Bush stands by his man

As the president's nominee to head the CIA goes back up on Capitol Hill for a fifth day of meeting with senators, the White House remains unflinching in its support.

It's been known that Gen. Michael Hayden has been the "human face" of the NSA's warrantless wiretapping. Yesterday it was learned that he had also been part of an effort to spy on every last American, regardless of innocence or guilt.

"We're full steam ahead on his nomination," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Thursday.

And why shouldn't they be?

If the president were to withdraw Hayden's name, it would be a de facto admission that the NSA had been doing wrong. It would by extension be an confession of the president's guilt. That will not happen.

As Hayden himself said, "Everything the NSA does is lawfully and very carefully done." Because the president said so.

Congress will remain powerless to mount a challenge to Hayden because it would carry the same implication of Bush's guilt. The fools on the Hill wouldn't dare. They're terrified of the man. If they haven't tried to impeach him yet, they aren't going to call him guilty now.

Senator John Kerry tried put on a brave face yesterday.

"Enough is enough," Kerry said in a speech at American University in Washington. "It is long overdue for this Congress to end the days of roll over and rubber stamp and finally assert its power of advise and consent before Gen. Hayden becomes Director Hayden."

Only entrenched lifers like Kerry, Schumer and Feinstein -- the folks that party ideologues look to -- can dare make a stink about Hayden. Three votes won't be enough to stop him.

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