Hayden: Obama Will Hold His Ground on NSA Spying

Friday, 17 Jan 2014 08:04 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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President Barack Obama will hold his ground on the National Security Agency's spying program when he gives a speech Friday to announce changes to the policy, retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former NSA and CIA director, predicted Friday.

"I think the substance of the speech is going to be holding his ground. I don't know that American intelligence agencies are going to be doing a whole lot of things different in a week, a month, or a year, than they are doing right now," Hayden told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

President Obama is expected to give a speech Friday to announce changes to the gathering of personal information by the NSA, leaving specifics of any recommended changes to Congress.

Story continues below video.



If Obama wants it to continue, "we are just going to have to be more transparent with the American people to get a level of comfort, or at least acceptance," Hayden said. "Because, if we don't get that, we are not going to be able to do these things in the first place anymore."

Hayden said the transparency needs to be "across the board" on the government's data-collecting program that's been highly criticized for its mass collection of information on Americans.

He said President Obama's mission was not to change the policies, but to better explain them.

"His mission here, I don't think, is to change what we are doing. His mission here is to make people more comfortable about what it is the intelligence agencies are doing," he said.

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