August 25th, 2009
03:14 PM ET

CIA flap a huge headache for Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/25/gloria.borger.cia/art.cia.gi.jpg caption="The Central Intelligence Agency is under fire for harsh interrogation techniques used after 9/11."]
Gloria Borger
CNN Senior Political Analyst

No matter which way you look at it, the question is painfully difficult: What - if anything - do we do about the post 9/11 behavior of some CIA agents who worked feverishly to interrogate prisoners they believed had information that could save American lives?

First, we now know definitively what we always suspected - that agent actions were sometimes abusive, perhaps even illegal, as they tried to obtain information.

The just-released Justice Department report shows, among other things, that agents choked one detainee repeatedly and threatened to kill another prisoner's children. Not pretty stuff.

But here's what we also know, thanks to another report (purposefully) released by the CIA as a response to the Justice document: Some interrogations worked.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Gloria Borger • Torture
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. RLWellman

    This is why women don't hold head jobs in the military. They don't have the guts to carry out what is necessary to keep the nation safe. The terrorists are not covered by the Geneva Convention, they are terrorists.

    They have cut off our people's heads. They killed over 3000 American citizens on American soil. They want us dead!

    August 26, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  2. rusty

    give them metals and thank God that they were thinking of the guys over there fighting to keep the crazy freaks from getting on our shores.........i think in the future President Bush and Mr. Cheney will be remembered as one of the greatest president we have ever had..........

    August 25, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  3. Richardsawtelle

    It does not make any difference what info we got from torture because it is illegal. Violations of the law are wrong and if the VP did it he should be held accountable.

    August 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  4. yasaman akhavein

    we critisized sadam hossein for being a dictator and torturing his people.why nobody in media asks this question from people who are justifying torture.was sadam hossein trying to protect his country from his view? some of us such a double standard.what a shame

    August 25, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  5. Tony In Largo, FL

    In the case of the CIA, we should leave the past alone but find ways to manage the agency better.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  6. A.M. Deist

    What do you do with anyone who breaks the law? You put them on trial, convict them, if possible, and punish them according the the law. If Congress wants to change the law to make torture legal, then they should do so, but our "Rule of Law" doesn't usually grandfather crimes that were perpetrated prior to the law being changed.

    August 25, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  7. DawnL,CA

    Go to the top of the food chain (Cheney/Bush) & leave the CIA alone. They have learned their lesson & now must abide by the Army Field Manual. I don't feel threatening prisoners w/a gun or a drill or a dog is torture as long as they did not use said implements on prisoners.
    Let's wait a year & then revisit the question of a special prosecutor. We have enough on our plate right now.

    August 25, 2009 at 8:23 pm |
  8. chokingplanet

    Like a thousand other crimes before, we'll eventually learn the truth—and late enough to be able to say, "But that was then, we don't do things like that anymore."

    August 25, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  9. Vernard Mercader

    What do we do? We leave the agents alone. In a Military perspective, what they did was standard. There was nothing too intense on these interrogation methods -No limbs were lost, no senses disabled (sight or hearing).

    Eric Holder is being impulsive and over-doing these things. He should comply with the president and not charge the CIA agents of misconduct because 1.) first of all, they were following orders; 2.) In Military sense, the methods were just right. Even if they go through this investigation, Dick Cheney should shut up about 'compromising national security' because it doesn't; and Instead of prosecuting the agents, the President should just address an apology to the Prisoners who were tortured (but only those who were found 'not really' guilty) and provide them some amnesty.

    August 25, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  10. RoseProphecy

    If they intaroggate the criminals not make deals with criminals and harrass and intarrogate and intimidate and threaten and abuse the honorable citizens who are serving the country and humanity as a whole and are fed up by these corrupt CIA Agents who use charm to go in to the sleeves of people and have taken over the media and communities can destroy lives so easily only because there is blind and unjust loyalty to one another! We must teach honorable patterns to the most important organization in our country that has connection with the world and so far befor I rose and braught the knowledge now spread around the world some thanks to them but also stolen from me even though I guided them no thanks to them, they had oppressed the world out of ignornce and arrogance not spoken!

    August 25, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  11. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Here it is again. TWO AMERICAS.
    Is Cheney a hero or a criminal?
    There is no middle ground; torture is either right or wrong.
    [Why not use torture to track down the child pornographers, huh???]

    August 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  12. Tom

    The President of the United States would know these events were going on unless he said "don't tell me".
    I believe ignoring the U.S. Constitution, ignoring America's morality, unilaterally committing these atrocities should be investigated. Now, of course, if I were a right wing fascist, I would be saying "let bygones be bygones".
    People who take on a one belief ideology, mesmerized by their fears and hate are taking us to an unfortunate future. Those that stoke these fears and hate should have to answer to them.

    August 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  13. Dorothy Johnson

    I listen to Republican's everyday to see what they have to say. . Where did they get the name far "RIGHT" from. They should be call far wrong. Everything they have to say sounds (TO ME IS ABSOLUTELY) a big fat lie. The Republican's make Politics look like it all about their "JOB" (first you have to do your job). There job are not looking out for the people, or may I say If the middle class (POOR)! The truth need to slap them in the face. They will make the slap a lie. G.O.P should stand for "GET OUT POLITICS.

    August 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  14. Eye Rolling Mavis

    What is scarier is to have a current president in a safer environment over ride the decisions made by another administration in the midst of attack. Change the rules of engagement fine but how do you penalize people who were following orders in uncharted waters after the fact?

    If they are going to hold all these people accountable then shouldn't Bush be among their ranks? Where are they drawing the lines and who decides where these lines are? An administration with that kind of power is scary.

    August 25, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  15. Annie Kate

    I'm in favor of moving on from this issue. Identify for the CIA the methods that are totally off the board and move on from there. If anyone has to be punished I would suggest making Cheney the fall guy. He seems to be the biggest proponent of using torture methods in this setting.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:38 pm |