By Nat Hentoff
August 13, 2014


At long last, after all these years, we have a defining question to We The People on our rule of law from libertarian Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation: “Why Not Simply Abolish the CIA?” (, Aug. 1).

He asks: “Did any CIA agent get indicted for torturing people? No.

“Did any CIA agent get indicted for destroying the videotapes that showed the torture? No.

“Did any CIA agent get indicted for murdering prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq? No.”

As I’ve often reported, the list of the agency’s wrongdoings is long, continuous and deeply documented in such books as “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” by Tim Weiner, and “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention And Extraordinary Rendition” by Amrit Singh and published by The Open Society Foundations.

And right now, many Americans are waiting for the public release of an extensive, carefully validated four-year report from the Senate Intelligence Committee on the history of CIA torture and its other crimes against our rule of law and the international rule of law.

But I was not surprised to see that the release of this report had been delayed indefinitely. How come? Susan Crabtree of the Washington Examiner explains:

“Senate Democrats engaged in a tug-of-war with the White House over heavy redactions to its long-delayed torture report remain furious that President Obama allowed the CIA to censor the document” (“Democrats steamed that White House let the CIA censor a torture report,” Crabtree, Washington Examiner, Aug. 7).


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