CIA Whistleblower on Trial, Holder Closes Final Investigation on Torture
Aplogies to all: this is cut and paste; can’t think what more needs to be said, really.
From the NY Times:
“While no one has been prosecuted for the harsh interrogations, a former C.I.A. officer who helped hunt members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan and later spoke publicly about waterboarding, John C. Kiriakou, is awaiting trial on criminal charges that he disclosed to journalists the identity of other C.I.A. officers who participated in the interrogations.”
At least we can admire the consistency of OBomba’s Department of Justice and Attorney General. Torture, commit massive financial fraud, assassinate by drone with impunity, but by God, open legal fire on, and imprison…the best whistleblowers and leakers who dare to put their lives on the line to bring us The Truth of what’s going on.
And yeah, it sucks that the title of the Times’ piece is ‘No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A.’ (my bold), but Shane does get to the gist of the yesterday’s announcement by the DoJ:
“Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Thursday that no one would be prosecuted for the deaths of a prisoner in Afghanistan in 2002 and another in Iraq in 2003, eliminating the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the C.I.A.
Mr. Holder had already ruled out any charges related to the use of waterboarding and other methods that most human rights experts consider to be torture. His announcement closes a contentious three-year investigation by the Justice Department and brings to an end years of dispute over whether line intelligence or military personnel or their superiors would be held accountable for the abuse of prisoners in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”
From the DOJ website,, the AG’s statement:
“BACKGROUND ON INVESTIGATION:
On Jan. 2, 2008, Attorney General Michael Mukasey selected Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) John Durham of the District of Connecticut to conduct a criminal investigation into the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
On Aug. 24, 2009, based on information the Department received pertaining to alleged CIA mistreatment of detainees, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he had expanded Mr. Durham’s mandate to conduct a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations. Attorney General Holder made clear at that time, that the Department would not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees. Accordingly, Mr. Durham’s review examined primarily whether any unauthorized interrogation techniques were used by CIA interrogators, and if so, whether such techniques could constitute violations of the torture statute or any other applicable statute. [snip]
“AUSA John Durham has now completed his investigations, and the Department has decided not to initiate criminal charges in these matters. In reaching this determination, Mr. Durham considered all potentially applicable substantive criminal statutes as well as the statutes of limitations and jurisdictional provisions that govern prosecutions under those statutes. Mr. Durham and his team reviewed a tremendous volume of information pertaining to the detainees. That review included both information and matters that were not examined during the Department’s prior reviews. Based on the fully developed factual record concerning the two deaths, the Department has declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“The Justice Department did not say publicly which cases had been under investigation. But officials had previously confirmed the identities of the prisoners: Gul Rahman, suspected of being a militant, who died in 2002 after being shackled to a concrete wall in near-freezing temperatures at a secret C.I.A. prison in Afghanistan known as the Salt Pit; and Manadel al-Jamadi, who died in C.I.A. custody in 2003 at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where his corpse was photographed packed in ice and wrapped in plastic.”
And in a brief spate of political calculation from The Times:
“Mr. Holder’s announcement might remove a possible target for Republicans during the presidential campaign. But the decision will disappoint liberals who supported President Obama when he ran in 2008 and denounced what he called torture and abuse of prisoners under his predecessor.”
He got it right on the fuckkedness of the first calculation, not the second. Americans don’t really care much about the issue. And OBomba still sends prisoners to other dark op prisons where he knows they’ll be tortured, only he has parsed his ‘The US no longer tortures’ truthiness, having written a memo that ‘short renditions don’t qualify’…or something as banally evil. (I’ll document it if ya make me; otherwise, I’m enveloped by ennui for now, and too feeble to go for the link I brought a few posts ago. Have a heart…or not.) [Update: I remember where it is; in the NY Times puff-piece on Terror Tuesdays, and OBomba’s ‘hard moral decisions’ or whatEVer.]
“Mr. Durham and his team of agents and prosecutors have worked tirelessly to conduct extraordinarily thorough and complete preliminary reviews and investigations. I am grateful to his team and to him for their commitment to ensuring that the preliminary review and the subsequent investigations fully examined a broad universe of allegations from multiple sources. I continue to believe that our Nation will be better for it.”
Me, too, Mr. Holder; you betcha. Americans are great fans of the comfortable lie; not so big on the truth. So most will conveniently believe ‘we’ll be better for it’ until they come for us. The world watches us in befuddlement, and does not approve.