Monday, September 21, 2009

Shoe Bomber: Membership Has Its Privileges

Okay, so we ostracize CIA interrogators and other counter-terrorism officers while granting privileges to convicted terrorists?
Airplane shoe bomber Richard C. Reid no longer faces severe limits on his prison activities or communications after the Obama administration quietly ended years of hard-nosed curbs against the British-born al-Qaeda terrorist.
This summer the Justice Department halted six years of measures that kept Reid from associating or praying with fellow jailed Muslim terrorists, and limited his access to the news media and pen pals.
That move has outraged victims of al-Qaeda and security experts. The recommendation to lift the restrictions was made with input from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, which prosecuted Reid in 2002, federal officials said.
Meanwhile, seven former CIA directors call for a halt on the Justice Department investigation of their former agency:
Arguing that the actions of the Attorney General are essentially putting this country at greater risk of terrorist attack, a bipartisan team of seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency wrote to President Obama today [September 18] urging him to direct Attorney General Eric Holder to close the criminal investigation looking into whether any CIA officers went beyond what they were told was legal in their interrogations during counterterrorism investigations.
Allowing future investigations and prosecutions “will seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country,” the seven men write. “In our judgment such risk-taking is vital to success in the long and difficult fight against the terrorists who continue to threaten us.”