Tuesday, 09 May 2006 9:26AM
Hastert Indicates He'll Oppose Hayden CIA Appointment
Steve Marshall Reporting
KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO
WASHINGTON, DC (KNX) -- Opposition within President
Bush's own party to his new nominee to head the CIA,
General Michael Hayden, may start at the top.
Time Magazine is reporting on its website that House
Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill) has indicated that he
may oppose Hayden's appointment.
"The Speaker believes they should not have a military
person leading the CIA, a civilian agency," Ron
Bonjean, Hastert's communications director, told TIME.
Bonjean was confirming the tone of comments Hastert
made at an appearance in Aurora, Ill., in which
Hastert praised outgoing director Porter Goss and said
moving Hayden to the CIA smacked of a "power grab" by
Department of Intelligence chief John Negroponte,
adding that Negroponte had visited Hastert's office
last week and not noted any problems with Goss.
Hastert is said to be one of Goss' closest friends on
Hastert stated further that he didn't know Hayden and
that the general had never paid him a visit.
Opposition from the House Speaker has little official
weight, since Hayden's confirmation will rest with the
Senate. However, his power and influence over other
Republicans could set a tone that would make Hayden's
confirmation tough sledding.
The Senate hearings will most likely morph into
hearings on the National Security Agency's warrantless
wiretaps on American citizens, which has been a
hot-button issue within the Bush Administration.
Hayden is said to be the architect of the
eavesdropping policy, developing the plan when he was
head of the NSA.
"We expect quite a bit of questioning about this
issue, but I believe that General Hayden will be very,
very well equipped and very well prepared to answer
any questions that might arise," Negroponte told told
the White House press corps.