President Obama reversed statements from his own top aides and opened the door to prosecuting Bush administration officials who approved harsh interrogation techniques of suspected terrorists, McClatchy Newspapers report. Obama repeated that CIA officers should be immune from criminal charges for their work interrogating suspects using techniques such as waterboarding, which critics call torture, so long as the interrogators followed guidelines written by Bush administration officials.
He left it to Attorney General Eric Holder to decide whether Bush administration officials should face criminal charges for approving the use of such practices. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, urged Obama to withhold public comments on prosecutions until her committee can finish an investigation of the interrogations. That inquiry is expected to take another six to eight months.