White House spokesperson Josh Earnest announced that US President Barack Obama shares the US Department of Justice decision that no prosecutable crime had been committed by the CIA officers.
WASHINGTON, December 11 (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama agrees with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) finding that CIA officers involved in enhanced interrogation should not be prosecuted, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said.
“The president [Obama] has confidence both in this [US] justice system and in the way it was deployed in this particular situation [CIA officers investigation],” Earnest said Wednesday, when asked if Obama accepts DOJ conclusion that there are no prosecutable crimes committed by the CIA.
The US Department of Justice did their own investigation that concluded that no prosecutable crime had been committed by the CIA officers.
“There is a process in place that is administered by career professionals [DOJ prosecutors] that did what they were supposed to do. The president [Obama] believes firmly in their confidence and the system,” Earnest said.
On Tuesday, the US Senate Intelligence Committee released the so-called CIA “torture report,” a summary of the detailed investigation into the CIA Detention and Interrogation program that in some cases included torture practices.
Following the release of the report, US President Barack Obama vowed not to use the methods of torture, outlined in the report during the time of his presidency.
But according to the United Nations, the United States is obliged by international law to investigate its citizens suspected of engaging in torture, but even if it does not, Americans who ordered or carried out torture can be prosecuted abroad, by legal bodies including the International Criminal Court, legal experts say.
Whether they will be is another question. That’s largely a political determination. But calls for international prosecution, legal experts say, are likely to grow so long as the United States chooses not to prosecute its own.
“If I am someone implicated in the torture report, I am thinking twice about traveling to Europe anytime soon,” said Steve Vladeck, a law professor at American University in Washington. “It puts those governments in a sticky position if someone who is accused of torture presents themselves on that country’s soil.”