The Obama Justice Dept’s war on the CIA

Posted by: ST on August 24, 2009 at 12:57 pm

ABC News reports that CIA director Leon Panetta recently had a “shouting match” with the WH over the Justice Department’s plans to investigate CIA agents for “interrogation techniques that President Obama has termed “torture”:

A “profanity-laced screaming match” at the White House involving CIA Director Leon Panetta, and the expected release today of another damning internal investigation, has administration officials worrying about the direction of its newly-appoint intelligence team, current and former senior intelligence officials tell ABC

Amid reports that Panetta had threatened to quit just seven months after taking over at the spy agency, other insiders tell that senior White House staff members are already discussing a possible shake-up of top national security officials.

“You can expect a larger than normal turnover in the next year,” a senior adviser to Obama on intelligence matters told

Since 9/11, the CIA has had five directors or acting directors.

A White House spokesperson, Denis McDonough, said reports that Panetta had threatened to quit and that the White House was seeking a replacement were “inaccurate.”

According to intelligence officials, Panetta erupted in a tirade last month during a meeting with a senior White House staff member. Panetta was reportedly upset over plans by Attorney General Eric Holder to open a criminal investigation of allegations that CIA officers broke the law in carrying out certain interrogation techniques that President Obama has termed “torture.”

Very relevant to this news is today’s gleeful report from the NYT on Holder’s plans for investigations:

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors to prosecution for brutal treatment of terrorism suspects, according to a person officially briefed on the matter.

Ahem, NYT – that should have been alleged “brutal treatment of terrorism suspects.”

Rumor has it that later today the WH may be releasing a few CIA documents that relate to Cheney’s release request from earlier this year in which he was attempting to prove that the aggressive interrogation techniques authorized for use during the Bush admin worked. Supposedly other documents will be released that suggest (at least to the Obama WH, anyway) that they did not. Michelle Malkin is keeping track of developments here.

And lastly, the WaPo reports on a new “interrogation unit” the WH has set up to interrogate terrorist suspects:

President Obama has approved the creation of an elite team of interrogators to question key terrorism suspects, part of a broader effort to revamp U.S. policy on detention and interrogation, senior administration officials said Sunday.

Obama signed off late last week on the unit, named the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG. Made up of experts from several intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the interrogation unit will be housed at the FBI but will be overseen by the National Security Council — shifting the center of gravity away from the CIA and giving the White House direct oversight.

Rachel Abrams responds:

The interrogation-authority-grab by the Obama White House could send shockwaves through the Bush-mind-control-conspiracy-theory community, and sting the New York Times as a lover’s betrayal. But oh, happy, happy day for jihadist murderers the world over who may chance to hear from Samantha Power’s own lovely lips: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights?”

I feel so much safer now.

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  • 23 Responses to “The Obama Justice Dept’s war on the CIA”


    1. I’m tellin’ ya, these clowns are going to get more of us killed yet. :-ss

    2. Carol says:

      I agree, a lot of innocents will die while the cancer grows slowly in the White House. Maybe I shouldn’t be so afraid that the American people won’t wake up and admit buyer’s remorse. Obama and his friends will slowly destroy Washington on their own. Too bad so many of us will pay dearly because of this arrogant, narcissist in the White House.

    3. Dennis says:

      I am still waiting for our President to take the time out of his busy schedule to visit Ground Zero….lets see, Prince Harry found the time when he visited N.Y. a while back…..the Pres and Wife have been on date night close by but just couldn’t fit a visit into the itinerary…….:(….guess he figures he had to visit the enemy first and apologize to them for our country’s mistakes……:o

    4. Jack Bauer says:

      Essentially it boils down to this.

      Obama is to allow DESTRUCTION of CIA as the agency nears meltdown.

      The despicable terrorist defender (al-kayada and FLNA) Holder and his lacky (that would be the President, it pains me to say)…

      are plotting to destroy forever the ability of US intelligence agencies to defend America. This will be an impeachable offense when the US is hit again. Yes, WHEN, not if.

      Panetta is on the ledge, ready to jump, apparently.

      A disgusting spectacle from people who should be under investigation rather than directing policy.

      Panetta is finding out, like Hillary, that he is a mere public figurehead with litcatle power, while shadowy hard-left figures, unconfirmed by Congress, call the shots

    5. Brontefan says:

      If I were OB, and I am ever so thankful I am not, I would not be trying to punish people who kept us safe. Let’s say…after OB is out of office, we actually go after him and his henchmen for all the laws they have broken, ethics violations, skirting the Constitution, etc. hey?

    6. Dennis says:

      Remember the book Obamanation ??? I read it and said to myself …no way, he can’t be this bad…..guess I was wrong.

    7. ken walsh says:

      What would one expect from the Obama team? With backings from the ACLU and Move on and every left wing organization in the country who have been trying to bring this country down. If this country doesn’t wake up soon, we are in for one hell of a time over the next three years. He has loaded his administration with every leftist he hung around with . Now, maybe those Americans that was swayed by his rhetoric will see the light.

    8. Brice says:

      More smoke screens to get us to stop thinking about all the government takeovers of everything!Socialist crap that makes us look weaker and weaker in the eyes of the TERRORISTS!I am fed up to here, this must stop.[-(

    9. alchemist says:

      out damn spot!

    10. Carlos says:

      And what makes anyone think a Republican would go after Zero? Heck, they didn’t have the guts to go after a proven perjurer, and that’s when they held the upper hand!

      There’s no way any administration will go after a former one except out of stupidity or hate.

    11. Fred Sytsma says:

      How stupid is our government going to be? Afghan terrorists cut off the fingers of voters, Hezbollah and Taliban behead American captives or summarily execute them with a head shot, radical Islamists have no stronger desire than to kill Americans and those opposed to their satanic intent. And our government wants to read the Moranda rights to captured terrorists and threatens prosecution to those of our interrogators who don’t kiss their butts……No wonder they laugh at us!
      Read some books by Vince Flynn and you’ll agree that the CIA should be functioning covertly and “on their own” (not sponsored or endorsed by our government) for our best chance to protect this country in the future, and get rid of the officers /CIA operatives who were dumb enough to document the interrogation procedures which ever so slightly stepped beyond “American due process”…..

    12. Kate says:

      Bingo Carlos…it’s all about that insatiable hatred and venom that now seems to be venting out from Hate Bush First Crowd in the WH…they are blinded to the point that I fear for our service men and women who will face even more targeted attacks against them abroad. Freeing the Libyan scumbag bomber (where is our outrage over this Obama?) and now this dastardly move by a biased and blinded white house administration? What a lethal combination! What comfort for the terrorist organizations of the world. I would say anyone who has eyes please keep watch over your community. Take note of those who would want to abuse the freedom of this country to destroy it.

    13. d c says:

      Americans can stop worrying about an attack from the outside We have 911 in the White House doing the job for them.

    14. Great White Rat says:

      What leftists will never understand is that all of this concern for the Gitmo detainees is an encouragement to the jihadis. It reinforces their belief that the infidels (that’s all of us, for any liberals out there) are weak and should be attacked ruthlessly. While Duh-1 wants to read them their rights, they’re ROTFL and planning their next act of terrorism (or whatever the politically correct term for it is in this administration).

    15. Carlos says:

      They’re planning their next “human-caused disaster”, GWR.

      And from my point of view, the circus playing out in D.C. is a “human-caused disaster” of epic proportions, and it’s not just the donks who are doing it, either, but every jackass wannabee who loves press adulation and votes more than he/she loves the country.

    16. Glen says:

      Gutting the CIA with a panel of Obama babysitters whom will redefine the enemy, is a potential disaster. Careful words about how Holder will not go hard on the CIA, really does little at the perception this is a political witch hunt followed up with a power grab. Holder is risking all the house money that by doing this will bring understanding with terrorists that America is not worth fighting because now and only now are we moral. Do terrorists care if we are moral? Will they hate and fight us regardless? Holder hopes for a lot. Strange philosophy being carried out not by changes in the war arena, rather a political desire. I believe its difficult to prosecute what turned out to be, coincidence or not, a safe remainder of the Bush term. The info flood of CIA policy and war tactics revealed to the world can’t be of good value unless your the enemy.

    17. Steve Skubinna says:

      I really don’t understand this at all, unless it’s merely the leftists’ hatred of the CIA coming to the fore. In order to appease the Kos Kidz, Obama is going to cheese off the normal people who voted for him and who won’t take kindly to seeing the CIA hamstrung. Also, having seen what they did for eight years to undermine Bush 43, Obama is essentially daring them to do their worst to him.

      Perhaps he thinks the in-the-tank media will suppress any adverse leaks Langley generates – a slim reed. Many of the whores in the newsrooms will sell him out in a heartbeat for a scoop.

      Perhaps he figures Panetta and Holden will immolate themselves so he can maintain plausible deniability and his trademark detachment and keep his hands clean – another slim reed. The spooks are not stupid and see his fingerprints all over this one.

      I really see no upside for him in this at all. Is he such a narcissist that he can’t see beyond his own glowing aura? Is he such a sociopath that he can’t conceive of anyone besting him at the games he chooses? Or is he just making it up as he goes because he’s so far in over his head that whatever plan he had at the beginning is in tatters and he has no clue?

      As much as I enjoy wallowing in schadenfreude, and as much as I’d like to see those treasonous bastards in the CIA hoist by their own petard, this has too much potential to get ugly, and to harm our national interests. I can’t really enjoy the prospect.

    18. melintexas says:

      The Cia prosicution is the sideshow. The creation os Obama’s SS interigation unit is the real story. This “interigation unit” only answers to the executive branch. Whats to stop him from diclaring right wing radicals terrorist now. We are all talking about what just happened to the CIA but not talking about this new goon squad that actually has teeth!

    19. eaglewingz08 says:

      Isn’t there like a five year statute of limitations for these alleged ‘felonies’? So any alleged criminal conduct that occurred prior to five years from the date of Indictment would not be prosecutable? If the AG handed down an indictment tomorrow, wouldn’t that mean that anything that happened prior to August 25, 2004 could not be prosecuted? Didn’t most of the alleged ‘abuse’ ‘torture’ occur prior to August 2004? Isn’t this just another libtard detour down koolaid lane?

    20. Dennis says:

      well the latest …. the bad guys blow up our troops, cut off fingers, kill civilians, etc. etc. so Obama and his team go after the CIA for waterboarding ????

      Has anyone drowned from waterboarding ??? Apparently the “techniques” DID save lifes, according to reports, but that doesn’t matter…we mistreated the murderers…shame on us, guess we should have been more concerned about the bad guy’s “legal rights” as soldiers of war …oh wait, forgot, they aren’t soldiers under the Geneva Convention. No uniforms, no government endorsement, no “firearms” when caught…the list goes on and on. They are not prisoners of war, they are terrorists therefore the Geneva Convention does NOT apply. The bad guys must be laughing their asses off at us. What a green light for the bad guys.

    21. Barack The Hack says:

      Every single thing Obama has done so far, and plans to do, has been a bad thing.

      He just lies with impunity about everything. “the bill doesn’t say that”, “the bill is not a trojan horse for socialized medicine”, “the stimulus is working”, or how about this whopper he told to get elected – “we will hold hearings about health care on live tv, televised on cspan” meanwhile its backroom secret deals with Nancy Pelosi. Next he’s going after free speech trying to kill talk radio with an openly communist “diversity czar”. He wants NPR to rule the airwaves. More government control. He already has the media in his back pocket, so lets see – he will have the media, health care, radio, GM, and his picture is plastered all over the country – remind anybody of Iraq, when Saddam’s face was plastered all over the damn country ? What the hell is this a dictatorship ? And Ill tell you something else – he IS trying to redistribute wealth. All this spending and deficit creation ? Its a damn deliberate way for him to get our tax dollars and give them to the groups he sees fit. I hate this guy. Worst. President. Ever.