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Exclusive: Gen. Hayden Blasts 'Self-Destructive' FISA Memo

Exclusive: Gen. Hayden Blasts 'Self-Destructive' FISA Memo
Former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 February 2018 05:27 PM

The politicization of U.S. intelligence reflected in the recent House Intelligence Committee's FISA court memo is "very self-destructive" to U.S. security, former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden warns.

Note: Gen. Hayden says U.S. plans for "bloody nose" strike on N. Korea will fail and could lead to larger war. Read More Here

"My God," Hayden remarked, "I've never seen it this politicized. Major institutions, none of them is perfect. But our political rhetoric has become so angry, so unwise."

He described the current era of congressional intelligence oversight as "really pretty dark."

Hayden opposed releasing the memo crafted at the behest of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee, led by Rep. Adam Schiff, and several national security officials have objected to the memo's release, which is highly critical of the FBI's FISA application. Critics claim the memo is one-sided, misleading, and lacking in context.

The memo suggests the Justice Department under President Obama and the FBI manipulated the special court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into issuing a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser Carter Page, by not stating its request was based on opposition research — the so-called Steele dossier — paid for by Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

House Democrats have since submitted a response to the majority's memo, but the Trump administration has not yet approved its release. Sources say the Democratic memo is laced with sensitive information, and several passages would have to be redacted.

Hayden conceded a pending inspector general's report is expected to spotlight FBI and DOJ blunders in the handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and her homebrew server.

He maintained the Bureau handled the scandal "as well as it could, but it was a completely different matter investigating the candidate of a major party with the clock running down on the actual election."

He says if mistakes were made – "I'm more referring to the [FBI Director James] Comey press conferences and so on" – then by all means "let's go to school on that."

But releasing the controversial FISA court memo, Hayden warned, poses "an immediate danger" to the intelligence-oversight process.

"Unfortunately," Hayden told Newsmax, "the president and some Republicans have felt so threatened by [the Russia probe], in my view, they've made a big effort to discredit the processes, discredit the institutions, discredit the people, so as to try to undercut what they fear might be the inevitable conclusion of the investigation."

He added undermining the credibility of officials and institutions that play a key role in defending the homeland is extremely destructive.

"The people I know are good people," Hayden told Newsmax in the exclusive interview. "The processes look fairly normal to me, and Lord knows we’re going to need these institutions in the future."

Click Here to read the full Newsmax exclusive interview with Gen. Hayden.

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The recent House Intelligence Committee's FISA court memo politicizes U.S. intelligence and is "very self-destructive" to U.S. security, former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden tells Newsmax.
michael hayden, cia, director, house intelligence committee, fisa memo
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 05:27 PM
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