Who cares if investigating crime will cramp the CIA’s style?

Posted on Sunday 30 August 2009

Former Top Interrogators Back Wide-Ranging Criminal Probe Into Torture
By Jason Leopold
The Public Record
Aug 23rd, 2009

… Jack Cloonan, a former FBI security and counterterrorism expert who was assigned to the agency’s elite Bin Laden Unit, Col. Steve Kleinman, a career military intelligence officer recognized as one of the Defense Department’s most effective interrogators, and Matthew Alexander,who was the senior interrogator for the task force in Iraq that tracked down al-Qaeda-in-Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006, said ignoring clear-cut evidence of interrogation-related crimes would encourage more law-breaking in the future. Alexander uses a pseudonym for security reasons.

Cloonan and Kleinman, who conducted interrogations of terror suspects after 9/11, disputed claims by former CIA Director Michael Hayden and Republican lawmakers that a criminal investigation would damage intelligence gathering and could lead to another 9/11-type attack on the United States. In an interview, Cloonan and Kleinman said Hayden and the lawmakers were sounding “false alarms” in an effort to keep serious crimes from being exposed. “What this is really about is cover your ass,” Cloonan said. “To suggest [intelligence gathering] will come to a screeching halt if there were an investigation is not accurate”…

… Cloonan and Kleinman said Hayden and the GOP senators were sounding “false alarms” in an effort to keep serious crimes from being exposed and prosecuted. Cloonan, who retired in 2002 after more than 25 years in the FBI, said neither he nor the intelligence community believes that an investigation into torture will result in a threat to national security…
Jason has written a good article. These guys have the sound of truth-sayers. But that’s not why it’s posted here. Who cares if investigating crime will cramp the CIA’s style? That’s Bush Administration logic extrordinaire! They don’t believe in the Law, only political expediency. I’ll bet prosecuting Madoff put a damper on Hedge Fund sales and prosecuting Abramoff hurt the Indian’s Casino business. Who cares?! The Rule of Law trumps all things.

The statement, "Prosecuting criminal behavior will undermine National Security" is absurd in an absolute sense. In my last post, I quoted Cheney accusing Obama of disavowing responsibility for Holder’s decision to investigate the Torture Program. His claim is that the President is the Chief Legal Officer on the land. Well how about Tricky Dick Nixon’s little try at that? As I recall, he gave that idea a spin, and it didn’t fly. And how about the fact that the entire upper echelon of the DoJ resigned when they were caught trying to control the DoJ from the White House [US Attorney firings]?

I agree with these former interrogators when they say that an investigation won’t interfere with anything. But the more important point is that even if it did, if there’s cause for investigation – press on with vigor. It’s about reestablishing the Rule of Law in American government after the Bush Administration abandoned it. If we are not a nation of laws, we’re not a nation. We’re just a bunch of subgroups fighting for power…
    Woody Harriman
    August 31, 2009 | 7:57 AM

    This is just incidental — but hasn’t your National Debt Counter slowed to about half its former rate?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.