AG to Appoint Torture Prosecutor
Posted on Aug 24, 2009
Although President Obama and others who were privy to information about alleged prisoner abuse by CIA employees and contractors previously passed on the possibility of prosecution, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has taken a different tack after reviewing the cases. —KA
Update: The Washington Post reported Monday that Holder will tap prosecutor John Durham to head the investigation. Sources tell the paper his mandate “will be relatively narrow: to look at whether there is enough evidence to launch a full-scale criminal investigation of current and former CIA personnel who may have broken the law in their dealings with detainees.”
The New York Times:
The Justice Department’s ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors to prosecution for brutal treatment of terrorism suspects, according to a person officially briefed on the matter.
The recommendation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, presented to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in recent weeks, comes as the Justice Department is about to disclose on Monday voluminous details on prisoner abuse that were gathered in 2004 by the C.I.A.’s inspector general but have never been released.
When the C.I.A. first referred its inspector general’s findings to prosecutors, they decided that none of the cases merited prosecution. But Mr. Holder’s associates say that when he took office and saw the allegations, which included the deaths of people in custody and other cases of physical or mental torment, he began to reconsider.
Attorney General Eric Holder is said to have reacted with disgust earlier this year when he first read classified accounts of the abusive treatment of detainees.