McCain: No Torture Prosecutions; Pelosi: No Immunity

By Kate Barrett

Apr 22, 2009 4:12pm

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Reports: Sen. John McCain, a former POW who knows something about torture, has long been a critic of the CIA’s interrogation policies. But today he has joined with senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham to urge President Obama not to prosecute the authors of the so-called torture memos.

"Pursuing such prosecutions would, we believe, have serious negative effects on the candor with which officials in any administration provide their best advice, and would take our country in a backward-looking direction at a time when our detainee-related challenges demand that we look forward," the senators wrote in a letter sent today to President Obama.

The senators also came out against the idea of creating a so-called "truth commission" to investigate the CIA’s interrogation policies.

"We have every interest in looking forward to solutions, not backward to recriminations," McCain, Lieberman and Graham wrote. "That is why we do not support the idea of a commission that would focus on the mistakes of the past."

Meanwhile, Senator Russ Feingold wrote a letter today to President Obama urging a thorough Justice Department investigation of the interrogation policy and saying Obama should not rule out any including prosecuting the CIA agents who carried out the interrogations.

And, on the other side of the Capitol, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told a group of reporters today, "I myself do not believe that immunity should be granted to everyone in a blanket way." Pelosi also said she is in favor of congressional hearings on the subject and the creation of a truth commission.

"You will see the Judiciary Committee looking into this, the Intelligence Committee looking into this, but I think it gives further impetus among members to have some kind of commission looking into what happened and why legal opinions were so one-sided," Pelosi said.

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