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The CIA Is Worried: Will Obama Actually Hold Them Accountable?

The Torture Memo of 2002 was written at the CIA's request that Bush "get their backs." Now they're asking if Obama will.
 
 
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According to CQ, the CIA is worried that Obama won't "have their backs" when they do something wrong:

"I was with a group of intelligence officers today," Roger Cressey, a counterterrorism official in the Clinton White House, said on MSNBC Thursday night, "and I think the most important thing for the president to say is, 'We've got your back.' That 'we want you to take risks -- risks that conform with our law and our values as a country.'

"What the intelligence community is afraid of more than anything is the game of 'Gotcha,'" Cressey said. "Which is, if they make a mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, the White House doesn't support them, they're left out to dry, and Congress crushes them. And then you get into that risk-averse mentality, which we saw for awhile. So that is what they want. They want support, so they know that the president is going to be behind them. But also that he's going to lead them."

I doubt that there will be any problem if these "risks" actually do conform to our law and values -- and aren't stupid plans that were done without being properly understood, like the Bay of Pigs.

This article discusses a scenario in which the CIA blows up a car they mistakenly believes contains bin Laden, and asks whether or not the Obama administration will stand by them. But that's not what this is really all about. It's important to remember that this was at the heart of what Cheney and Addington's War On Terror legal reasoning was all about. The John Yoo Torture Memo of 2002, was written at the CIA's request that the Bush administration "get their backs." Just last March Bush vetoed the bill which would have required the CIA to adhere to the rules set forth in the Army Field manual in order to protect the CIA from being held culpable for torture.

Digby is the proprietor of Hullabaloo.

 
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