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. Paul from Phoenix

    I hope that people realize these new interrogators will continue to do what they feel is necessary to extract information.

    August 24, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Counting the days until the Obamanation is GONE and America can prosper again

    At least the CIA only THREATENED. The poor misunderstood ittle bitty Terrorists would have used them for real.

    August 24, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Maria

    The use of the FBI in this investigation is somewhat encouraging.

    Where and from whom the orders came would be far more interesting.

    Where are the soldiers of the caliber who asked Rumsfeld point-blank, in the field, why they had sub-standardcovers for their hummers. All soldiers should be allowed to voice their questions and should be allowed to testify for FBI investigation.

    Brunswick,MD

    August 24, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Melissa

    So long as they don't torture people, its all good.

    August 24, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Dennis

    I suppose the new interrogation techniques will include tickling information out of terorists.

    August 24, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Randolph Carter the koolaid chuggin' Obamabot

    I'd advise making terror suspects watch Pauly Shore movies until they talk, but that would be excessively cruel and is probably illegal. Have a nice day!

    August 24, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. victim of republican greed

    Putting the FBI in charge is a smart move. What a mess the last administration created. Too bad Bush and Cheney only read the junior high school version of 'Cliff Notes' on the Constitution.

    I am sure violations against humanity create a sense of pride in the right wing nuts.

    August 24, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Hal

    I guess we need to have something else to talk about besides Obama's poll numbers going down and the healthcare bust! Typical Democrats!

    August 24, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Jane Smith

    Another way to foolishly spend more tax payers money.

    August 24, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Larry from RI

    Those of you who support torture are no better than our enemies and should be regarded as such!

    Where is your moral high ground when the same is done to our kids?

    What could you possibly say against such brutality when you are cut from the same cloth as the barbarians?

    What separates you from these animals?

    Nothing!

    August 24, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Libertarian

    Having the FBI cover these interrogations truly puts "checks and balances" in place. Simply laying everything under the control of one agency keeps everyone else in the dark and always leads to issues.

    I applaud our President for putting this measure in place. And anyone who thinks the FBI doesn't have the talent should take another look. These guys just might be BETTER trained at getting FACTS from suspects rather than "fabrication just to make the pain stop".

    Hey....since January Obama has taken out THREE TOP terrorist suspects in Pakistan. GW.....zero.

    August 24, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. victim of republican greed

    About the only thing that the Bush administration got right was his destruction of the republican party in 8 years. The only ones left are the wing nuts.

    August 24, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    Although the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group will be housed at the FBI, it will actually report to the National Security Council. The National Security Council reports to the President, so this unit will be very close to the President.

    August 24, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Rob

    Let's see, in the last couple weeks we've had Obama's 'Truth Squads' trying to keep real Americans from voicing their concerns over this disaster called Obama-care, now we have the creation of Obama's special Interrogation Squad. Yet, looking on his soft stance on radical Islamic fundamentalists (the real terrorists), it makes you wonder what he's going to consider 'terrorist'.

    Funny how the libs spent 8 years trying to accuse Bush of being a facist/dictator/whatever. The only difference is, while they falsely accused Bush of it, Obama's actually doing it.

    Hmm, I wonder which arm my Obama Identification Tattoo would look better on?

    August 24, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. D. Tree

    He's bringing our interrogation program into legal norms – very smart.

    People tend to forget Obama is a brilliant Constitutional Lawyer, and in the end one of his greater legacies may be the way he brings the flaky, amateur Bush policies into legality.

    August 24, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. OldUncleTom

    Probably a wise decision. The FBI is a police force. Terrorism is a crime. It is a good fit, one that G-Men have been trained to deal with.

    Let the spooks go back to eyeballing the Soviets. In a decade or so, they will learn that the Soviet Union is no more. Maybe they will tell the Air Force... maybe not, if its "need to know".

    August 24, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. independent

    At least it doesn't look like it will be carried out by mercenaries, with no one accountable. I hope the oversight will be sufficient enough for Americans to begin to have faith in their government again.

    August 24, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Ecor

    OK. Would this be considered illegal? Strapping the terrorists to a chair bolted to the floor and his mouth tapped shut. He is then shown see two plates on a rotating table in front of him. The two plates are separated by a curtain. The first plate is rotated in front of him and contains tempting treats; figs, chocolate, etc. Salivation begins...but he can only swallow. The second is rotated into position and contains matzah balls...but he cannot spit. Certainly illegal says the ACLU.

    August 24, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Shekar

    Another diversion from real current issues! OBAMA is a clever politician (I mean his political advisors)

    August 24, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. J

    Bush and Cheney Administrations future doesn't look that great.
    Things starting to smell fishy!
    This might be just a beginning for many more serious stuffs to come.
    GOP is full of lies, no surprise here!

    August 24, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. Bob in Pa

    As if the FBI doesn't have enough to do already.

    August 24, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. Rizza

    I guess he is getting tired of terrorizing the CIA now. Obama is not interested in interrogating any terrorists he just wants to have the justice department prosecute our own people. More people every day are seeing the HUGE mistake made in electing Obama.

    August 24, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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