Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

After a two-year investigation, a special prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Holder found no criminal wrongdoing by CIA officers who interrogated suspected terrorists.The work of these officers contributed to locating Osama bin Laden.

The same CIA officers had already been cleared by career prosecutors during the Bush administration. Nonetheless, Mr. Holder proceeded with a second investigation despite there being no evidence that the previous one had been incomplete or otherwise flawed. Moreover, Mr. Holder did so despite the fact that seven former CIA directors had sent you a letter warning that subjecting the officers to a second investigation would “seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect their country.”

Given that there appear to have been no new facts or procedural errors warranting a second investigation, upon what basis was the second investigation opened? Will you direct a third investigation? If not, why not?

Do you dispute the assessment of the former CIA directors (and by some reports, your own CIA director at the time) that subjecting the CIA officers to legal jeopardy a second time would impair national security?

The killing of Osama bin Laden is widely viewed as the crowning achievement of your presidency. Have you thanked these CIA officers for their contribution to that achievement?

Once the investigation into the Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious is concluded, will you direct a second one?

If an exhaustive investigation clears a suspect of terrorist acts against the United States, will you direct a second investigation? If not, why not?