Because of restrictions imposed by President Barack Obama, CIA interrogations of captured terrorists have ground to a halt, former Sen. Kit Bond, who was vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, tells Newsmax.
“As a result of Atty. Gen. Eric Holder’s hostile takeover of the intelligence community, we do not seem to be getting that same human intelligence we were getting before January 2009, and that means we’re not going to have the same leads,” Bond says.
By publicizing the fact that the CIA will not use enhanced interrogation of terrorists, the administration has undercut possible leverage against detainees, Bond says.
“They released legal memos describing the techniques, so now everybody in the world knows the very sharp limits on what we can do,” Bond says.
Instead, the administration requires CIA officers to adhere to interrogation practices specified in the U.S. Army Field Manual. Those rules are even more restrictive than the rules followed by police and FBI agents when interrogating suspects.
Bond applauds Obama’s success at killing Osama bin Laden. But he says,
|Former Sen. Kit Bond
“With whoever emerges as the top leader of al-Qaida, there’s only so much that you can do with overhead surveillance and interception of electronic signals if you don’t have the tips on where to go.”
Besides putting a crimp in interrogations, the Obama administration has imposed a risk-averse atmosphere on the intelligence community by reopening possible prosecutions of CIA officers who carried out enhanced interrogation, says Bond, who joined Thompson Coburn in January as a partner specializing in advising clients on international trade, biotechnology, agriculture, cyber law, and transportation.
“We are just not going to get the kind of intel that we need without asking them questions and getting answers,” Bond says.
He notes that the administration established a High Value Interrogation Group (HIG), but he has no idea what they do. “I was never able to find it in operation,” he says.
The HIG is supposed to supplement the knowledge and expertise of FBI and CIA interrogators rather than supplant them.
“Half of the useful information we received in the past came from questioning of captured terrorists or would-be terrorists,” Bond says. “What we have is a total over-reaction that I think very ill serves our country and our security.”
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Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is a New York Times best-selling author of books on the Secret Service, CIA, and FBI. His latest, "The Secrets of the FBI," is to be released in August. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via email. Go Here Now.
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