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Public Statements

Letter to President Obama

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-13) today urged President Obama to end the Justice Department's investigation of CIA agents accused of using aggressive interrogation techniques years ago against captured terrorists. "Regardless of your views on enhanced interrogation, the country is in no mood to prosecute its own intelligence officers" said Buchanan.

The Honorable Barack Obama

President

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

I am writing to urge you to end the Justice Department's investigation of CIA agents accused of using aggressive interrogation techniques years ago against terror suspects. Regardless of your views on enhanced interrogation, the country is in no mood to prosecute its own intelligence officers following the successful mission against Osama bin Laden.

You deserve tremendous credit for making the decision to go after bin Laden, and I applauded your comment afterward when you said: "We give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome." The best way you can show that thanks is to end the Justice Department investigation and avoid sending the opposite message.

Furthermore, an investigation already was conducted during the Bush administration and concluded that the agents had not violated the law, making Attorney General Holder's decision to reopen the case even more perplexing.

These enhanced techniques, no longer in use, were authorized by President Bush and approved by the Justice Department. The relevant committees of Congress were briefed. No one is above the law, but prosecuting CIA officials for implementing a policy approved by the President and his Justice Department will send a chilling message to current intelligence officials. What assurances will they have that policies they are enforcing today will not lead to their prosecution in the future by a different administration?

I urge you to call off this wrong-headed investigation of American intelligence agents who were working to make our country safe.

Sincerely,

Vern Buchanan

Member of Congress


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