Leon Panetta sent a letter to CIA employees on his last day as Director to announce the Department of Justice has cleared the agency in all but two cases where they had contact with terrorist detainees. Read a copy of his letter below.
Message from the Director: DoJ Investigations Moving Toward Closure
The Attorney General has informed me that, with limited exceptions, the Department of Justice inquiries concerning the Agency’s former rendition, detention, and interrogation program have been completed and are now closed. Specifically, I have been notified that Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham has finished the “preliminary review” of detainee treatment cases announced in August 2009. After extensive examination of more than 100 instances in which CIA had contact or was alleged to have had contact with terrorist detainees, he has determined that no further law enforcement action is appropriate in all but two discrete cases.
In those two cases—each involving a detainee fatality—the Department of Justice has determined that further investigation is warranted. No decision has been made to bring criminal charges. Both cases were previously reviewed by career federal prosecutors who subsequently declined prosecution. The Agency will, of course, continue to cooperate fully in the remaining investigations.
On this, my last day as Director, I welcome the news that the broader inquiries are behind us. We are now finally about to close this chapter of our Agency’s history. As Director, I have always believed that our primary responsibility is not to the past, but to the present and future threats to the nation. We will continue to fulfill our vital mission of protecting America.
Leon E. Panetta