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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CIA hurt by 'administration's war with the U.S. intelligence community'

A senior member of Congress said last week that Justice Department prosecutions of CIA personnel over detainee treatment is undermining morale at the agency and prompting resignations.


Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich. and ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, stated in an op-ed in The Washington Times that U.S. intelligence also is short-changing warfighters in Afghanistan.

“We are concerned that the Obama administration's war with the U.S. intelligence community is denying our troops the intelligence they need and is placing them at an unjustifiable and unnecessarily greater risk,” Hoekstra wrote, along with Rep. John Shadegg.

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The congressmen stated that the risk of investigation and prosecution of CIA officers involved in the war on terrorism “is causing CIA officers to flee from such jobs or leave the CIA entirely.”

The lawmakers cited the Sept. 18 letter from seven former CIA directors to President Obama urging him to reverse the investigation of detainee treatment by CIA officers.

The former directors stated that intelligence successes often require surprise and deception and on creating uncertainty in the mind of the enemy.

“The administration must be mindful that public disclosure about past intelligence operations can only help Al Qaida elude US intelligence and plan future operations,” they stated. “Disclosures about CIA collection operations have and will continue to make it harder for intelligence officers to maintain the momentum of operations that have saved lives and helped protect America from further attacks.”

The former chiefs also stated that the reopening of investigations is harming U.S. intelligence efforts to counter terrorism. “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,” they said. “In our judgment such risk-taking is vital to success in the long and difficult fight against the terrorists who continue to threaten us.”

The letter was signed by Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet, John Deutch, R. James Woolsey, William Webster, and James R. Schlesinger.


What is misguided is the investigation and possible prosecution of intelligence personnel that have already been investigated and cleared by a previous administration. CIA officers are being subjected to double jeopardy. It is outlandish that these people have only done what was asked of them, their methods were investigated and cleared and now for solely political reasons are subject to further prosecution. Secrecy of sources and methods is not the issue; political prosecution is the issue. This whole thing is a political farce and Eric Holder should be stopped.

T Higgins      6:24 a.m. / Wednesday, October 8, 2009

I find this line of logic misguided. The Congressional committees should be the lead investigators on these matters. The results could be classified, and the investigation could be done during closed sessions.

Andrew      12:54 a.m. / Wednesday, October 8, 2009

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