Memo Release Paralyzes CIA 'Shadow Warriors'

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2009 12:25 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks at the Central Intelligence Agency.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The ripples from the release of the torture memos continue to ruffle the CIA, David Ignatius writes for the Washington Post. “America will be better off, in the long run, for Obama's decision to expose the past practice of torture,” he acknowledges. “We all knew the political wind would change,” said one officer. Still, his complicit colleagues—despite Obama’s assurances that they won't be prosecuted—are “broken and bewildered.”

CIA operatives fear “a new season of investigation and retribution,” Ignatius writes, and are avoiding “politically sensitive” work. Some even refuse to interrogate terror suspects, wary of the fallout. The reticence isn’t just internal: Foreign intelligence services are now reluctant to share information with the tainted CIA. Transparency is good, Ignatius writes, but the US “needs to take care that the sunlight of exposure doesn't blind its shadow warriors.”