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Bush Intel. Chief: Obama ‘Has Been As Aggressive, If Not More Aggressive In Pursuing’ Terrorists

By Alex Seitz-Wald on December 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

"Bush Intel. Chief: Obama ‘Has Been As Aggressive, If Not More Aggressive In Pursuing’ Terrorists"

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For the past two years, conservatives have repeatedly attacked President Obama for supposedly endangering American lives by not being aggressive enough in going after terrorists. But a year after the failed bombing attempt on Christmas Day for which Obama received immense criticism from the right, a key Bush intelligence official refuted these right-wing attacks today on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley. Retired Vice Admiral Mike McConnell, who served as the Director of National Intelligence under President Bush, said the Obama “administration has been as aggressive, if not more aggressive in pursuing” terror threats:

MCCONNELL: Both general Hayden and I served in the previous administration and we got a lot of criticism for being aggressive, and so on. … My observation is that the new administration has been as aggressive, if not more aggressive in pursuing these issues, because they’re real. And so, regardless of which side of the political spectrum –

CROWLEY: And you commend them for that?

MCCONNELL: I do commend them for that.

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Meanwhile, retired Gen. Michael Hayden, who served as the head of the CIA under Bush and appeared along with McConnell on CNN today, warned against overreacting to the “low threshold” attacks that Al-Qaeda and their ideological allies now employ. “We cannot allow our response to that kind of event to turn a tactical success for Al-Qaeda into a strategic defeat for us,” Hayden said, by “overreacting to it by suppressing our commerce and our convenience.”

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