September 18th, 2009
02:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Former CIA chiefs call on Obama to stop interrogation probe

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Seven former CIA directors are urging President Barack Obama to stop the criminal investigation of people involved in the CIA's harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists.

In a letter sent to the president Friday, the former directors called on Obama to reverse Attorney General Eric Holder's decision last month to reopen an investigation that they say would put intelligence officers in "continuous jeopardy" and make them risk averse.

The letter was signed by former directors who served both Democratic and Republican presidents, including three who worked in the most recent Bush administration.


Filed under: CIA • President Obama
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    I agree with them...investigate Bush and Cheney as it was THEY who ordered the use of torture in violation of U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions as part of their LONG list of illegal and immoral deeds over those eight catastrophic years. It will take America many years to recover from the damage both men did, damage that exceeded Bin Laden's wildest dreams.

    September 18, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    CIA personnel that went out of bounds described by the Bush Administration should be held accountable and a wider probe should go higher up as to who was responsible for allowing this to happen!

    September 18, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. N

    I agree, this is doing nothing but making us weak. This is a job that people take, that is dangerous, sometime questionable, but very neccessary. We need to know what is going on in the world. We cannot do this if the people who are tasked to do so are scared to do their jobs.

    Someone just put Eric Holder's picture on the cover of Time, so he can get his time in the spot light, then let this go.

    September 18, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. KATHLEEN

    How much did the Republicans pay them for this???? Or, they are Republcans, Right?

    But, I am for Obama sticking to subjects, not the past, but the future
    of American, which he is doing.

    This subject would only be sidetracking Our Pres. from more important issues. MOVE ON, for the Health of our American people.

    September 18, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Allen in Hartwell GA

    We all know that we won't like what is uncovered if that rock is rolled over, but even good intentions can go wrong when there are no limits. There must be acknowledgment and apologies made.

    September 18, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Wake Up

    Obama is attacking america:
    -Attacking our economy by 10 trillion of debt
    – Attacking our democracy by nationalizing industry
    – Attacking our freedoms though fed govt. power
    -Attacking our defense, by attacking those that keep us safe
    -Attacking us abroad by giving into any country
    on and on and on.
    WAKE UP

    September 18, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. DickCheneyTheMadharchodh

    I agree with Cheney methodology for terrorists

    September 18, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Jayden,FL

    President Obama you better not cave to these idiots! continue with the investigations

    September 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. JonDie

    I agree; Holder should be investigated Bush and Cheney for the crimes against humanity they committed from 2001 to 2009.

    September 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Grrr-awful-o

    Obama's a socialist. Why would these seven capitalists think he would listen to them? This is part of the change we can believe in, remember?

    Our new national motto: "We cave"

    September 18, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Frankly....when it comes to toturing people I think most Americans would agree that CIA agents need to be MORE "risk averse".

    Let the investigation continue aggressively!

    September 18, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. Proud Member..Party of No

    Obama and Eric Holder don't care who they are putting in harm's way. They believe America is to blame for all the bad things going on in the world and, by gosh, "the chickens have come home to roost".

    Remember Obama promised to "change the country" if he got elected and all you mindless lemmings thought he meant for the better.

    September 18, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. OldUncleTom

    Former directors would naturally be more concerned with their own culpability than with the interests of our country.

    I'm on the side of the (hopefully large) majority of dedicated professionals who work hard and BY THE RULES; their morale must be vastly improved to see rogue operators not only not promoted, but potentially punished for their wrongdoing.

    There are similar issues in law enforcement. Nobody loves the IG corps, or the IA division, but their role is necessary to promote public confidence and prevent internal crime and corruption. These people, in my book, are the real heroes, as it requires courage to stand against your own when they are wrong.

    September 18, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Polar Bears Against Palin

    Screw the CIA. If they did wrong, they must answer for it. What a bunch of arrognat SOBs at the CiA. Worthles bastards. I dare any of them to come after me for any reason. Bring it on, skunks!

    September 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Jeff in Virginia

    only the guilty would write or sign such a letter.

    September 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. southerncousin

    They more than anybody should realize what this administration is and how futile their efforts will be. This is administration has got to finish the probe to tarnish the republicans no matter how much it hurts the national security or damages our people involved in the war on terrorism. It is the liberal way, demean, diminish and degrade anything that stands in their way. Liberals are really unions and that is there tactics, that is why there is no more U S Steel, GM, Chrysler, all of the airlines and how many other businesses they have destroyed. That is a liberal.

    September 18, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Tim

    Oops, looks like Obama will have to make more room under his magic school bus.

    This would be funny if it didn't put us all at risk indirectly, and if it didn't put all the CIA officers at risk directly.

    War is dirty, you're living in la la land if you think otherwise. And you are irresponsible if you think otherwise.

    September 18, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Nevada dude

    Those who did nothing wrong have nothing to worry about. those who arent sure should come forward. those who committed crimes should be punished.

    its that simple.

    September 18, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Bush_Low_I.Q.

    No No Nope – No Stopping the Interrogation.

    CIA Manufactured a False Intelligence Report that Iraq has WMDs. This was done at the Behest of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    Stop CIA from Misleading Americans. Jail these Bastards so that Americans can never be misled again.

    September 18, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Mario, mtl, ca.

    Tenet, Mr. Tenet,,,,, please put your head on the sand and let it there

    September 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. Alphonse Klaxon

    Once upon a time, Americans did not do things like torture, nor did we hide behind lies like "enhanced interrogation" to pretend the atrocity was somehow okay.

    America tortured. America has a concentration camp. America spied on its own people with illegal wiretaps. How did we fall so far?

    September 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. S M R

    Cheney is the BIG FISH that needs to be "PUT IN HIS PLACE!!!

    September 18, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. S M R

    Orange jumpsuits for all who think they are ABOVE THE LAW.

    September 18, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. seebofubar

    Let's put Holder and Obama in a room with all of the field agents that they are about to castrate with plenty of supplies to waterboard both of them every 15 minutes until the next election. If there's enough room, maybe we can fit Pelosi in there too.

    September 18, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Tom C in NY

    I take it Barry in Las Vegas supports the use of torture. If so, he shows ignorance of law.

    September 18, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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