Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

09.12 Why Is College in America So Expensive?

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.18 'I was horrified that children are breathing air this dirty inside the school' [if your government isn't working, change it!]

09.16 Universal healthcare was unthinkable in America, but not any more

09.16 Air pollution particles found in mothers' placentas

09.16 Portugal’s radical drugs policy is working. Why hasn’t the world copied it?

09.13 The Guardian view on electric cars: stopped by industry inaction [Vroom Vroom is Dumb Dumb]

09.13 Electric future? Global push to move away from gas-powered cars

09.12 The Secret Drug Pricing System Middlemen Use to Rake in Millions

09.12 Jerry Brown: Trump's 'gross ignorance' main obstacle in climate change fight

09.12 Medicare for All and the Myth of the 40% Physician Pay Cut

09.11 Global hunger levels rising due to extreme weather, UN warns

09.11 Fossil fuel dependence poses 'direct existential threat', warns UN chief

09.11 Air pollution is 'biggest environmental health risk' in Europe [Switch to 100% renewables and stop all mining, pumping, refining and burning of fossil fuels!!!]

News Media Matters

09.14 Bob Woodward: 'Too many people are emotionally unhinged about Trump'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.18 Voters Are Ready for a Green New Deal. Are Democrats?

09.18 'This Election Is Last Chance to Stop Them': Kudlow Confirms Trump and GOP Ready to Gut Safety Net After Midterms [Yes, there are far too many sociopaths]

09.18 You'll miss Trump one day

09.17 California plans to show the world how to meet the Paris climate target

09.17 For Whom the Climate Bell Tolls

09.16 2020 Dems: Rebels v. restorationists

09.16 Trump's Insults Against His 'Hillbilly' Base Are Making Them Turn on Him: NYT Column

09.15 Nazis May Be Bad, But Tax Cuts Are Awesome!

Justice Matters
High Crimes?

09.16 Merchants of Death Profit from the Bombing of Children as a US-Backed War Goes Largely Ignored

Economics, Crony Capitalism

09.16 If Jeff Bezos wants to help low-income people why not just pay them better?

09.16 Central Banks Have Gone Rogue, Putting Us All at Risk

International & Futurism

09.18 'Unconscionable' and 'Appalling': In Affront to Those Fleeing US-Backed Wars and Persecution, Trump Slams Door on Refugees

09.17 How to Humanely Solve Europe's Migration Crisis

09.15 A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come [SCARY]

09.15 Crossing Germany's divide — encounters with far-right protesters

09.14 A new authoritarian axis demands an international progressive front

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Intelligence Vets Back Torture Probe
Newspaper logo

OPEN LETTER:

Intelligence Vets Back Torture Probe

By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Published in ConsortiumNews.com yesterday, 28 September 2009

Editorial Note by Bob Parry: In reaction to the extraordinary appeal by seven ex-CIA directors that President Barack Obama halt a Justice Department inquiry into the use of torture by CIA interrogators, a dozen former U.S. intelligence professionals urge the President to ignore that appeal and back the investigation. (Their memo to Obama was dated Sept. 27.)

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Accountability for Torture

We write you, Mr. President, as former intelligence professionals to voice strong support for Attorney General Eric Holder’s authorization of a wider investigation into CIA interrogation. We respectfully disagree with the direct appeal to you by seven former CIA directors to quash that wider investigation.

The signatories of this Memorandum are former intelligence officers and analysts who have worked with CIA directors going back as far as Allen Dulles. Our cumulative experience totals more than 200 years. 

We are encouraged by your own support for Attorney General Holder’s decision to have federal prosecutor John Durham investigate possible criminal activity by individuals engaging in torture and other violations of international agreements on the treatment of detainees.

From our own experience in intelligence, both as field operators and as senior analysts, we know that personal accountability is vital to maintaining an effective intelligence service that reflects our best traditions and the rule of law.

Among the former CIA directors who, by letter of September 18, asked you to “reverse” the attorney general’s decision are some who were cognizant of and involved in decisions that led to the abuses in question. We find that troubling.

Clearly, the role of CIA directors in issuing orders that led to inappropriate behavior, and their failure to hold officers accountable, helped create the environment in which abuses occurred — the ones detailed in the Special Review of the CIA Inspector General, for example.

No analytical leap is required to conclude that those particular CIA directors might have understandable interest in blocking investigation of their own complicity. They include, first and foremost, George Tenet — many of whose misdeeds are already a matter of public record. To mention just a few:

  • Tenet was the chief enabler of torture.  He also oversaw widespread kidnapping (“extraordinary rendition”), which in some cases led to torture.
  • Our sources tell us that Tenet knew about the overstepping of the guidelines approved by the lawyers and that he knew the people doing it. Rather than restrain them, he pushed them still harder, in an attempt to please his masters.

We strongly believe that investigations of possible wrongdoing cannot, in all fairness, be limited to the proverbial “bad apples at the bottom of the barrel.” Rather, in our view, such investigations must be allowed to go wherever the evidence leads.

The inquiry last year by the Senate Armed Services Committee provides a good model for doing precisely that. The main conclusion of the committee’s “Inquiry Into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody,” approved last fall without dissent, was captured in its first subhead: “Presidential Order Opens the Door to Considering Aggressive Techniques.”

The Hollywood version of the CIA portrays amoral spies willing to do anything without regard to ethics or human rights. Our own long experience persuades us that the intelligence community has an abundance of men and women of outstanding character, who are committed to the rule of law, and whose primary desire is to serve the nation and protect the American people.

However much former CIA directors and other people at risk might wish to derail an investigation into possible war crimes, we believe the moral standing of our nation requires that we apply the same standards to offenses by U.S. officials as we would to accusations of war crimes by those in other countries.

For all these reasons, we strongly endorse efforts by the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of torture and human rights abuses by any Americans — CIA officers and contractors included.

Please regard this Memorandum as follow up to the more extensive comments on torture in the VIPS review prepared for you in late April. A copy of that Memorandum was eventually posted at Consortiumnews.com (see http://tinyurl.com/cvvr2x).

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Steering Group

Ray Close, National Clandestine Service (CIA), Princeton, NJ
Phil Giraldi, National Clandestine Service (CIA), Purcellville, VA
Melvin A. Goodman, US Army, CIA, Dept. of State, Dept. of Defense, Bethesda, MD
Larry Johnson, CIA & Department of State, Bethesda, MD
Pat Lang, US Army (Special Forces), DIA, Alexandria, VA
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council, Linden, VA
Tom Maertens, Department of State, Mankato, MN
Ray McGovern, US Army, CIA, Arlington, VA
Sam Provance, US Army (Abu Ghraib), Greenville, SC
Coleen Rowley, FBI, Apple Valley, MN
Greg Thielmann, Dept. of State, Sen. Intelligence Committee Staff, Arlington, VA
Ann Wright, US Army, Department of State, Honolulu, HI


This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with the assumed permission of the authors.



Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on September 29, 2009.

 

Public Service Ads: