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Former CIA Director Sets the Record Straight Regarding His Comments on an Iran Attack

Michael Hayden's comments about Iran’s nuclear ambitions are too vital an issue to be reduced to a series of sound bites and headlines.

by
Elise Cooper

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July 26, 2010 - 2:44 pm
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In an interview with PJ Media, former CIA Director Michael Hayden sets the record straight about some of his recent comments regarding an attack on Iran.

Some news reports on Hayden’s CNN interview took his words out of context. Here are quotes from that interview posted on CNN’s Political Ticker:

“We engage. They continue to move forward. We vote for sanctions. They continue to move forward. We try to deter, to dissuade. They continue to move forward.” Hayden says military action against Iran is more likely now than ever — and could be justified. “When I was in government, what we would used to mystically call ‘the kinetic option’ was way down on our list. In my personal thinking … I have begun to consider that that may not be the worst of all possible outcomes.”

Many of those reports are saying that he stated a military attack on Iran was likely, while failing to add some of Hayden’s more nuanced thinking involving “kinetic actions” and deterrence.

PJM’s Elise Cooper interviewed Hayden to get some clarity on his comments.

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Many articles cite Hayden’s quote from the interview that “it seems inexorable, doesn’t it?” as proof that he is stating military action is more likely now. However, the meaning of the word “inexorable” does not fit that scenario. Today, General Hayden noted that he used the word to emphasize that “in a pursuit of nuclear technology and having a possible nuclear breakout stage, it seems inexorable they will move forward no matter what we do.”

In my previous discussions with General Hayden, he has always mentioned that his personal view is that Iran is “determined to have a weapon. If not a weapon, they intend to be in a permanent breakout state where they will have everything in place and will be able to create a weapon in a relatively short time. That may actually be their sweet spot.”

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