August 24th, 2009
02:23 PM ET
5 years ago

Officials: Obama to tap FBI to interrogate terrorists

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama has approved the establishment of a special unit of terrorist interrogators based out of the FBI, senior administration officials said Monday.

The move comes in the wake of criticism of questionable CIA interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding and the transfer of detainees to countries where torture is common.

A 2004 CIA report detailing the use of unauthorized interrogation methods - including the threatened use of a gun and an electric drill - is expected to be made public Monday.

The decision to place the FBI, rather than the CIA, in charge of the interrogations of suspected terrorists represents a major shift in U.S. national security policy.

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Filed under: CIA • President Obama
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. republicans are evil

    The republicans aren't going to like this seeing as how it's legal and all.

    August 24, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. JB - NYC

    another mistake.. this guy is batting 1000

    August 24, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. bush VICTIM

    Gosh, how I long for the good ol days of illegal torture and not know what anyone in the gov was doing during the last 8 years....

    August 24, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Rick In OP

    "The decision to place the FBI, rather than the CIA, in charge of the interrogations of suspected terrorists represents a major shift in U.S. national security policy."

    Terrorists around the world are now probably breathing a collective sigh of relief.

    August 24, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    That's right, we need to be kind to the terrorists.

    August 24, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. IllinoisTom

    Anyone else troubled by the amount of power being consolidated in the executive branch? This all looks very Nixonian to me.

    August 24, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Enough

    Oh cry me a river already. I don't care what they did to those thugs who are responsible for killing thousands of Americans, as I see it, we didn't do enough...........they still have all their fingers and toes, while they just chop off our heads. America is so foolish to think everyone plays by the nice rules.

    August 24, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. DC Insider

    That is really interesting, and it will be even more interesting to see what becomes of this. I have always been a STRONG proponent for a counter-intelligence and security agency force similiar to MI-5 in the United Kingdom. I don't think DHS can really fit the bill, and the FBI's mandate has been slowly increasing, but the FBI has a Law Enforcement Mission, which takes away from the focus of a strictly counter-intelligence/counter terrorism/security force. Just a thought. It is interesting though that Obama did this, because I thought he was not a proponent of interrogation. But then again he changed his mind on Afghanistan and is sending more troops there.

    August 24, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. No Incumbents 2010

    Bush shut out the FBI in terrorist interrogations from 2001-2009. This, despite the fact that the FBI has the best interrogators known to mankind. Apparently Bush was not looking for truthful information, but rather was looking only for false confessions to bolster the public case for war after no WMD's were found in Iraq. Once again, using national security policy for purely political purposes.

    August 24, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. RealityKing

    New techniques to include:
    Time out, Loss of TV/Phone/Computer/Blackberry privileges, Restricted to their room/not to be confused with solitary confinement..

    August 24, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Jack

    It will be interesting to see if they get results with the linen table cloths and tea.

    August 24, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Obama Victim

    Ok Abdul.....first we would like to apologize for being the Great Satan...we really feel bad about the whole letting women read thing..............now...if it not too much trouble,,,,,,,would you please tell us where those bombs are?? pleeeeeeeeze

    August 24, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. addon

    For all those that will immediately disparage the President for this investigation; let's speak plainly here:

    If any of us break the law, we will and should be investigated. No american is above the law; no matter what Darth Vader Cheney says.

    Its quite possible the Bush Administration was innocent of wrong doing. But putting guns to people's heads, mock executions, threatening the lives of someone's child is not legal. The question is : did those things happen.

    August 24, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. worriedmom

    Should we report that something appears "fishy" here. What is happening with the CIA. Why doesn't Obama trust them anymore?
    Things like this are getting scary as to what true agenda this Administration has.

    August 24, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. shmeckel

    When it comes to our national security I wish politicians would stay out. Sometimes people have to do things for our best interests that we don’t agree with. Being that is the reality, I don’t want those people making those decisions involved in politics. I don’t want my safety compromised by someone looking for votes.

    August 24, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. aneanderthal

    He should use this special unit to interrogate Maxiine Waters, to determine what blank she is. Voted several times the dumbest member of Congress and that takes a lot of dumbness. She could easily qualify for a high position in the Obama administration.

    August 24, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Edward

    Shouldn't the Office of Homeland Security be in charge of the interrogations of "terrorists"?

    August 24, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Jim Townley

    Why would FBI agents question international terrorists? Isn't the FBI for actions within our borders? Does Obama have any clue as to what he is doing other than to try to assassinate every action Pres Bush? He should start to worry about who is going to demean his own actions which are simply crazy.

    August 24, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. ketrout

    WOW! This is something, one government agency watching over another government agency. We already know the out come of this!

    This is "politics as usual!"

    August 24, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. eolufemi

    Great idea.

    This is why I like this president. He says a problem and he addresses it. The CIA gets out of hand on somebody elses watch. Instead of wasting time, he immediately shuts it down and creates a solution that's above reproach.

    August 24, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    Sources tell CNN that harsh new interrogation methods will include extended periods of Neil Diamond music, followed by forced watching of "Leave it to Beaver" reruns. Failure to comply will result in having detainees air conditioning units turned up 2 degrees.

    August 24, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Pepou

    And what about prosecuting the "electricians" ?

    August 24, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Mississippi Mike

    This is the CIA's job. Continuing to weaken the CIA is the WORST thing we can do for national security. Does our president even care if we get attacked again? It's almost like he's inviting it.

    August 24, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Andy J, NY, NY

    distraction, distraction

    obamacare is tanking and its time for a distraction.

    we are too many, you won't ram any more of your crap down our throats

    by the way, im sick of the republicans thinking this is their "opportunity" to regain power.

    i don't want either of these lying parties in power. I'm a Libertarian, which is what many of the Founding Fathers would have been, i believe.

    August 24, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. S M R

    Great move MR. President. You really need to watch your back and cover all bases. What a great Administration we have.

    August 24, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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