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CIA said worried rules will hurt efforts

WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- Leaders of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency are worried new rules on interrogations could hamstring their effectiveness, intelligence sources say.

Citing unnamed senior intelligence officials, The Washington Post reported Tuesday CIA members are also concerned an array of other secret efforts to counter al-Qaida and other terrorist groups will come under scrutiny in the wake of outrage over its use of interrogation techniques on detainees that many equate with torture.

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The agency and its current director, Leon Panetta, are on the defensive because they feel they are being made to take the blame for policies dictated by elected officials who have now fallen out of political favor, the sources said.

Some agency officials told the newspaper a directive from U.S. President Barack Obama to strictly follow the Army Field Manual in interrogations -- which bars waterboarding and other harsh techniques authorized for the CIA by the Bush administration -- will result in confusion and hurt its ability to gain information from terror suspects.

The Post said the manual, for instance, bans "violence, threats, or impermissible or unlawful physical contact," but doesn't specify what is sanctioned.

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