A bipartisan team of seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency wrote a letter to President Obama today urging him to exercise his constitutional authority over Attorney General Eric Holder reverse the re-opening of criminal investigations into the CIA’s treatment of detainees following the attacks of September 11.
The seven former directors include: 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.
From their letter:
The post-September 11 interrogations for which the Attorney General is opening an inquiry were investigated four years ago by career prosecutors. The CIA, at its own initiative, forwarded fewer than 20 instances where Agency officers appeared to have acted beyond their existing legal authorities. Career prosecutors under the supervision of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia determined that one prosecution (of a CIA contractor) was warranted. A conviction was later obtained. They determined that prosecutions were not warranted in the other cases. 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.
Not only will some members of the intelligence community be subjected to costly financial and other burdens from what amounts to endless criminal investigations, but this approach will seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country. In our judgment such risk-taking is vital to success in the long and difficult fight against the terrorists who continue to threaten us.
Read the whole letter, here.
More on Holder’s War on the CIA, here.