[Guest post by DRJ]
On CBS’ Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, President Obama signaled his intent to stand firm on Eric Holder’s CIA investigation:
“Schieffer: Mr. President, seven former directors of the CIA have sent you a letter today asking you to reverse the decision of the Attorney General to reopen the criminal investigation of CIA interrogations that took place after the attacks on September 11th. Would you consider that?
Obama: Well first of all, I have utmost respect for the CIA. I have said consistently that I want to look forward and not backward when it comes to some of the problems that occurred under the previous administration, or when it came to interrogations. I don’t want witch hunts taking place. I’ve also said though that the Attorney General has a job to uphold the law…
Schieffer: So you intend to let him go forward?
Obama: He’s got to make judgment in terms of what has occurred. My understanding is it’s not a criminal investigation at this point. They are simply investigating what took place. And I appreciate the former CIA directors wanting to look after an institution that they helped to build. But I continue to believe that nobody’s above the law. And I want to make sure that as President of the United States that I’m not asserting in some way that my decisions over rule the decisions of prosecutors who are there to uphold the law.”
I doubt the 7 former CIA directors appreciate being painted as people only interested in protecting their former turf and employees. They are a bipartisan group of officials who supervised the CIA for much of the past 40 years. As stated in their letter, they are concerned this investigation will do serious damage to the CIA’s mission and its ability to work with foreign intelligence agencies.