CIA terminates secret prisons but rejects prosecutions

Leon Panetta

Leon Panetta

In a statement issued on Thursday morning, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said it will terminate its secret prison network and would “decommission” all of its overseas prison sites. The news was undoubtedly welcomed by many intelligence professionals who took issue with the use of techniques that President Barack Obama has described as “torture [that] betrayed American values, alienated allies and became a recruiting tool for al Qaeda”. Speaking to The New York Times, the director of Human Rights Watch’s Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program, Joanne Mariner, said the news was “incredibly heartening and important”. But she called for initiating criminal investigations against those at the CIA who implemented the institutionalization of torture. This is highly unlikely, however. In an email to CIA staff, the Agency’s new Director, Leon E. Panetta, repeated last week the standard CIA position that those responsible for implementing and carrying out torture during the Bush Administration “should not be investigated, let alone punished”. IntelNews has been reporting since January 15, 2009, that the Obama administration has no intention to punish CIA officers involved in torturing terrorism detainees, some of whom have been found to have committed murder. Speaking before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Panetta said last February that CIA officers “ought not to be prosecuted or investigated if they acted pursuant to the law as presented by the attorney general” at the time. That this interpretation is shared by the President was publicly confirmed by no other than departing CIA Director, Michael V. Hayden. Speaking to journalists about his then-imminent departure from the Agency, Hayden made sure to let them know that Mr. Obama privately assured him “he has no plans to launch a legal inquiry” into the CIA’s use of torture in the “war on terrorism”.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

2 Responses to CIA terminates secret prisons but rejects prosecutions

  1. colin says:

    wow, all i can say is wtf.

  2. Steve0215 says:

    Has the US become so thinned skinned that we are more afraid what the rest of the world thinks about us, or protecting us. Let the CIA do what they do best, get information and protect us.

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