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Column: Ex-CIA Chief Michael Hayden Says Govt. Got it Wrong With Detroit Bomber

Hayden was the CIA Director from 2006 to 2009.

Michael Hayden/gov photo

Michael Hayden/gov photo

By Michael V. Hayden
Washington Post Op-Ed Page

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. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is not “an isolated extremist.” He is the tip of the spear of a complex al-Qaeda plot to kill Americans in our homeland.

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