Bloggers discuss Michael Hayden’s CIA confirmation hearing, a report claiming that Karl Rove has been indicted, and The Da Vinci Code’s early reviews.
Hayden debriefed: Michael Hayden fielded questions from the Senate intelligence committee Thursday during confirmation hearings for the top spot at the Central Intelligence Agency. The former NSA chief defended that agency’s controversial intelligence-gathering programs. “[T]he American intelligence business has too much become the football in American political discourse,” Hayden said in his opening statement.
Dafydd at Big Lizards takes umbrage with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden’s “nakedly hostile” tone in accusing Hayden of being tight-lipped about NSA eavesdropping. “Hm … let’s see if we can’t suss this one out: Hayden had been the head of the ultra, ultra-secret National Security Agency. He was often asked in open session detailed questions about highly, highly classified programs. … And Sen. Wyden is angry that Hayden was not more forthcoming. About highly classified programs. In open session,” Dafydd writes. “I’m pretty sure Hayden will be confirmed, as he should be, but there will be the usual suspects taking the opportunity to knock the CIA and the Bush administration for doing whatever it takes (and legally, I may point out) to protect this country,” writes conservative Brian at Iowa Voice.
Maha at the liberal Mahablog is intrigued that the Bush administration is not turning the Hayden hearings into a forum for defending NSA practices. “Last week conventional wisdom said that Hayden was chosen as the nominee because Karl Rove wanted a public fight on the NSA,” Maha writes. Others decry Hayden’s casual dismissal of the FISA court. “General Hayden, answered a question by saying ‘don’t you think that if the FISA Court were effective enough we’d use it?’ Our answer to him might be, well, gosh we kind of like the protection that oversight lends to information gathering, especially when it involves wide-ranging domestic data mining,” writes Bush critic Ann Davidow at Finding a Voice.
Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of snark about Hayden’s preference for sports speak. “How about, like, all sports metaphors be replaced by references to mid-’90s action films. Or Bowie albums. Or something. Anything,” suggests D.C. gossip Wonkette.
Rove-ing reporter: Bloggers are debating the validity of an article by reporter Jason Leopold published last week on liberal Web outlet Truthout.org. Leopold claimed that Karl Rove informed the White House he would be indicted soon in the Valerie Plame investigation. Some are questioning the report’s authenticity, while Truthout.org site editors stand by the story.
Tom Maguire at Just One Minute, a dogged follower of the Valerie Plame scandal, complains that “the goalposts are being moved once again,” as Leopold wrote that Rove could possibly be indicted May 12. JP on “progressive centrist” Blog and Tan wonders if the whole story wasn’t planted by White House sources. “It would make sense to think that Rove’s people would engage in disinformation, and so true to form for the administration, not reveal anything that they can possibly deny. If there’s an indictment coming, we can assume they’ll deny it until the words are spoken by Fitzgerald, in order to put as much distance (time) between the administration and Rove—between now and the time he was demoted five or six weeks ago. If this doesn’t pan out, rumor has it Leopold may reveal his sources. We’ll see.”
Jeralyn Merritt at Talk Left posts an e-mail excerpt from Rove spokesman Mark Corallo that includes the following missive: “Again, it is demonstrably false that any meeting took place on Friday (at Patton Boggs or anywhere else). This fraud needs to admit that he is lying and go away for good … why did Leopold LIE about being a London Sunday Times Reporter?” But at the liberal Wayne Madsen Report, the Beltway blogger makes claims similar to those in the Leopold story and predicts that an indictment announcement will be made Friday. “WMR was told by a credible source that a Patton and Boggs attorney confirmed that Fitzgerald paid a visit to the law firm to inform Rove attorney Robert Luskin and Rove that an indictment would be returned by the Grand Jury against Rove,” Madsen writes. Decision ‘08’s lists the reasons why Rove might be indicted.
Here’s more on Jason Leopold.
Da Vinci Load: Bloggers are corroborating the buzz that the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s best seller The Da Vinci Code is a dud.
“Early reviews for The Da Vinci Code aren’t smelling so sweet, as the hush hushed film may soon be silenced forever. Snickering and walk-outs plagued the premiere at Cannes this week and the film was critiqued for it’s slow pace and melodramatic monologues,” according to gossip blog Junkiness. Allison at Celebrific thinks she knows why the movie is getting a bad reception. “You know what I’m thinking is the reason? Tom Hanks’ laughable hairdo, what the hell is he thinking with that recessed mop?” she writes. And the Catholic Church’s boycott may have been in vain, according to law blogger Ann Althouse. “Whoops! Too bad the Vatican jumped the gun and gave them all that free publicity,” she writes.