September 18th, 2009
02:25 PM ET
13 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. S Callahan

    I agree..This parading has to stop somewhere.

    September 18, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Barry In Las Vegas

    Obama won't do it because he intends to stretch this out to the next election so he can run against George Bush again.

    Obama could care less about what is good for keeping this country safe and protecting our CIA operatives.

    He is Clinton all over again – doing everything he can to make the CIA ineffective.

    September 18, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Danny

    CIA Chiefs, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld – Belong to the Jail.

    These Criminals fabricated and forged a false Intellegence report that Iraq has WMDs. This was done to win support of Americans to war with Iraq.


    September 18, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. T Mckinley

    Seven former CIA directors want the investigations to stop.

    Hmmmmmmmm...I wonder what they're trying to hide?

    September 18, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. diridi


    September 18, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Steve

    Yes, stop the investigations. The CIA is above the law. And in any case, if the GOP gets their way, we will no longer be a nation of laws. Well, at least if we try to apply those laws to them.

    The CIA was lead by the Bush team to do horrible and illegal acts. Investigate them and prosecute them!

    September 18, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Kate in SW Fla

    It is nit up to the President. Unlike with the Bush Administration, the Dept of Justice is separate. Atty Gen Holder makes the decision, based upon the law, not like the Karl Rove idea of making it a political tool of the White House. President Obama actually agrees with all these CIA Direcotrs, as do I and many others, but it is up to the Justice Dept and that is just the way it is.

    September 18, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. victim of republican greed

    I thought that in America, the office of the Attorney General is outside the jurisdiction of the White House.

    September 18, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Mike in MN

    Obama won't listen.
    Obama is really a far left liberal that needs to appear to be a centrist with the independents.
    So he gets Holder to prosecute and pretends he does not approve but says he should not interfere. So Obama gets it done and Holder is to blame not him.
    Obama wants liberal bills to be written, like the House HR3200 version for health care reform. But he can't openly define all out liberal legislation himself or he would be exposed as a liberal and not a centrist. So he has Pelosi and her gang write the liberal bills, and have it written and passed in crises mode so no one has time to read or understand them. And if after the fact people don't like them, it was Pelosi who produced it, not Obama. It was a crises and he had to go with what congress produced. Obama gets to keep his cloak as a centerist and Pelosi, who can be a full blown liberal and still get re-elected, is free to push Obama's liberal agenda.

    September 18, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. T'SAH from Virginia


    What really happened that forces these FORMER CIA directors to NOT want an investigation to take place???

    September 18, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Tony in Maine

    The people to go after are not the e-5 and below crew. They should be given a nice 12 month tour walking point in Afghanistan. That would be sufficient.

    The people who should be hauled before a grand jurys are Cheney, Rumsfeld and Tenet and their immediate subordinates. If their is probable cause, they should be tried and if convicted, I will still oppose the death penalty, but they should be dropped into a cell and left to rot.

    September 18, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Rick in OP

    Finally, some adults have entered the room.

    September 18, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. S M R

    How can we EVER move past corruption if these "Constitution trampling CROOKS" aren't brought to justice. Take them down hard to let them know ( WE WILL NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE, FROM ANYONE )

    September 18, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Mississippi Mike

    Good luck with that. Obama is openly dismantling our national defense and the national defense programs of the countries that used to be our allies. Last time Al Qaeda attacked it was a sucker punch. Now they can walk in through the front door and do their business. Obama doesn't care about our well-being, he just wants to further his agenda and live in the spotlight.

    September 18, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Walter

    Holder must be on to something.

    September 18, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Marcus

    The President has no power over the Attorney General as the Attorney General doesn't answer to the President.

    September 18, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. disgusted

    The AG is independent of the WH. Perhaps they should have addressed their concerns to the AG.

    September 18, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Roger

    Bsically what they are saying is "please stop the investigation before you discover enough evidence to indict us".

    September 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. America is America. We are all one!

    I don't agree with trying to prosecute people who were attempting to protect America and stop terrorism. It makes no sense at all. Next thing you know the democrats will be wanting to prosecute our military heros who have gone to war and did what they were sent to do. This is just purely BS from the democrats.

    September 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. Ray

    Yes, let's let the people who are guilty of illegal questioning off the hook.

    For that matter, let's just let all the criminals off. Heck, we can turn all the prisons into museums or apartment houses.


    They did wrong. They should be investigated, tried, convicted and thrown in to Leavenworth. This is America! We're supposed to be the good guys. We're supposed to have ideals and stand for freedom and justice. We're supposed to be better than the bad guys. We're supposed to have morals and follow rules like the Geneva Convention. Our law enforcement officials are supposed to remember there's this little thing called a Constitution that governs our citizens.

    And put Bush and his crew on trial, while they're at it.

    September 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Why is the CIA chief so scared of an investigation? Me thinks he doth protest too much (apologies to Shakespeare)

    September 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. zap01

    So, because of who they are, we are to throw away our legal system and turn a blind eye from crime. I had the nieve assumption that no one is above the law. I guess someone has to try to prove what I thought was fact wrong.

    September 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. Matt in MI

    They tortured people, I hope they are in "continuous jeopardy."

    September 18, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Ryan Indy

    Eric Holder is a TRAITOR to the United States of America and if Obama allows this political witchhunt to continue he will not be judged by history well.

    September 18, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Kathy

    I think it would be better to investigate and prosecute those that made the rules that allowed the thought process of CIA agents to think "anything goes" would be alright. Specifically Gonzalez and Cheney. We are a nation of laws and no one is above the law, even the CIA. A stand must be taken on this issue so that this never happens again.

    September 18, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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