When Seven Former CIA Directors Tell You You’re Drunk, You’d Better Lie Down


Ex-CIA Chiefs Decry Holder Interrogator Probe in Letter to Obama

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.

. . .

in their letter to Obama, the directors wrote that not only is there a significant personal burden put on agents forced to defend themselves, “but this approach will seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country.”

They added that the president has the authority to decide which legal recommendations to permit for interrogation methods, but at no time is public disclosure helpful for intelligence officers trying to protect the U.S. from further attacks.

The directors also warned that if the investigations are opened up, they fear that the assistance given to the United States by foreign intelligence agencies may jeopardize future cooperation.

“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,” they wrote. “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.

See also:
Text of Letter (PDF)
Ex-CIA chiefs seek halt to interrogations probe
Former CIA Chiefs Ask Obama to Stop CIA Probe
Former C.I.A. Chiefs Protest Justice Inquiry of Interrogation Methods
Ex-CIA chiefs urge Obama to drop abuse investigation
CIA chiefs: Obama’s partisan witch hunt will compromise national defense
Former CIA chiefs promote a cover-up
Holder Declares War On The CIA

Let’s recap, these imnterrogations were already thoroughly investigated years ago by carreer prosecutors. Reopening these investigations will demoralize CIA employees, devestate morale at the agency, and compromise national security. Foreign intelligence agencies will be hesitant to cooperate with the CIA for fear any resulting U.S. legal proceedings will reveal their sources and methods.

/in light of this letter from 35 years worth of CIA directors that was delivered today, it should be a no-brainer for Obama to do the right thing and end Holder’s investigaton, but seeing as how we’ve gotten to this point in the first place, I have my serious doubts that the welfare of the United States will be Obama’s first priority

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