Michael Vincent Hayden (born March 17, 1945) is a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former Director of the National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.


Hayden currently co-chairs the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Electric Grid Cyber Security Initiative. In 2017, Hayden became a national security analyst for CNN.

He was Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) from 1999 to 2005. During his tenure as director, he oversaw the controversial NSA surveillance of technological communications between persons in the United States and alleged foreign terrorist groups, which resulted in the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.

On April 21, 2005, then Lt. Gen Hayden, was confirmed by the United States Senate as the first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence and awarded his fourth star-making him “the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the armed forces”. He served in this position under DNI John Negroponte until May 26, 2006.

On May 8, 2006, Hayden was nominated for the position of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency following the May 5 resignation of Porter J. Goss, and on May 23 the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted 12–3 to send the nomination to the Senate floor. His nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 26 by a vote of 78–15. On May 30, 2006, and again the following day at the CIA lobby with President George W. Bush in attendance, Hayden was sworn in as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

On July 1, 2008, Hayden retired from the Air Force after over 41 years of service and continued to serve as Director of the CIA until February 12, 2009. He received an honorary doctorate from The Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. in 2009. He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy co-founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Hayden also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He was elected to the Board of Directors of Motorola Solutions effective January 4, 2011.

In 2013, after the P5+1 reached a nuclear agreement with Iran, Hayden said, “We have accepted Iranian uranium enrichment.”

The 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture cited an email prepared by a subordinate that indicated that as CIA Director, Hayden instructed that out-of-date information be used in briefing Congress so that fewer than 100 Guantanamo Bay detainees would be reported. [1]


General Michael Hayden: Donald Trump Was Not Wiretapped By Obama Admin

Ex-director of the CIA and NSA Ret. Gen. Hayden dismisses Trump’s wiretapping accusations against Obama and promises Stephen that no one is spying on him while he disrobes. Computers: no comment. Hesaid all Trump had to do is talk to the FBI director or the Director of National Intelligence and asked. “On Saturday morning, he seemed to have forgotten that he was the President of the United States,” Hayden said of Trump. “He did not choose to do that. He decided to go ahead and tweet out the accusation, as if it were fact,” the retired general said. [2]



Michael Hayden: Blame Intel Agencies, Not White House, For Getting Iraq Wrong

The former head of the National Security Agency, Gen. Michael Hayden, says U.S. intelligence agencies got it wrong when they concluded Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and they should take the blame for that, rather than the White House. “It was our intelligence estimates” that were incorrect, Hayden says in an interview with NPR’s Robert Siegel. “We were wrong. It was a clean swing and a miss. It was our fault.” Hayden, a retired Air Force general, ran the the National Security Agency in the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003. He later served as deputy director of National Intelligence and then as director of the CIA. His 10-year tenure in these top intelligence positions was no ordinary decade. In addition to the Iraq War, there were the Sept. 11 attacks, the expansion of NSA data collection and the investigations into claims of torture by CIA interrogators. [3]


Controversial Iran intel estimate revisited

The controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concluded that Iran had halted all work on nuclear arms in 2003. The report marked a dramatic and surprising shift by intelligence analysts. Two years earlier, another NIE report said Iran was building enriched uranium-based nuclear arms with help from the covert Pakistani nuclear supplier network headed by A.Q. Khan. The 2007 estimate concluded, “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” That analytic position then became one of the central canons among analysts at CIA and other agencies, which stubbornly continue to insist Iran ended its nuclear program in 2003, despite evidence to the contrary. Critics note that the refusal to revise the NIE bolsters the observation that the CIA’s motto should be: “We may not always be right, but we’re never wrong.”

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who led the agency at the time the NIE was rolled out, told Inside the Ring the 2007 NIE tried to be narrowly focused. “It says, rather inartfully, that Iran had stopped work on the nuclear weapon itself and whatever secret enrichment was being done at military facilities,” Mr. Hayden said. “That judgment was based on the evidence of absence, not the absence of evidence. Of course, hidden in that conclusion was the reality that, until 2003, Iran was indeed doing all those things. They lied about it then, and they are lying about it now.” As to weapons work after 2003, “we assessed that was limited, peripheral and dual-use,” Mr. Hayden said. “But I would hesitate signing an agreement without confidence as to what they had done, before and after 2003,” he added. “My sense is, despite the current agreement, we will not know much more by the end of the year” when the IAEA must report on Iran’s past weapons activities. [4]


Michael Hayden Discusses the Wild West Nature of Cyberspace

Former CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael V. Hayden has forgone the generally accepted “war” categorization many hang onto today, he told PBS in an interview. Hayden pointed to a lack of natural technical barriers to protect information. Internet users are forced to take on personal responsibility for firewalls and other security, like ranchers trying to defend their herds and livestock from cattle rustlers and horse thieves. The retired general spoke of the various enemies lurking in cyberspace. He noted that today bank robbers do not stick up a bank with a pistol, but head online to make off with the loot. “Because it is so anarchic, there are a variety of actors out there in this space that don’t have your best interests at heart,” he said. “There are state actors out there who are interested in stealing either state secrets or industrial secrets.” [5]


CIA to reveal ‘skeletons’ / Agency to declassify records of abuses, from domestic spying to assassination attempts

The CIA will declassify hundreds of pages of long-secret records detailing some of the intelligence agency’s worst illegal abuses — the so-called “family jewels” documenting a quarter-century of overseas assassination attempts, domestic spying, kidnapping and infiltration of leftist groups from the 1950s to the 1970s, CIA Director Michael Hayden said Thursday. The documents, to be publicly released next week, also include accounts of break-ins and theft, the agency’s opening of private mail to and from China and the Soviet Union, wiretaps and surveillance of journalists, and a series of “unwitting” tests on U.S. civilians, including the use of drugs.

Hayden’s speech and some of the questions that followed evoked more recent criticism of the intelligence community, which has been accused of illegal wiretapping, infiltration of anti-war groups and the kidnapping and torturing of terrorism suspects. “It’s surely part of (Hayden’s) program now to draw a bright line with the past,” said National Security Archive Director Thomas Blanton. “But it’s uncanny how the government keeps dipping into the black bag.” Newly revealed details of ancient CIA operations, Blanton said, “are pretty resonant today.” [6]


[1] Wikipedia

[2] Real Clear Politics

[3] NPR

[4] Washington Times

[5] Executivebiz

[6] SFGate