And just when you think they've reached the bottom of the barrel, someone comes along and lifts up the barrel. How else to explain this?
General Michael Hayden's name is being floated tonight by senior officials as a potential replacement for fired CIA chief Porter Goss.
And the problem is ... oh, right:
Landay: "...the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to violate an American's right against unreasonable searches and seizures..."
Gen. Hayden: "No, actually - the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure."
Landay: "But the --"
Gen. Hayden: "That's what it says."
Landay: "The legal measure is probable cause, it says."
Gen. Hayden: "The Amendment says: unreasonable search and seizure."
Landay: "But does it not say 'probable cause'?"
Gen. Hayden [exasperated, scowling]: "No! The Amendment says unreasonable search and seizure."
Landay: "The legal standard is probable cause, General -- "
Gen. Hayden [indignant]: "Just to be very clear ... mmkay... and believe me, if there's any Amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. Alright? And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. The constitutional standard is 'reasonable'."
No big deal. It's not like you guys were really using that Fourth Amendment thing, anyway.