In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama criticized the nomination of U.S. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, citing the controversial National Security Agency program for wiretapping Americans and collecting their phone records.
His full remarks below:
I have no doubt that General Hayden will be confirmed. But I am going to reluctantly vote against him to send a signal to this administration that even in these circumstances, even in these trying times, President Bush is not above the law. No President is above the law. I am voting against Mr. Hayden in the hope that he will be more humble before the great weight of responsibility that he has not only to protect our lives but to protect our democracy.
Americans fought a Revolution in part over the right to be free from unreasonable searches–to ensure that our Government could not come knocking in the middle of the night for no reason. We need to find a way forward to make sure we can stop terrorists while protecting the privacy and liberty of innocent Americans. We have to find a way to give the President the power he needs to protect us, while making sure he does not abuse that power. It is possible to do that. We have done it before. We could do it again.