Ok, maybe not pardon, but immunize them from prosecution.
Like it or not…and BOY do I not like it….the CIA is necessary. Well, let me rephrase. The United States needs a robust and effective Intelligence apparatus. What initials we refer to it by is not that important. What is important is that we have am Intelligence gathering agency. Preferably a law abiding one. Definitely a non-politicized one. And VERY definitely, one that does not torture. And certainly one that, unlike our current CIA, does not maintain a network of secret prisons, torture ships, and a dedicated rendition airline.
The incredible infrastructure of America’s Industrial Torture Machine shocks the conscience of those whose consciences have not been sledgehammered into oblivion by the continuous parade of immoral actions of the Bush years. Bush and Cheney sold us a new reality of America as torturers and wagers of aggressive war, and apparently, as is our pavlovian consumerist wont, a LOT of Americans bought it. At the price of moral clarity and our national conscience.
As much as I have opposed and reviled the CIA throughout my life as they have traveled the globe toppling legitimate governments, starting wars and shaping the world from behind a black op veil….the CIA has always been a tool. A tool that much like the military, American Presidents use to enforce and extend (see Clausewitz) their foreign policy. At no time in the noxious, stained history of the CIA has that been more poignant than here at the close of the most noxious, stained Presidential administration ever.
As we can see from this:
One former CIA agent says that every punch, every slap, was individually authorized through Langley:
The former intelligence officer says the interrogators’ activities were carefully directed from Langley, Va., every step of the way.
“It wasn’t up to individual interrogators to decide, ‘Well, I’m gonna slap him. Or ‘I’m going to shake him.’ Or ‘I’m gonna make him stay up for 48 hours.’ Each one of these steps, even though they’re minor steps, like the intention shake– or the openhanded belly slap, each one of these had to have the approval of the Deputy Director for Operations.
“. . . . [B]efore you laid a hand on him, you had to send in the cable saying, ‘He’s uncooperative. Request permission to do X.’ And that permission would come. ‘You’re allowed to him one time in the belly with an open hand.'”
Think about how extraordinary that statement is! Agents in the field, were marionettes, getting directions from the White House basement, relayed through CIA HQ at Langley, about every single blow, every zap, every drop of waterboarding. And Cheney admits it!
It also turns out that the White House has it’s own interrogation room in the basement. Sounds more like Saddam’s basement than our president’s, doesn’t it?
(Please excuse the triple link! It was the best way to H/T all concerned.)