend off the enemies of this ideological state, whoever they might be. The undifferentiated paranoia this reflects is distinctly Soviet.
The post-9/11 hyperstate, then, isn't acting to pre-empt jihad terrorism or vectors of sharia aimed at our Constitution; it is acting to implement its own perverse ideology -- an ideology influenced if not entirely fostered by an Islamic decepetion operation. Pure and unscathed even by what the Michael Haydens of the intel world likely consider the odd attack, this ideology becomes more important to our leaders than anything else. Such leaders include Michael Hayden, FBI Director Mueller, JCC Gen. Dempsey, not to mention Presidents Bush and Obama.
Their ideology -- that Islam has nothing to do with this latest historical cycle of jihad we are living through -- has become more important to them than public safety, facts, liberty itself.
Is it really such a leap to see how opponents of the ideology become enemies of this state?