August 28th, 2009
10:42 AM ET

Prosecuting CIA a foolish move

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/28/navarrette.cia/art.ruben.navarrette.newwapo.jpg caption="Ruben Navarrette Jr. says the administration's probe of CIA interrogations will demoralize agents who fight terror."]
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

The Obama administration actually has me feeling sorry for the Central Intelligence Agency. This week, the administration hit the CIA with both barrels.

First, it announced that the intelligence agency would no longer be responsible for interrogating suspects in terrorism cases. This task will now be conducted by a new group of interrogators overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

There's hope and change for you. Those who applaud the change probably hope it means no more headlines like the one this week about how CIA interrogators threatened al Qaeda prisoner Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri with a gun and an electric drill to get information.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Torture
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. nea

    No one really knows what this Administration is doing and are planning on doing they cant tell everything ok! People please let this President do his job and just pray for him and our safety as a nation! No matter what he does or dont do he cannot gurantee tthis county wont be attacked again. Former President George Bush could not guarantee our safety it was only by the GRACE OF GOD THAT IT HASNT YET

    August 29, 2009 at 1:59 am |
  2. Susan

    I feel bad for Leon Panetta. It would appear to me that he is just a pawn and is being used by the administration ( through the guise ) of Eric Holder for political purposes. Panetta has been rendered mute and appears to have no authority over the agency that he is charged with.

    I believe that the last administration was charged with using the CIA for political purposes. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    August 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  3. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    I agree with Commom Citizen's points. I know two wrongs don't make a right, but what about what the terrorists did to us and probably are still doing to us. I'm sorry big guys, but you step on our toes too. I don't think we should apologize, prosecute, or make any amends!

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    August 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  4. earle,florida

    Let's suppose you have an only child, a spoiled brat, and you constantly warn him,or her of the dangers of smoking, but he,or she just pays you lip service that satifies your pointless criticism. Then one night, he or she falls asleep in the bedroom. Bingo,the house burns down,your child dies in the fire,and you escape barely with your own life. It's over,but don't you think it could have been preventable,...the guilt,the pain,the horror,if only?

    August 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  5. matthew, queens ny

    The question with all of this, is will this protect us? Mr Obama took an oath to protect this country. He is the commander in chief now; not running for office. I hope he knows what he is doing. Changing horses in the middle of the race is risky. Whatever failures, perceived or real, with the CIA, we have not been hit again since 9/11. if changes were needed inside the CIA, make them. But moving interrogations to the FBI and making them so passive we could be endangering our defense so we are liked by the rest of the world. Then I fear the future of this country. The primary duty of our government is to protect our liberties. These terrorists should be treated humanely but not with kid gloves. Our leaders should not be prosecuted for trying to protect the American people. Politics should not play a role here!

    August 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  6. Julie

    I just love the remark by "Common Citizen":
    "CIA people were just following the orders."

    So were the guards at Auschwitz.

    And history has spoken. Yes, they too are at fault.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  7. Scott Minium

    Those of you who think torture is ok need to read a little about the experiences of our POWs in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It is not about 'protecting the country' it is about becoming just like the people we hate. Bush43, never in combat, wanted torture. John McCain, who was in combat AND tortured, said no way and ramrodded through a law to that effect. We cannot and must not simply act like we please. We respect the rule of law and common decency even when others don't.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  8. Common Citizen

    I don't understand why CIA people will be prosecuted – the order came from the top.
    CIA people were just following the orders. They are not at fault.
    The second thing I don't get is why the whole press is so focused on what was done to the terrorists?

    August 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  9. Michael C. McHugh

    Only a very small part of what went on these last eight years is publicly known. Most of it is still "redacted". I have said from the start that if those who committed murder, torture and other atrocities are prosecuted, then so should the people at the top who were giving the orders. Don't just throw a few flunkies to the wolves as a PR exercise.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  10. JC- Los Angeles

    As an Independent, it's harrowing to continually see the current administration looking back to grab excuses rather than ahead to grasp success.

    While the failings of the previous administration are well documented, President Obama is learning that it's one thing to garner support and another to retain it.

    Barack Obama is a bit like the corporate CEO who failed upward through marketing or HR only to struggle mightily and eventually be replaced by the board.

    Today's citizens are that corporate board; unless Barack Obama surrounds himself with better people; articulates a clear and concise vision; explains why he's doing it and what it means to Americans, we will look back on his one term and wonder what could have been.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  11. RLWellman

    Oh poor baby, they used a drill and a gun! They shot a gun in the next room, you seem to leave that info out.
    I sure hope this makes up for the terrorists cutting our people's heads off. Also, those people who jumped out of the windows of the Trade Towers, I supposed they weren't scared either.
    These are terrorists. They are not covered by the Geneva Convention rules.
    Let's just spend more money on this and try to take the focus off of the garbage Heath Care Reform Bill that's trying to be passed.

    August 28, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  12. Heather,ca

    Its nothing more than party politics. There is no real interest in our countries national security.

    August 28, 2009 at 11:21 am |