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Will Obama really prosecute CIA interrogators?

If most former CIA chiefs oppose a probe of agents who questioned terror suspects, the president must listen.

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Earlier this month, seven former CIA directors made a special plea to President Obama that deserves a thoughtful response.

They asked the nation's top law enforcement official to end a Justice Department inquiry into alleged detainee abuse by CIA interrogators.

Their plea came a month after Attorney General Eric Holder opened the probe, which has sent shivers through the intelligence community but pleases those who say the Central Intelligence Agency relied on torture during the Bush administration in dealing with terror suspects. Mr. Holder based his decision in part on his reading of a 2004 CIA internal report that found cruel tactics were sometimes practiced by the CIA or its contractors.

The seven signatories of the letter – Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet, John Deutch, R. James Woolsey, William Webster, and James R. Schlesinger – have a strong ally in their cause.

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