Jim Kouri
Bin Laden operation: CIA officers praised for their 'transgressions'?
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By Jim Kouri
May 3, 2011

No one expects the denizens of America's newsrooms to remind Americans that the Obama Administration all but prosecuted those CIA officers who interrogated terrorism suspects — especially now that President Barack Obama and his minions are taking bows for the elimination of Osama bin Laden.

However, some patriots remember the days when Attorney General Eric Holder threatened to investigate and arrest intelligence officers for their so-called "aggressive interrogations" of terrorists.

In September 2009, US Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, issued the a biting statement to the National Association of Chiefs of Police after learning that the Department of Justice intended to continue its investigation of terrorist interrogations and that Attorney General Eric Holder is intent on naming a special prosecutor to investigate CIA officers engaged in counterterrorism.

"At the same time the situation in Afghanistan is getting decidedly worse and the Taliban is advancing, the Obama Justice Department is launching an investigation that risks disrupting CIA counterterrorism initiatives. This is the last thing that should happen when the president is sending more troops into harm's way, and the nation's top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said over the weekend that al-Qaeda still remains a threat to America and our interests abroad," stated Congressman Hoekstra in 2009.

"Attorney General Holder should know that as he increases the focus on America's past counterterrorism efforts, he is distracting from the CIA's current counterterrorism efforts. Having recently been forced to drop cases due to prosecutorial misconduct at DOJ, the attorney general argued that these were rare instances and not part of a broader problem. The same can be said of the CIA, where the agency initiated the investigation, reported cases of misconduct and disciplined the officers involved," he said

"President Obama has said repeatedly that he wants to move forward, but his Justice Department seems intractably stuck in reverse. The message from the administration is completely confused, and the men and women at the CIA who we ask to protect our nation have been left in the lurch. The attorney general needs to stop his zealous attempt to make this out to be a systemic problem, when unlike cases such as the 2001 Peru shoot down, the CIA IG did not find evidence that there was a systemic problem. Disgruntled lawyers at DOJ, having lost the debate that America's counterterrorism efforts should be focused on prevention not prosecution, need to put an end to this bureaucratic turf battle," Hoekstra stated.

Groups such as Amnesty International, Code Pick and others applauded Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate cases brought to the Department of Justice against members of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The premise of this questionable investigation was the allegations of misconduct by interrogators who questioned suspected terrorist leaders and their foot soldiers.

According to the CIA's inspector general's report, during Bush-era interrogations of suspects, CIA agents carried out mock executions — although no one was physically harmed — and the agents made threats of violent torture.

"It is important to note that incidents of inappropriate, unauthorized conduct cited in the 2004 IG report were dealt with. The unauthorized conduct had been exhaustively reviewed in the past, including by the House committee. That the Obama administration apparently is planning to reopen these cases after thorough review by nonpartisan prosecutors raises serious questions" said Congressman Hoekstra.

"The American people have made it clear, they want the CIA to focus on exactly what its mission should be — disrupting and defeating our nation's enemies and preventing the next attack," Hoekstra said in closing.

"Attorney General Holder [had] been biting at the bit since he took office in January to go after someone — anyone — regarding what he views as torture, although the IG's report reveals there were only threats of doing physical harm to the terrorists and their associates," said former NYPD Det. Sid Franes, a former intelligence officer.

"The timing of this news is suspect, as well. Obama's having trouble with his left-wing supporters and with this move by Holder, the Obama Admninistration is throwing them a bone to keep them from deserting him during his push to pass a health care bill," said the decorated detective and former Marine at that time.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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