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Lieberman's 'regret'

From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today expressed his strong disappointment in the U.S. Attorney General's decision to name a prosecutor to investigate CIA interrogations:

I respectfully regret this decision by Attorney General Holder and fear our country will come to regret it too because an open ended criminal investigation of past CIA activity, which has already been condemned and prohibited, will have a chilling effect on the men and women agents of our intelligence community whose uninhibited bravery and skill we depend on every day to protect our homeland from the next terrorist attack. Career prosecutors in the Department of Justice have previously reviewed allegations of abuse and concluded that prosecution was not warranted, with the exception of one CIA contractor who has already been convicted. President Obama has established clear guidelines to ensure that past abuses are not repeated and has stated his desire to look forward rather than backward.

We cannot take for granted the fact that our homeland has not been attacked since September 11, 2001. That has occurred only because of the constant vigilance and unflinching efforts by those brave individuals in our military, civilian homeland security and counterterrorism agencies, and the intelligence community. These public servants must of course live within the law but they must also be free to do their dangerous and critical jobs without worrying that years from now a future Attorney General will authorize a criminal investigation of them for behavior that a previous Attorney General concluded was authorized and legal.