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Osama bin Laden is dead.
Now it’s time for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to see the criminal investigation into CIA agents who used enhanced interrogation techniques against captured terrorists meets the same fate. That investigation should end; it should have never been started in the first place.
When President Obama pulled the trigger on the special operations raid by Navy SEALs that ended with a bullet in bin Laden’s head, he got a much-needed boost in the polls. He is receiving the credit for getting the job done, 10 years after 9/11, which prompted bin Laden’s rise to Enemy No. 1 on America’s hit list.
But the President and his Administration don’t deserve all of the credit. In fact, one could question, if his policies had been in place after 9/11, whether the shot heard round the world—and the celebration that followed—would have ever happened.
Why? Because important information that helped locate bin Laden originated from the very interrogations that President Obama called torture and Eric Holder and his department now call criminal.
At the very least those interrogators were just doing their job; at the most they were uncovering information that has saved countless lives around the world. At no time, however, should their work be considered criminal.
Holder has to put a stop to his witch hunt. President Obama should lay down the law with his Attorney General.
But, on this, he’s afraid to take action.
That became evident last week when he met with a few select families of 9/11 victims at Ground Zero, in a victory lap of sorts.
Debra Burlingame was among those invited to that gathering. She lost her brother, a pilot, on 9/11 when his plane crashed into the Pentagon. On several news shows last week she recounted talking with the President about the CIA investigations, which she asked him to stop.
After sharing some small talk, Burlingame challenged the President on the issue.
She stated: “I know that as a former attorney … you can’t tell the AG what to do in an investigation, but these [the interrogators] are unsung heroes….and they have been exonerated in two justice department investigations. But that didn’t satisfy Eric Holder….Would you, in light of what’s happened, speak to him about standing them [the investigating prosecutors] down?”
The President’s response: “No, I won’t.”
That’s not acceptable. And it’s hypocritical.
The President stood before the American people to tout bin Laden’s death—and rightly so. He deserves the credit for the operation occurring on his watch. He’s in campaign mode now and this is a big boost to his standing.
But to fail to acknowledge that the information which helped facilitate that plan had its genesis from information obtained by the CIA interrogations of terrorist detainees is wrong. The President might not like it, but it’s true.
He can’t take the credit if he’s going to deny the methods. The investigation into the CIA must stop now.