April 9th, 2009
06:01 PM ET
14 years ago

CIA director says no more contractor interrogations

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/09/art.getty.cia.panetta.jpg caption="CIA Director Leon Panetta has carried through on his pledge to prohibit independent contractors from conducting interrogations of terror suspects."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - CIA Director Leon Panetta has carried through on his pledge to prohibit independent contractors from conducting interrogations of terror suspects.

In a message to Agency employees on Thursday, Panetta said he had notified the Congressional oversight committees about the current CIA policy regarding interrogations.

Besides discontinuing the use of contractors, the director outlined the other steps taken in response to the executive orders issued by President Obama in January.

The harsh interrogation techniques authorized by the Bush administration will no longer be used. Panetta said questioning of suspected terrorists will follow the approaches authorized in the Army Field Manual. The Director said the Agency will "not tolerate, and will continue to promptly report, any inappropriate behavior or allegations of abuse." He added that the guidelines applied both to suspects held by Americans and to those who might have been transferred to other countries.

The secret prisons used to detain captured terrorists have been been shuttered.
Panetta said no individuals have been detained since he became director nearly two months ago. However, he said the "CIA retains the authority to detain individuals on a short-term basis."

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein issued a statement in support of Panetta's actions, in particular the decision to drop contractors. "I am very pleased that Mr. Panetta has announced that contractors will no longer conduct interrogations," said Feinstein, who had previously sponsored legislation to end the progress.

Filed under: CIA • Leon Panetta
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. EBC, MD

    Another sign of this Administration's house cleaning expertise!

    This is WHY all the Republicans are PISSED OFF, it's because their gravy train is drying up. Dick Cheney is VERY BEST because Haliburton's GREEDY TRAIN valve has been shut off!!

    April 9, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Thank you! It is a sad day when American even consider the torture of another human being as being anything but barbaric. Would you torture an animal? If you answered yes, then you have some serious problems. Rush and the rest need to step back and look deep into their souls. There has never been any good information that has come from torture, according to sources who would know a lot more than Rush on the subject.

    April 9, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. dittohead using forty names

    Of course we believe you mr. Panetta.The cia would never lie or cover anything up.

    April 9, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. ray ray

    Panetta said questioning of suspected terrorists will follow the approaches authorized in the Army Field Manual.

    How sweet... I guess when "please" and "pretty please" don't work with our enemies... we can convey how "deeply concerned" we are with their activities.

    Look how well it works with North Korea, Iran, and Somali Pirates!

    April 9, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. Brodie J. Bell

    well thats just great! what this is sayign is that the bush administration which isnt all just (BUSH) completly broke the rules of the American constitution and rights of the american people! it cant get any less patriotic then that! and wheres the moral of the story, that U.S.A and what it was founded on is a complete joke! basically him and his adminastrattion pissed on our founding farthers. sad yes i know! but unforutantley it is still going on today! we must not forget that. im glad some sort of action is being applyed to this story! i love this country and i love that man Obama so much. Now lets not talk about all the corrupt wall street pirates omg! thats a different story! lol

    April 9, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. please

    Waiting for Cheney, Giuliani, Rush and the other crazies to start whining about how we are not safe anymore because contractors can't torture people anymore. 3-2-1....

    April 9, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. Neil

    This amounts to more smoke and mirrors designed to draw attention away from the fact Obama not only supports the Bush Administration's subversion of the Bill of Rights but seeks to expand government power and shield itself from redress by the public. This is a direct contradiction to promises he made during the campaign.
    Obama says we don't torture. Panetta says secret prisons are shuttered. Where is the independent verification? What says Amnesty International? What says The United Nations? Until there is independent verification of these statements, can we really trust a president that says one thing and does another? Isn't that what the election was all about?
    What is the administration's opinion on the use of torture by our allies? Do we support our allies kidnapping and torturing people? Would we then use that information?
    Why is Obama trying to protect people responsible for the kidnapping and torture of foreign nationals. Why is he trying to protect US officials from domestic civil rights violations?
    Why does he lie to us?

    April 9, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. annie - Palin 2012

    Oh why not? He pushes everything else or sneaks it thru when he thinks no one is looking. Gee America needs a bunch more drug dealers who are legal.

    April 9, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. Frank

    So ... Take this scenario: we know that a small dirty nuke has been planted in NYC and we know that this guy knows where it's at. We're going to interrogate him using Army Manual guidelines??
    Ah, yes. A return to the good ol' Jimmy Carter days!

    April 9, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. Michigander

    Chalk up one for the good guys!
    Now, Obama, stop the wiretapping!

    April 9, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. phoenix86

    Here on in it's the white glove treatment for those who try to butcher Americans.

    April 9, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. Karen

    I am glad to hear that this policy is changing.

    April 9, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. Laura

    Yes, bravo!! It's about time! The U.S. needs to behave with the same morals that we expect of other countries. That behavior is unconstitutional, immoral, and cannot continue. I wholeheartedly applaud this.

    April 9, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. Moderate Democrat

    But, but, but…torture has worked wonders! Because of it there have been ZERO terrorist attacks AROUND the world…..oh wait, nevermind….

    April 9, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. Voter

    At long last, the US is living up to its promise in regard to human rights!

    April 9, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. How about no interrogations at all.....?

    Why should we inconvenience terrorists? Just buy them a first class ticket home and send them off with a bottle of champagne.

    April 9, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  17. Bill in California

    HARSH IS loping off the heads of innocent people in front of the world, HARSH IS flying jetliners into buildings killing all the innocent on board and many of those inside the structure. Yes, there should be a limit to interrogation techniques. That technique is whatever works, short of death.

    April 9, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. Rob from Pa

    I think Leon should do all interrogations on his own. Maybe whip them with a wet noodle.

    April 9, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  19. ib

    Boy this will make our country safer from attack. This is what you get when you put someone who doesn't know anything over the CIA. Thank you Mr. Weak President.

    April 9, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  20. Roland

    It's unbelievable that were even talking about contracting out pain and suffering to begin with let alone dispensing it ourselves.

    April 9, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. mr. Panetta, get the CIA off the front page

    quit talking about the CIA and get on the business of protecting us

    April 9, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. James

    This is long over due , treat people as you would like to be treated certainly applies here.

    April 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  23. go away mongers -Ventura CA

    More good news! I was so glad President Obama won in November, and I am even more glad now that we see him CHANGING the Country and the World for the better.
    The "party of NO" stands out more than usual!

    April 9, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |