Interrogating the CIA

September 25, 2009 • Volume 19, Issue 33
Should its role in terrorism cases be reexamined?
By Kenneth Jost


Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on unauthorized use of interrogation techniques. (AFP/Getty Photo/Mandel Ngan)
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. wants cases reopened in which CIA agents may have used unauthorized interrogation techniques, including a mock execution. The decision drew criticism from the intelligence community and former Vice President Dick Cheney but praise from human-rights and civil liberties advocates. (AFP/Getty Photo/Mandel Ngan)

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has asked a career federal prosecutor to reexamine evidence of possible abuses by Central Intelligence Agency operatives years ago in the questioning of “high-value” terrorism suspects. The CIA's role in interrogating detainees has been controversial because the agency used so-called “enhanced” techniques, including waterboarding. Under President George W. Bush, the Justice Department approved the harsh measures even though many critics said some amount to torture. President Obama has now barred the use of the techniques, but former Vice President Dick Cheney is among those who say the practices yielded valuable intelligence that helped keep the country safe after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. A newly released internal CIA report documents several apparent abuses during the interrogation program. The release of the report is said to be hurting morale at the CIA even as it prompts renewed calls for a broad investigation of the Bush administration's policies in the war on terror.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Intelligence Agencies
May 29, 2015  Intelligence Reform
Sep. 25, 2009  Interrogating the CIA
Jun. 04, 2004  Re-examining 9/11
Sep. 12, 2003  Homeland Security
Jan. 25, 2002  Intelligence Reforms
Apr. 11, 1997  The FBI Under Fire
Feb. 02, 1996  Reforming the CIA
Dec. 11, 1992  The New CIA
Dec. 28, 1979  Intelligence Agencies Under Fire
Sep. 30, 1977  FBI in Transition
Jul. 25, 1973  Intelligence Community
Jun. 25, 1971  Future of the FBI
Dec. 28, 1961  Intelligence for Security
Feb. 03, 1954  Security Risks in Government
May 18, 1949  Foreign Intelligence
Military Law and Justice