A Case Worth Dropping

The New York Daily News puts it as well as anyone: Despite the heroic success of just one week ago, in which American intelligence and military might combined to kill the biggest enemy of civilized society, the U.S. government could still proceed with prosecutions against the CIA interrogators whose work contributed to that victory. Compare and contrast the mixed messages. Message one: When announcing Osama Bin Laden's killing, President Obama said, "We give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome." Message two: On Tuesday, CIA Director Leon Panetta admitted that the agency's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques against some of those [suspected terrorist] detainees" played a role in tracking Bin Laden down. Message three: In August, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA interrogation abuses – a move that could lead to charges against some of the very people who helped get Bin Laden. Message four: Career federal prosecutors had closed a probe of the same matter with a no-action recommendation. It matters not whether the agents in question contributed a little or a lot to Bin Laden's death. They did their best at a time when the United States was horrified by the prospect of another attack to safeguard their fellow Americans. Laud them, don't pursue them. Drop the damn prosecutions.

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