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Monday, August 24, 2009

Justice Dept. Recommends Investigations of Torture

A followup to my morning post -- detainee abuse and interrogation techniques seem to be an issue that refuses to be ignored.


The U.S. Justice Department has recommended reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, which could expose CIA employees and contractors to prosecution for their treatment of terrorism suspects, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The recommendation, reversing the Bush administration, came from the Justice Department's ethics office and has been presented to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The development threatens to engulf Washington politics at a time when President Barack Obama is pushing to overhaul healthcare and climate change policy. Obama has said he seeks to look forward rather than launch time-consuming investigations into past events.

"With the release of the details on Monday and the formal advice that at least some cases be reopened, it now seems all but certain that the appointment of a prosecutor or other concrete steps will follow, posing significant new problems for the CIA," NYT reported.

The question isn't whether an investigation goes forward, but whether that investigation will be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it leads -- White House included. If just low-level employees take the fall -- no matter hw deservedly -- it won't be justice. At least, not full justice. Every crime should be prosecuted. In fact, it has to be, under international law. Not investigating and prosecuting torture to the fullest is a human rights abuse in itself. If this turns out to be the case, both Atty. Gen. Holder and possibly President Obama will be criminals.

In related news, President Obama has taken interrogation duties away from the CIA and given it to the FBI, in response to a report on CIA abuse due out today. CNN cites a "a senior administration official" as telling them that the "interagency High Value Detainee Interrogation Group will be overseen by the National Security Council" and will "draw on interrogators from defense, intelligence, and law enforcement."


Tom Degan said...

Yeah. Let the investigations proceed and the chips fall where they may. In the course of destroying this country, George W. Bush (the First Fool as I loved to call him) undid DECADES of diplomatic protocol.

Were these morons able to get information via torture? Sure they did. Most of that info was false. You see, under those circumstances, the person being tortured will say just about anything. It is quite interesting: no one in this administration (Excuse me, I meant to say, "THAT administration) was smart enough to figure this out.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

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