7 ex-CIA chiefs ask Obama to stop attorney general's probe of Bush-era harsh interrogations | StarTribune.com
1. What living ex-CIA boss did NOT sign on?Seven former CIA directors asked President Barack Obama on Friday to quash a criminal probe of harsh interrogations of terror suspects during the Bush administration.
The CIA directors, who served both Democratic and Republican presidents and include three who worked under President George W. Bush, made their request in a letter Friday to the White House.
The incidents were referred by the CIA inspector general to the Justice Department during the Bush administration, but Justice officials at the time prosecuted only one case.
"If criminal investigations closed by career prosecutors during one administration can so easily be reopened at the direction of political appointees in the next, declinations of prosecution will be rendered meaningless," wrote the former directors.
The seven former CIA directors included Michael Hayden, Porter Goss and George Tenet, who served under Bush; John Deutch and James Woolsey, who worked for President Bill Clinton; William Webster, who served under President George H.W. Bush; and James Schlesinger, who ran the agency under President Richard Nixon. Tenet also served under Clinton.
They urged Obama to reverse Holder's Aug. 24 decision to reopen the investigation of interrogations following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
2. The opinion expressed by Hayden, Goss, Tenet, Deutch, Woolsey, Webster and Schlesinger (who served both Bushes, Clinton and Nixon) appears to be consensus.
3. Obama's siccing of Holder on the CIA is seen as the crassest of low-class politics.
4. And, as such, it's a (political) loser---when's the last time you heard the president or any of his people mention the prosecution?
5. Why does no one even know the prosecutor's name?
6. Since these interrogations have already been looked into in tedious detail, doing it all in redux is a demonstration of double jeopardy.
7. And don't forget---this harsher treatment of hairy backed Khalid Sheikh Mohammad flipped the 9-11 mastermind from guru of gore into apt teacher of terrorist tutorials.
8. The 7 ex spymasters are 100% correct---agents cannot function ably in their duties in the present when they worry that the rules under which they operate can be re-written in retrospect and recriminated tomorrow by some future administration for political purposes.
9. They also worry that foreign governments will be reluctant to cooperate with US intelligence ongoing if the probe continues.
10. "As a result of the zeal on the part of some to uncover every action taken in the post-9/11 period, many countries may decide that they can no longer safely share intelligence or cooperate with us on future counter-terrorist operations. They simply cannot rely on our promises of secrecy," the letter says.
11. Investigators into these incidents in the past have passed on prosecuting because the chances of winning a conviction are non existent.
12. Occurrences in question happened so long ago and half a planet away, memories are sure to be "uncooperative."
13. The acts being looked to, fundamentally, are absurd---threats never carried thru, power drills never plugged in, second hand cigarette smoke fumed into murderers' mugs...
14. But mostly---to get a guilty verdict, the anonymous prosecutor must prove INTENT.
15. The EIT's, in addition, were specifically ok'd by Langley's leaders, whom Ms Pelosi preposterously reproached as prevaricators.
16. Current director Panetta did not personally rubber stamp the correspondence, but his profanity-packed proclivities are public knowledge, presently.
17. Obama's impetus for reversing himself and going back on his pledge NOT to politicize the valiant efforts of our successful CIA was his attempt to placate the progressives in his party, discomposed as they were by his dumping of their precious public option.
18. And yet, even at that, the chief exec acted characteristically cowardly and compromising, looking only to the lowest levels of Langley to lash out at while letting the leaders waltz.
19. Why aren't the White House and its diminshing base making hay of this issue, and why, on the other hand, ARE his critics?
20. Quick, without googling, NAME the prosecutor.