David Ignatius says that Obama's decision to release the memos has hurt the CIA:
Now, field officers are more careful. They want guidance from headquarters. They need legal advice. I'm told that in the case of an al-Qaeda suspect seized in Iraq several weeks ago, the CIA didn't even try to interrogate him. They handed him over to the U.S. military.
But, in the words of Jane Mayer, "the CIA had no experience really in interrogating prisoners" before 9/11. Why is turning detainees over to the military or FBI worse than letting the CIA keep them? David also wants Obama "to recommend limits on any congressional inquiry and resist demands for a special prosecutor." Appointing a special prosecutor is the DOJ's decision, not Obama's. Ignatius continues, "[Obama] should push the White House's preferred alternative -- a commission that can review secret evidence behind closed doors, then report to the nation." We should not trust Obama to investigate this in secret any more than we should have trusted Bush and Cheney to run it in secret. Let's have a Truth Commission; give it time; give it money; and then let us see all of it. Then, and only then, should the attorney general decide whether to launch prosecutions. And, in my view, those at the highest levels of authority should be those first prosecuted.
If that means prosecution of a former president, so be it. He is not above the law.
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