Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Look what they've done to security

CIA officers involved in the Bush Administration's secret prisons program have consulted lawyers after being told they could face prosecution for illegally detaining and interrogating terrorism suspects.

The CIA officers will have to pay for their own defence if they face legal action. CIA recruits are advised on joining to take out private liability insurance against the risk of lawsuits.

"It's bad," said Robert Baer, a former CIA agent specialising in the Middle East. "You get the [White House] Office of Legal Counsel telling the CIA something is legal, and then someone changes their mind. But it's not the counsel that's held responsible, it's the CIA employee."

Some CIA officers, concerned about becoming caught up in a scandal, refused to take part in meetings to discuss secret prisons, controversial interrogation methods that may breach the Geneva Conventions, or the "extraordinary rendition" of prisoners between countries.

That would have to be one of the major hallmarks of the Bush administration - if their is a problem blame someone else.

I understand the Nuremberg defence, and personal responsibility; but would argue that these people were acting in the same wave of crazy paranoia that Bush visited on the rest of the country. It is high time the blame was directed to where it rightfully belongs, right to the White House.


reality-based educator said...

It really says it all that CIA operatives are hiring lawyers because they're worried about being charged with crimes for carrying out Bush's "agressive interrogation techniques."

Cartledge said...

It looks like someone is going to pay, down the track a bit.