Powerful Republicans and Democrats are starting to really not like this probe. It must mean there's something to it after all. The Village is trying to play the sympathy card as much as it can to protect the CIA here.
It is impossible to extrapolate from the small sample contacted by Washington Post reporters about the effect the varied inquiries are having on the thousands of agency employees, more than one-third of whom are spread around the world. But among the dozens of officials who were part of the program and either remain active or have retired, feelings run high about how the White House and the Justice Department have handled the issue.There are some very powerful people in the former -- and current -- administration, not to mention Congress, who are going to take a serious hit on this should AG Holder continue with his probe.
One former senior official said President Obama was warned in December that release of the Justice Department memos sanctioning harsh interrogation methods would create an uproar that could not be contained. "They [the White House] thought that it would be a two-day story; they were wrong," this official said.
A much-discussed question is whether the legal reassurances of one administration carry over to its successor. "When a previous administration says something was legal, and the next says it doesn't matter, the result is hesitancy to take on cutting-edge missions," the former senior official warned.
Another former top official said senior managers detect a double standard. He pointed out that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. supported Obama's decision not to release photos of military abuses of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq because they would harm military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. "The warning that CIA operations would be made more difficult were disregarded," former official said.
The voices are getting louder. Obama is not going to be able to remain silent on the issue much longer. He's going to have to publicly bless this probe...or very publicly kill it. One of the two is going to have to happen, and soon.