Seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency sent a letter to Pres. Obama on Friday asking him to reverse Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to re-open a criminal investigation of CIA interrogations that took place following the attacks of September 11:
Seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency on Friday urged President Obama to reverse Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to hold a criminal investigation of CIA interrogators who used enhanced techniques on detainees.
The directors, whose tenures span back as far as 35 years, wrote a letter to the president saying the cases have already been investigated by the CIA and career prosecutors, and to reconsider those decisions makes it difficult for agents to believe they can safely follow legal guidance.
“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,” they wrote.
“Those men and women who undertake difficult intelligence assignments in the aftermath of an attack such as September 11 must believe there is permanence in the legal rules that govern their actions,” the seven added.
The letter was signed by former directors Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet, John Deutch, R. James Woolsey, William Webster and James R. Schlesinger.
You can read the full text of the letter here.
President Obama would do well to heed the of advice messieurs Hayden, Goss, Tenet, Deutch, Woolsey, Webster and Schlesinger… There is no good that can come from opening this can worms.
The President has already banned the use of the interrogation techniques in question and previously declared the CIA personnel who used them after September 11 would not be charged. By allowing Attorney General Holder to continue this ill-advised investigation the President will undermine the ability of CIA officers to to do their jobs effectively. More over there is no guarantee the investigation will remain narrowly focused. There is the very real risk that this investigation may ultimately undermine the ability of this president and his successors to obtain candid legal advice, as lawyers fear they may in turn by scapegoated by a future administration.
President Obama should stand by his commitment to the CIA and end this investigation before it poisons this country for years to come by criminalizing policy differences.