General Michael Hayden, former Director of both the NSA & CIA, sat down with Brian Kilmeade on Kilmeade and Friends and weighed in on a range of issues, from the terror attacks in Canada and NYC to Leon Panetta's book.  The video & highlights are below.


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Some highlights from the interview:

  • There are only so many things your government can to protect you and keep your society free.
  • The Canadians have been far more "gentler" and now they are going to recalibrate.
  • David Ignatius writes in today's Washington Post about how a Sunni tribal leader tried to get a hold of Gen. Allen in order to save his city from being captured by ISIS. The response time was too slow and now the city is in ISIS's hands.  Gen Hayden defended Gen Allen saying he understands how that could have happened.
  • General Hayden has a genuine question about our strategy for fighting ISIS.  We changed our policy on ISIS when two things happened (1) when they were more of a threat to us and (2) public opinion polls shifted in the direction of a more active role in the US.  A dark scenario is that what we are doing now is more reflective of the public opinion polls on the upcoming election rather than a significant change in strategy...So what is it we do after the election, after the polls perhaps matter less than they do in the run up to November 4th?
  • On Leon Panetta's book, Hayden said that if he wanted to write about bass fishing, he has to send the book to the CIA to get cleared.
  • Hayden talked about how it is hard to speak up when you are within the government, but what is surprising is that Gates, Clinton and Panetta are writing books while the president is still in power. That is new.
  • It is clear the president made these decisions even though his advice from these key advisors was different.
  • "Gen. Dempsey has actually shown his personal opinion and that it has been different from the policy line that he has to follow being in the chain of command."
  • The Feinstein Report is hanging over the CIA's head. Accusing them of not just being wrong but lying about things they have done in the past.  These are good people and they don't lie and that is certainly troubling.
  • The broad dynamic here in the US, among some political elites, is to criticize their intelligence community for not doing enough when they are in danger, and then as soon as the intel community has made them feel safe again they criticize them for doing too much!