WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today made the following statement regarding the Obama administration’s investigation into past CIA interrogation practices:
“Earlier this year, President-elect Obama said he did not want his administration pursuing CIA agents to the point that ‘they’ve got to spend all their time looking over their shoulders.’ Apparently the President’s talk about looking forward and not back was just that – talk.
“It is extremely counterproductive to our intelligence efforts for Obama’s Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a legal review of past acts and practices of CIA interrogators. In the months after 9/11, U.S. intelligence personnel were working in uncharted territory, attempting to collect information on an elusive, non-state enemy across the globe that had demonstrated the ability to attack our country and kill thousands of Americans. Engaging in an investigation of past practices could have a devastating effect on the future work of our intelligence community. This unprecedented investigation could create an environment in which the CIA and other agencies may be unwilling to take risks required in extreme circumstances, potentially increasing risk to our national security.
“We are fast approaching the eight year anniversary of 9/11. Thankfully, we have not been attacked since that devastating day in large part because of endless hard work from members of our intelligence, military, and government communities. Attacks have been prevented and lives saved because of information gained from interrogating detainees. Our continuing priority and the CIA’s continuing priority should be on ensuring our nation and our people are secure. They should not be deterred from their important work because of distractions from such witch-hunt investigations.”