October 7th, 2010
07:54 AM ET

Ex-CIA head: Certainty a 'rare commodity' in travel alerts

A State Department travel alert issued October 3 advises Americans in Europe to “take every precaution” in the face of new, non-specific intelligence warnings about al-Qaeda striking somewhere in the continent.

“Intelligence professionals [are] probably fingering their worry beads at a higher rate than they were a week, a month, six months ago,” Ret. Gen. Mike Hayden said.

Hayden, a former CIA Director and National Security Agency Director, has been there. During the Bush Administration, part of his job was to help weigh intelligence reports and pass along information to the State Department that resulted in alerts, advisories and warnings for Americans abroad.

Hayden says he can articulate the arguments "pro-and-con” for issuing a broad alert without knowledge of specific terror plots. He says the recent alert is not a “cover your behind operation,” but rather, a case where the government has limited alternatives.

“It’s all assessment. It’s all judgment.” Hayden says. “Certitude is an incredibly rare commodity.”

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Filed under: National security • Travel
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    blab,blab blab, we hav no fuking clue.
    blab blab blab, we serve the jews and arabs,

    October 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    I Dont Have To Give any of you any choices nor more chances.
    YOU are in no postion to tell Me a damn thing.
    YOUR days are numbered few.
    C.N.N how about Two Choices.
    Full Lock Out and I Gut you,
    Or You also Add Dr Laura ot the list.
    Giv her vasqezs slot.
    if i wanted to hear a woman yell at me i would go talk to my ex wives or daughters.
    Lou Dobbs, Sanchez, Dr laura.
    and any Thing ted Turenr wants.
    Or I just lock you out and gut you.
    God willing.
    YOU chose.
    C.I.A. GO FUK YOUR idiot selves some more.
    Fuking puppets.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jim Brieske

    Mehdi. I believe you are a cat but the five letter version that begins with a p ends with a y, has two s's and u next to the p. You create this character who just cusses and writes the f word alot.
    You are an example of something wrong in regards to the CNN blog.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. phil

    Ignore him/her and he/she will go away.

    October 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    Phuck off and Die.

    October 7, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Elle

    Whats wrong with that guy? >.<

    October 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |