Panetta: No Prosecution Of… CIA Interrogators

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will not prosecute CIA officers who participated in harsh interrogations that critics say crossed the line into torture, CIA Director-nominee Leon Panetta said Friday.

Asked by The Associated Press if that was official policy, Panetta said, “That is the case.”

It was the clearest statement yet on what Panetta and other Democratic officials had only strongly suggested: CIA officers who acted on legal orders from the Bush administration would not be held responsible for those policies. On Thursday, he told senators that the Obama administration had no intention of seeking prosecutions for that reason.

Panetta, in an interview with the AP after a second day of confirmation hearings with the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that he arrived at that conclusion even before he began meeting with CIA officials.

“It was my opinion we just can’t operate if people feel even if they are following the legal opinions of the Justice Department” they could be in danger of prosecution, he said.

Panetta demurred on saying whether the Obama administration would take legal action against those who authorized or wrote the legal opinions that, for a time, set an extremely high legal bar for an action to constitute torture.

“I’ll leave that for others,” Panetta said

There’s more…

Why Panetta? Since when does Panetta make the call for DOJ? Where is confirmation from Holder?


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    • Edger on February 7, 2009 at 03:21

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  1. the Congress the Senate, everybody in the government thought this was a necessity, torture them, bomb them, kill them, indiscriminately. Democrats, republicans they all jumped on the terrorist kill train. Dehumanizing makes it so much easier to bomb kill and torture. The enemy is evil we are good, how sick is this. Meanwhile Goldstein is alive and we need to find and kill him. After that we will all be safe! What a by-partisan bunch of hooey. No prosecution as thease spooks wee just doing their patriotic duty.  

  2. but stopped collecting, missed this story, BUT just added to OND. thanks edger.  

    • robodd on February 7, 2009 at 18:23

    or Obama official policy.  He may just be trying to be “one of the boys” at CIA, when he really has no control of the issue.

    • eronel on February 8, 2009 at 22:17

    If Panetta does not believe in the rule of law, Panetta should not head the CIA.  

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