Passing over at the CIA is not enough: Prosecute Now

Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law

The news today (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-selects-new-head-of-clandestine-service-passing-over-female-officer-tied-to-interrogation-program/2013/05/07/c43e5f94-b727-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_story.html) is about the interim head of the clandestine service – a woman with “ties” to the torture – being passed over for the job in favor of a man.  I am happy that ties to the torture are made to have a consequence, though in the world of the CIA it is absolutely unsure what was the nature of her ties to the torture.  For all we know, this could be retribution for her having objected to the torture at the time it was happening rather than some condemnation of her.

Assuming that her ties were of the bad kind, it is great she is passed over.  At the same time, I find it hard to believe that there was no other woman who could have been selected for the job who did not have ties to the torture.  That some guy is able to get ahead over this woman and no other woman gets the slot is just too sad.

But, passing over is not good enough.  If there is enough evidence to pass over there should be enough to prosecute her for her role.  We prosecuted Lynndie Englund for her role in her court-martial.  No reason why this high up CIA type should not face more music than a job pass over for the massive crime committed.

It is the least we can do.  Or, at a minimum, she can turn state’s evidence and be a witness against the other sick people who partook in the torture regime.  We need to clean this mess up or it will poison us for decades.