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wild1
09-18-2009, 01:58 PM
Former CIA Directors Ask President Obama to Tell Holder to Stop Investigating CIA

September 18, 2009 3:15 PM

Arguing that the actions of the Attorney General are essentially putting this country at greater risk of terrorist attack, a bipartisan team of seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency wrote to President Obama today urging him to direct Attorney General Eric Holder to close the criminal investigation looking into whether any CIA officers went beyond what they were told was legal in their interrogations during counterterrorism investigations.

Allowing future investigations and prosecutions “will seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country,” the seven men write. “In our judgment such risk-taking is vital to success in the long and difficult fight against the terrorists who continue to threaten us.”

Moreover, they argue, “public disclosure about past intelligence operations can only help Al Qaeda elude US intelligence and plan future operations. Disclosures about CIA collection operations have and will continue to make it harder for intelligence officers to maintain the momentum of operations that have saved lives and helped protect America from further attacks.”

The seven former directors are Michael Hayden and Porter Goss, who served under President George W. Bush; George Tenet, who served under Bush and President Bill Clinton; John Deutch and R. James Woolsey, who served under Clinton; William Webster, who served under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan; and James R. Schlesinger, who served under President Richard Nixon.

You can read their letter HERE.

Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement that Holder "works closely with the men and the women of intelligence community to keep the American people safe and he does not believe their commitment to conduct that important work will waver in any way. Given the recommendation from the Office of Professional Responsibility as well as other available information, he believed the appropriate course of action was to ask John Durham to conduct a preliminary review. That review will be narrowly-focused and will be conducted by a career prosecutor who has shown an ability to handle cases involving classified information. Durham has not been appointed as a special prosecutor; he will be supervised by senior managers at the Department."

Miller went on to say that the "Attorney General's decision to order a preliminary review into this matter was made in line with his duty to examine the facts and to follow the law. As he has made clear, the Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees."

The seven men also argue that violations of the law have already been investigated, with the CIA having “forwarded fewer than 20 instances where Agency officers appeared to have acted beyond their existing legal authorities,” and career prosecutors under the supervision of the US Attorney determining that one prosecution was warranted, of a CIA contractor, who was later convicted.

“They determined that prosecutions were not warranted in the other cases,” the former CIA directors write. “In a number of these cases the CIA subsequently took administrative disciplinary steps against the individuals involved. Attorney General Holder’s decision to re-open the criminal investigation creates an atmosphere of continuous jeopardy for those whose cases the Department of Justice had previously declined to prosecute. Moreover, there is no reason to expect that the re-opened criminal investigation will remain narrowly focused.”

In response, the current CIA director, Leon Panetta, said through a spokesman that he “appreciates the President’s strong support for the men and women of the CIA. His focus, and that of the agency as a whole, is on the national security challenges of today and tomorrow. The Director has stood up for those who followed legal guidance on interrogation, and he will continue to do so. The CIA is cooperating with the official reviews now in progress, in part to see that they move as expeditiously as possible. The goal is to ensure that current agency operations—on which the safety of our country depends—center on protecting the nation.”

Living former CIA directors who did not sign the letter include Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense, who served under President Clinton and George HW Bush; former President George HW Bush, who served under Nixon and President Jimmy Carter; and Admiral Stansfield Turner (Ret.), who served under Carter.

The former directors who wrote the letter also argue that a “certain result of these reopened investigations is the serious damage done to our intelligence community’s ability to obtain the cooperation of foreign intelligence agencies,” which are “already greatly concerned about the United States’ inability to maintain any secrets.”

-jpt

September 18, 2009 in Current Affairs, Obama, Barack, White House | Permalink | Share | User Comments (4)

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/09/former-cia-directors-ask-president-obama-to-tell-holder-to-stop-investigating-cia.html

Donger
09-18-2009, 02:00 PM
Meh, let's call it what it is: a Bush hunt.

dirk digler
09-18-2009, 02:21 PM
Meh, let's call it what it is: a Bush hunt.

What guy doesn't like bush?

Fox News was talking about this story and said it was Breaking Huge Fucking News. I rolled my eyes and thought Obama should do what Bush did when 500 generals and military people wrote letters telling him to get out of Iraq, ignore them.

Brock
09-18-2009, 02:24 PM
Because we have nothing better to do.

Direckshun
09-18-2009, 02:27 PM
I'm wondering what conservatives and supporters of limited government truly think about a politician telling his legal department what they can and cannot investigate.

Chiefshrink
09-18-2009, 02:28 PM
Bout damn time!!

dirk digler
09-18-2009, 02:33 PM
I'm wondering what conservatives and supporters of limited government truly think about a politician telling his legal department what they can and cannot investigate.

Depends on who they are investigating. If it is a conservative then it is a vast left-wing conspiracy if it is a liberal then it is pursuing justice.

orange
09-18-2009, 02:46 PM
I see that one of the former CIA directors who signed the letter includes James R. Schlesinger, who commisioned the Family Jewels investigations that uncovered widespread lawbreaking by the CIA.

I wonder why he thinks the CIA should be immune to investigation?

orange
09-18-2009, 02:49 PM
Depends on who they are investigating. If it is a conservative then it is a vast left-wing conspiracy if it is a liberal then it is pursuing justice.

Schlesinger was a Republican investigating primarily a Republican administration, though he uncovered much more.

Was he "pursuing justice" or part of the "left-wing conspiracy?"

dirk digler
09-18-2009, 03:02 PM
Schlesinger was a Republican investigating primarily a Republican administration, though he uncovered much more.

Was he "pursuing justice" or part of the "left-wing conspiracy?"

Left wing conspiracy ;)

KILLER_CLOWN
09-19-2009, 12:54 AM
Are these the same CIA directors whom enabled such wonders as Blackwater? I can see why they wouldn't want to be investigated.

WoodDraw
09-19-2009, 09:36 AM
Allowing future investigations and prosecutions “will seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country,”

So they think the CIA should be immune to investigation? No thanks.

I don't buy the rationale either. They're just protecting their friends and turf, which is admirable. Unless those friends happened to sadistically tortured people. That's less admirable.