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August 24, 2009

Holder to Appoint Prosecutor for CIA Abuse Claims
UPDATE: Gibbs Reacts

At least 10 and maybe 12 cases will be examined.

With an eye to jailing people, of course.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they allegedly threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move.

Holder is poised to name John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the inquiry, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not complete.

Durham's mandate, the sources added, 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. Many of the harshest CIA interrogation techniques have not been employed against terrorism suspects for four years or more.

Holder chose someone who seems to be on the hunt to "get" the CIA:

The attorney general selected Durham in part because the longtime prosecutor is familiar with the CIA and its past interrogation regime. For nearly two years, Durham has been probing whether laws against obstruction or false statements were violated in connection with the 2005 destruction of CIA videotapes. The tapes allegedly depicted brutal scenes including waterboarding of some of the agency's high value detainees. That inquiry is proceeding before a grand jury in Alexandria, although lawyers following the investigation have cast doubt on whether it will result in any criminal charges.

Obviously some object:

But nine GOP senators who occupy prominent roles on the Judiciary Committee last week urged Holder not to act at all, arguing that further investigation was both unnecessary and unwise.

"The intelligence community will be left to wonder whether actions taken today in the interest of national security will be subject to legal recriminations when the political winds shift," said the letter, signed by lawmakers including Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), John Cornyn (Tex.), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Charles Grassley (Iowa).

The IG report has been released. Among the horrors: Just after 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was told that his children would be killed if "anything else happened" in the US. There are also claims that top terrorists were threatened with executions (mock executions), guns, and a power-drill.

Threats? We're going to prosecute people for threats?

In case you missed it, Leon Panetta threatened to quit in a "profanity-laced screaming match" regarding the released IG report.

Left Hand Doesn't Know What the Far Left Hand is Doing UPDATE [Gabe]: Gibbsie reacts, distances President Obama from AG Holder:

"The President has said repeatedly that he wants to look forward, not back, and the President agrees with the Attorney General that those who acted in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance should not be prosecuted. Ultimately, determinations about whether someone broke the law are made independently by the Attorney General. "

Uh huh.


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posted by Ace at 02:43 PM

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