General Michael Hayden on Obama’s Speech

By General Michael Hayden

General Michael V. Hayden is a retired four-star General in the United States Air Force; he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006-2009 and as Director of the National Security Agency from 1999-2005.

Anyone expecting new or bold from President Obama’s Sunday night Oval Office speech was surely disappointed.  That was probably inevitable since the speech’s timing seemed more dictated by politics and tanking poll numbers than any new policy initiatives.  The President had been trailing the public mood and he had some catching up to do.

He identified last week’s attack in San Bernardino as terrorism, a position most of the country had arrived at by Thursday.  He even belatedly included Fort Hood in that definition, rather than the usual formulation of workplace violence.  He also said that there was a problem within Islam, something most had concluded years ago, or at least that’s what I took from his reference that “extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities.”  The President also joined consensus in saying that we are at war with ISIS and that “the terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase.”

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