Livingston Lecture: General Michael Hayden, Playing To The Edge

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Livingston Lecture: General Michael Hayden, Playing To The Edge
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Atlanta History Center says
Playing to the Edge is an unprecedented narrative of America’s intelligence wars at a time of heinous new threats and wrenching change. For retired Air Force General Michael Hayden, playing to the edge means playing so close to the line that you get chalk dust on your cleats. That’s a superior choice, he believes, to playing back, where you may protect yourself but be less successful in protecting America. "Play to the edge" was Hayden's guiding principle when he led the National Security Agency, and it remained so when he ran the Central Intelligence Agency. His memoir is an unapologetic insider's look, told from the perspective of the people who faced awesome responsibilities head on, in the moment.

As Director of the CIA in the last three years of the Bush administration, Hayden had to deal with the rendition, detention, and interrogation program as bequeathed to him by his predecessors. He also had to ramp up the agency to support its role in the targeted killing program that began to dramatically increase in July 2008. This was a time of great crisis at the CIA, and some agency veterans have credited Hayden with saving the agency. He himself won't go that far, but he acknowledges that the CIA helped turn the American security establishment into the most effective killing machine in the history of armed conflict.

Michael Hayden is a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former Director of the National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Hayden also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University School of Public Policy.

The Livingston Lectures are made possible with generous funding from the Livingston Foundation.

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted.
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By: Atlanta History Center

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