Michael V. Hayden

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As negotiations between Iran and the great powers press forward, Secretary of State John F. Kerry seems to have settled on this defense of any agreement: The terms will leave Iran at least a year away from obtaining a nuclear bomb, thus giving the world plenty of time to react to infractions. The argument is meant to reassure, particularly when a sizable enrichment capacity and a sunset clause appear to have already been conceded. A careful assessment, however, reveals that a one-year breakout time may not be sufficient to detect and reverse Iranian violations.

Once the United States had an indication that Iran was violating an agreement, a bureaucratic process would be necessary to validate the information.…  Seguir leyendo »

In recent months, the issue of privacy has come to the forefront in a number of cases, including the latest revelation that the U.S. government has been secretly collecting Verizon customers' phone records. Here's a selection of CNN.com op-eds on related issues.

We're losing control of our digital privacy

The erosion of privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment, written to protect us against unreasonable search and seizure, began in earnest under President George W. Bush. The Patriot Act, passed overwhelmingly but hastily after 9/11, allows the FBI to obtain telecommunication, financial, and credit records without a court order. Moreover, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's 2008 amendment act grants U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Intelligence estimates about foreign nuclear programs seem to lead unhappy, often controversial, lives.

There was the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program. That was wrong, of course. But there is a body of thought, built up on the American left, that the estimate was beyond wrong. It holds that there was a conspiracy to cook the intelligence to support a preconceived course of action; that the Bush administration, especially the vice president, pressured intelligence workers to reach the conclusions they did. “Bush lied, Americans died” was the commonly heard mantra.

In fact, we just got it wrong.…  Seguir leyendo »

Libyan rebels have made it clear that any proposal to cease fighting and end their current battle against the Libyan government must include the removal of Moammar Gaddafi. President Obama, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron, has repeatedly called for the removal of this violent dictator. The objective is clear. And Libya’s future is being determined by a civil war, one in which we unarguably have a hand.

In a speech last month at the National Defense University, President Obama carefully distinguished between the administration’s approach in Libya and America’s experience in Iraq. Referring to overthrowing Gaddafi by force, he stated: “To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the war on terrorism, this country faces an enemy whose theory of warfare ends the hard-won distinction in modern thought between combatant and noncombatant. In doing that for which we have created government -- ensuring life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- how can we be adequately aggressive to ensure the first value, without unduly threatening the other two? This is hard. And people don't have to be lazy or stupid to get it wrong.

We got it wrong in Detroit on Christmas Day. We allowed an enemy combatant the protections of our Constitution before we had adequately interrogated him.…  Seguir leyendo »