Ex-C.I.A. Chiefs Seek Halt to Interrogations Inquiry
Filed at 11:47 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced last month that he was appointing an independent counsel to investigate possible incidents of abuse by CIA personnel during interrogations that went beyond guidelines imposed by the Bush administration.
Welt Terroristen und Verbrecher Nr. 1: Ex-CIA Direktor Georg Tenet und Georg Bush
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…..
C.I.A. Chiefs Ask Obama to Stop Abuse Inquiry
WASHINGTON Seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency asked President Obama on Friday to shut down the new Justice Department inquiry into past abuses during interrogations of terrorism suspects, arguing that it will seriously damage the nations ability to protect itself.
In a letter to Mr. Obama, the former C.I.A. chiefs said the cases under study had already been examined by career prosecutors who found that no criminal charges were warranted. To reopen cases based on a change in which political party controls the government, they wrote, will make it harder for intelligence officers to take risks without worrying that some future attorney general might investigate them.
September 18, 2009
The White House
Dear Mr. President: