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Publisher / Editor:
Paul Hayden

Back off the CIA

September 21, 2009

Although President Obama and his friend Attorney General Eric Holder may be chomping at the bit to open investigations of CIA interrogation methods under former President Bush, there are myriad reasons why they should not proceed. First and foremost, it's simply wrong to waste government (read: taxpayer) resources barking up this pitiful tree. As the younger generations say, there's no "there" there.

Seven ex-CIA directors, who served under both Republican and Democrat presidents, have penned a joint letter to the current president imploring him to overturn his erstwhile AG's order to conduct the witchhunt disguised as an impartial and necessary investigation. In the letter, the former directors cite several reasons for their request, one of the key being that an investigation was already performed four years ago by career prosecutors. To quote, "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." In other words, Holder's planned investigation is, from a non-political view, totally redundant. Knowing that, the ex-directors went on to claim, "there is no reason to expect that the re-opened criminal investigation will remain narrowly focused." Sorry Mr. Holder, these guys have you all figured out.

Holder, supposedly the consummate attorney, is creating a double jeopardy situation for CIA personnel who already take risks for this nation that most of us would never in our wildest imaginations would dream of taking. The implications for our national security are enormous, given the backdrop of the administration's vacillating over Iran and overturning the Bush administration's commitment on missile defense in Eastern Europe.

Further, the ex-directors point out that our allies may no longer trust us with joint operations and secrecy in critical matters. To quote, "another 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. Foreign services are already greatly concerned about the United States' inability to maintain any secrets. They rightly fear that, through these additional investigations and the court proceedings that could follow, terrorists may learn how other countries came to our assistance in a time of peril. The United States promised these foreign countries that their cooperation would never be disclosed. 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."

Keep in mind that all the while as Holder was ordering this investigation, Obama's stance is that the past is passed and he wants to look forward. Since his personal integrity has already taken several huge hits in his first few months, allowing this investigation to proceed is in essence breaking yet another promise at a time when he can ill afford to do so. The ex-directors, patriots all, are giving the president a graceful out should he choose to exercise it.

For months now, we have wondered just how malevolent the intentions of this administration really are. If Obama does not heed the advice of these esteemed men who once headed our central intelligence operations, an indisputable answer to that question will be obtained. Obama and his minion Holder will have shown the nation, once and for all, that their agenda supersedes the best interests of our nation.

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