You sorta feel sorry for Leon Panetta. He has no intelligence experience, he's taking control of a dispirited and publicly shamed CIA, and Justice and Obama apparently blindsided him with this investigation business. But on the other hand...
The CIA broke the law. They literally killed detainees. Killed them. People who might've been very bad people, but we'll never know, because they were never charged with any crimes, they were not treated as prisoners of war, they were just assumed to be terrorists, and the CIA actually literally killed them.
Here is the story about the war between the CIA and Justice. And, you know, if you've read any of the CIA's heavily-redacted (but not redacted heavily enough for Leon Panetta!) I.G. report on how they tortured and killed people, how sympathetic is Leon Panetta's position here?
The strains became evident inside the administration in the past several weeks. In July, Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, tried to head off the investigation, administration officials said. He sent the C.I.A.'s top lawyer, Stephen W. Preston, to Justice to persuade aides to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to abandon any plans for an inquiry.
Mr. Preston presented what was, in effect, a closing argument in defense of the C.I.A., contending that many potential cases against intelligence operatives were legally flawed and noting that they had already been investigated, some more than once. In none, he said, had prosecutors found grounds for charges.
The Bush Justice Department instructed its lawyers to come up with legal justifications for illegal acts, the CIA lied about the scope and the efficacy of those acts, and then exceeded the authority granted them by the already flawed legal guidelines. But, you know, the CIA totally investigated it themselves and decided shit was cool so no need to enforce the law or anything!