Tags: cia | kit | bond | witch | hunt

Sen. Bond: CIA Probe Would Be a Witch Hunt

Friday, 14 Aug 2009 06:47 PM

By Jim Meyers

Sen. Kit Bond tells Newsmax that a looming probe of the CIA over interrogation techniques would be a "witch hunt" pandering to "left-wing fringe groups."

The Missouri Republican, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also said such an investigation would drive a wedge between the Justice Department and the CIA and likely lead agents to simply stop talking to investigators.

Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella cited a recent Los Angeles Times story quoting current and former U.S. government officials as saying Attorney General Eric Holder is poised to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA abuses in its interrogations of terrorist suspects.

See Video: Sen. Kit Bond says CIA probe would be a big mistake - Click Here Now

He asked the senator what he was hearing about Holder's intentions.

"Unfortunately he hasn't bothered to talk with us about it," Bond responded.

"I had a lengthy discussion with him before he was confirmed and he assured me he wasn't going to launch any broad-based witch hunt or criminal investigation of the CIA.

"I told him I thought that was what the president promised, and I thought such an activity would be devastating.

"I think the last thing we need is a witch hunt against the terror fighters who kept us safe since 9/11.

"We in the Senate Intelligence Committee are doing an exhaustive, classified review of the activities, and if he opens up a criminal witch hunt people will shut up. They'll be lawyered up and unfortunately they won't be willing to talk with us."

Martella asked if Holder's motivation could be to placate Obama's radical left-wing base.

"Adding to that, the statue of limitations might have run out on some of these," said Bond, a four-term senator and former Missouri governor.

"We have said we are going to do an exhaustive investigation. If we find that there have been instances of outrageous abuse such as the abuse at Abu Ghraib — which was not an intelligence operation, it was a bunch of rogue reservists engaging their own personal perverted pleasures — we will refer it to the appropriate authorities.

"But this broad-based investigation will make the ACLU, MoveOn.org, Code Pink and the other left-wing fringe groups delighted. It may satisfy some of the Obama left-wing support. But it will do nothing to get to the information or have any useful outcome, and will probably impede our ability to conduct a thorough, professional bipartisan investigation of all the things that went on."

Bond agreed that an inquiry by Holder would probably drive a new wedge between the CIA and the Justice Department.

"The Department of Justice over the last eight years worked very closely with the CIA to make sure that their activities stayed within legal bounds," he said.

"Now if they are prosecuting CIA people, I expect the lines of communication will be significantly constricted if not shut off."

Bond is also a member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works. He was asked about the cap-and-trade plan to curb carbon emissions.

"I think the more people learn about it the more horrified they are," he said.

"This cap-and-tax scheme would not make any significant contribution to the environment. It would drive jobs out of the Midwest and the South probably overseas, and it would impose impossible financial burdens on business — and most importantly on families in the Midwest who would see their utility bills double."

See Video: Sen. Kit Bond says CIA probe would be a big mistake - Click Here Now

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