Tags: America's Forum | Michael Hayden | Paris unity rally | Obama absence

Michael Hayden: Obama's Unity Rally Absence an 'Opportunity Lost'

By    |   Monday, 12 January 2015 12:20 PM

President Barack Obama’s decision not to attend the Paris unity rally was an "opportunity lost," according to former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden.

"It was a mistake and frankly, maybe more important than that, it was an opportunity to show that this fight against Muslim extremism was a unified fight in the West and that the Americans, who have been kind of singled out for some of the actions we've taken, are actually part of a much broader front,’ he said Monday on Newsmax TV's "America’s Forum."

"What a visual with seeing a very senior American official arm in arm with the kinds of leaders that were there yesterday. Opportunity lost."

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A terrorism summit, something the White House plans to hold next month, may help foster dialogue, ideas and enthusiasm on the subject, but it’s not going to solve the problem, according to Hayden.

To get a handle on the situation, more concrete steps are needed, he said, such as renewing the Patriot Act, which is set to expire in June.

"Frankly what is it you want the government to do and what is it you allow the government to do now to keep you safe?" Hayden asked.

"I made a comment last week at the height of the crisis in Paris that all that metadata that the NSA was collecting seemed to frighten a lot of people in the last year or so. Right now, it doesn't look like the scariest thing in the room does it?"

Hayden lauded as an act of "great bravery" Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s call to Islamic leaders to stand up against Islamic extremism.

"He is a practicing Muslim and here is someone who is both Islamic and modern and he's challenging his faith to reconcile itself with the modern world," he said. "Frankly, that's what we've been waiting for for 13 years.

"We can kill our way out of immediate problems in terms of people already convinced they want to come do us harm, but the production rate of those kinds of people seems to be unabated and will remain unabated until Islam resolves some questions within itself," Hayden said. "So God bless, Allah bless, President el-Sisi."

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President Barack Obama’s decision not to attend the Paris unity rally was an “opportunity lost,” according to former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden.
Michael Hayden, Paris unity rally, Obama absence
Monday, 12 January 2015 12:20 PM
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