Thursday, April 15, 2010

Issa Demands Answers from Holder on Investigation of CIA Agent Photos Found in Guantanamo Detainee Cells

Wants to know what measures have been taken to ensure the investigation is free of politics and conflicts of interest.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has asked Attorney General Eric Holder for more details on press reports that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has been asked to investigate whether attorneys defending terrorist suspects currently held at Guantanamo Bay provided photographs of CIA employees to their clients.
In a letter to Mr. Holder, Rep. Issa states:

"I write to ask that the Dept. of Justice provide this committee with information about efforts the Depatment is undertaking to investigate alleged actions which, if proved true, will almost certainly endanger individuals associated with the CIA.

"According to press reports, at the behest of defense attorneys some covert CIA employees and/or contractors have been surreptitiously photographed in public while they undertake routine personal activities. The defense attorneys have allegedly shown these photographs to detainees held at Guantanam Bay. The apparent purpose of this effort is to allow the detainees to identify covert intelligence operatives with whom they may have been in contact with at Guantanamo. Assuming this is the case, then it is possible that the identifications have become known outside of Guantanamo, including by members of terrorist groups. If this is true, it is intolerable and must be addressed."

Issa, among other things, requested that the Attorney General provide information about reports that Patrick Fitzgerald has been asked to investigate the photos of CIA operatives, and if so, what resources within DOJ will be made available to Fitzgerald to conduct the inquiry.

Additionally, Issa asked Holder "what arrangements have been instituted to ensure that political appointees in the Department of Justice (including but not limited to the Office of Attorney General and National Security Division) who may have had some association with the issues under investigation [AHEM] prior to assuming their positions, are insulated from reviewing, evaluating [and] influencing the inquiry being undetaken by Mr. Fitzgerald?"

Good question!

Click here to read the letter in its entirety - PDF file

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