Sen. Lieberman Slams Holder’s Investigation of CIA Officials

A statement from the Connecticut senator on AG Holder’s decision to name a prosecutor to investigate and potentially criminally charge CIA interrogators:

“I respectfully regret this decision by Attorney General Holder and fear our country will come to regret it too because an open ended criminal investigation of past CIA activity, which has already been condemned and prohibited, will have a chilling effect on the men and women agents of our intelligence community whose uninhibited bravery and skill we depend on every day to protect our homeland from the next terrorist attack. Career prosecutors in the Department of Justice have previously reviewed allegations of abuse and concluded that prosecution was not warranted, with the exception of one CIA contractor who has already been convicted. President Obama has established clear guidelines to ensure that past abuses are not repeated and has stated his desire to look forward rather than backward.

“We cannot take for granted the fact that our homeland has not been attacked since September 11, 2001. That has occurred only because of the constant vigilance and unflinching efforts by those brave individuals in our military, civilian homeland security and counterterrorism agencies, and the intelligence community. These public servants must of course live within the law but they must also be free to do their dangerous and critical jobs without worrying that years from now a future Attorney General will authorize a criminal investigation of them for behavior that a previous Attorney General concluded was authorized and legal.”

Here’s the statement from the president’s press secretary:

The President has said repeatedly that he wants to look forward, not back, and the President agrees with the Attorney General that those who acted in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance should not be prosecuted. Ultimately, determinations about whether someone broke the law are made independently by the Attorney General.

Update: Sen. McConnell’s statement:

“We must remain mindful that we still are very much a nation at war with terrorists who spend every hour of their day planning how to hurt America and Americans. That’s why reports that the Department of Justice has directed a special prosecutor to investigate the men and women tasked with keeping America safe is such a poor and misguided decision.
“Several years ago, career professionals at the Department decided the facts did not support prosecuting America’s intelligence professionals based on the practices at issue today. Now, the administration risks chilling our defense and intelligence community’s ability to protect us from future terrorist attacks by reopening this matter. If these reports are true, the American people will be rightly outraged by the administration’s actions in this critical area.”

Posted by John McCormack
The Weekly Standard

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