Panetta Announces Closure Of CIA Secret Prisons

So they're finally closing the book on this bloody chapter and nope, no one will be held accountable for anything. It was all some horrible misunderstanding - albeit, one in which CIA officials actually demanded CYA legal clearance because they knew what they were doing were actually war crimes.

But hey, bygones!

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency said Thursday that it would decommission the secret overseas prisons where it subjected Al Qaeda prisoners to brutal interrogation methods, bringing to a symbolic close the most controversial counterterrorism program of the Bush administration.

But in a statement to employees, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, said agency officers who worked in the program “should not be investigated, let alone punished” because the Justice Department under President George W. Bush had declared their actions legal.

Mr. Panetta and other top Obama administration officials have said they believe that waterboarding, the near-drowning method used in 2002 and 2003 on three prisoners, is torture, which is illegal under American and international law. The International Committee of the Red Cross, which interviewed 14 prisoners, said in a report made public this week that prisoners were also repeatedly slammed into walls, forced to stand for days with their arms handcuffed to the ceiling, confined in small boxes and held in frigid cells.

Mr. Panetta said the secret detention facilities were no longer in operation, but he suggested that security and maintenance had been continuing at the sites at the taxpayers’ expense since they were emptied under Mr. Bush in 2006. Terminating security contracts at the sites would save “at least $4 million,” Mr. Panetta said.

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