Obama says 'nobody's above law' on CIA torture probe

Obama said "nobody's above the law" on CIA torture probe in an interview released on Sunday.

Obama says 'nobody's above law' on CIA torture probe
President Barack Obama said "nobody's above the law" on CIA torture probe in an interview released on Sunday over a letter by seven former CIA chiefs to halt a probe into torture.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last month named a prosecutor to examine whether criminal charges should be filed filed against Central Intelligence Agency interrogators or contractors for torture.

A letter by the former CIA directors sent to Obama on Friday calling a halt to thr probe.

"I appreciate the former CIA directors wanting to look after an institution that they helped to build," Obama said in an interview with the CBS television show "Face the Nation."

"But I continue to believe that nobody's above the law. And I want to make sure that, as president of the United States, that I'm not asserting in some way that my decisions overrule the decisions of prosecutors who are there to uphold the law," he said.

In a separate interview on CNN, Obama said, "I don't want to start getting into the business of squelching, you know, investigations that are being conducted."

Civil liberties groups have accused Bush-era officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney of using torture on suspected people in violation of U.S. and international law.

Obama said on CBS that Holder has to make a judgment about what happened.

"My understanding is it's not a criminal investigation at this point. They are simply investigating what took place," he said.

The letter to Obama was signed by three CIA directors under President George W. Bush -- Michael Hayden, Porter Goss and George Tenet -- as well as by John Deutch, James Woolsey, William Webster and James Schlesinger, who dates to the Nixon administration.

The interviews were taped on Friday.


Reuters
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2009, 21:00
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