Bush’s NSA Director: Obama Has Been More Transparent On Surveillance Than We Were (VIDEO)

The man who served as the director of the National Security Agency under former President George W. Bush said Wednesday that President Barack Obama has been more transparent about top secret surveillance programs than his predecessor.

Gen. Michael Hayden, former NSA director, praised Obama for resuming those programs.

“We should just take a sense of satisfaction that what we were doing, once candidate Obama became President Obama, he saw that these were of great value and frankly, were being very carefully done,” Hayden told CNN. “National security looks a little different from the Oval Office than it does from a hotel room in Iowa.”

Hayden applauded Obama for making the details of the NSA’s data collection available to members of Congress.

“Frankly, the Obama administration was more transparent about this effort than we were in the Bush administration,” Hayden said. “I mean, they made this meta data collection activity available to all the members of Congress. Not just all the members of the intelligence committees.”

There has been disagreement on Capitol Hill over how much lawmakers knew about the NSA programs. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said Wednesday that he didn’t know about the programs because he isn’t on the Intelligence Committee and was grateful that NSA leaker Edward Snowden had made the classified information public. But a day before Tester’s remarks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) insisted that lawmakers had only themselves to blame if they weren’t cognizant of the surveillance programs.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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