Seven former CIA Directors sent a letter to President Obama requesting that he quash the investigation being conducted by Attorney General Eric Holder to determine criminal wrongdoing by CIA personnel. The President should reject their request because they are simply wrong.
All seven argue that continuing the investigation will have a detrimental impact up on the ability of the CIA to do its business. They also argue that it will have an impact on the ability to recruit and retain good officers. While there may be some validity to this, it is not enough.
Two of those seven were my bosses. And they and the other five are all wrong. The investigation should be continued and those who committed crimes should be prosecuted. All of these directors are looking at this question in too narrow of a fashion. The question is much broader than that and President Obama must consider that.
Very simply, we do not torture. We don't. We must not. And we must hold those responsible for the crimes they commit.
The President must consider more than just the CIA in rejecting the request. The President must also contemplate what the United States stands for. He must consider national character. This is about far more. It is fundamentally about who we are. Nothing less.