Perhaps Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman didn't read Attorney General Eric Holder's statement about his decision to review CIA interrogations today for possible future prosecution. Lieberman allowed that while CIA officers "must of course live within the law" they must also be free to "do their dangerous and critical jobs without worrying that years from now, a future Attorney General will authorize a criminal investigation of them for behavior that a previous Attorney General concluded was legal and authorized."
Notwithstanding the logical leap in the latter clause, Lieberman apparently doesn't quite appreciate Holder's dilemma: the CIA admitted that laws were broken, and behavior that wasn't authorized by a previous attorney general appears to have been an operational norm. The CIA's inspector general report, on page 255, concludes that the "Agency faces potentially serious long-term political and legal challenges as a result of the CTC Detention and Interrogation program, and the inability of the U.S. government to decide what it will ultimately do with terrorists detained by the Agency." The IG specifically found that agency officials were aware "of interrogation activities that were outside or beyond the scope of written DOJ opinion." That is, even if you think the DOJ's legal options were transparent tarps to cover for illegal behavior, agency operations often exceeded those limits, as well. Laws were broken, in other words.