Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today responded to the Justice Department’s decision not to pursue disciplinary action against the authors of the Office of Legal Counsel memos authorizing enhanced interrogation tactics:

Ranking Member Smith: “It is important that future government lawyers know that their efforts to protect Americans will not be criminalized by future administrations. 

“In the wake of 9-11, attorneys at the Justice Department were faced with unprecedented challenges, not knowing whether other attacks were imminent.  They did their best to follow the law and provide intelligence officials with legal guidelines for the use of strong tactics to obtain actionable intelligence from terrorist suspects.  

“We know that the decision of these attorneys to approve enhanced interrogation tactics in the wake of 9-11 saved lives. 

“With recent warnings from our national security advisors of a possible attack, we should not be second-guessing the decisions of Bush administration officials to interrogate terrorists.  Instead, we should be doing everything under the law to gather intelligence, prevent future attacks and save American lives.”