Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Holder Releases Statement on Detainee Interrogations, Special Prosecutor

Saying that he shares President Obama's "conviction that as a nation, we must, to the extent possible, look forward and not backward," Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. today released a statement on the preliminary review by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility into the interrogation of detainees and the appointment of a new special prosecutor to lead a probe of possible anti-torture violations by the CIA. Holder's statement:

The Office of Professional Responsibility has now submitted to me its report regarding the Office of Legal Counsel memoranda related to so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. I hope to be able to make as much of that report available as possible after it undergoes a declassification review and other steps. Among other findings, the report recommends that the Department reexamine previous decisions to decline prosecution in several cases related to the interrogation of certain detainees.

I have reviewed the OPR report in depth. Moreover, I have closely examined the full, still-classified version of the 2004 CIA Inspector General's report, as well as other relevant information available to the Department. As a result of my analysis of all of this material, I have concluded that the information known to me warrants opening a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations. The Department regularly uses preliminary reviews to gather information to determine whether there is sufficient predication to warrant a full investigation of a matter. I want to emphasize that neither the opening of a preliminary review nor, if evidence warrants it, the commencement of a full investigation, means that charges will necessarily follow.

Assistant United States Attorney John Durham was appointed in 2008 by then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate the destruction of CIA videotapes of detainee interrogations. During the course of that investigation, Mr. Durham has gained great familiarity with much of the information that is relevant to the matter at hand. Accordingly, I have decided to expand his mandate to encompass this related review. Mr. Durham, who is a career prosecutor with the Department of Justice and who has assembled a strong investigative team of experienced professionals, will recommend to me whether there is sufficient predication for a full investigation into whether the law was violated in connection with the interrogation of certain detainees.

There are those who will use my decision to open a preliminary review as a means of broadly criticizing the work of our nation's intelligence community. I could not disagree more with that view. The men and women in our intelligence community perform an incredibly important service to our nation, and they often do so under difficult and dangerous circumstances. They deserve our respect and gratitude for the work they do. Further, they need to be protected from legal jeopardy when they act in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance. That is why I have made it clear in the past that the Department of Justice will 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. I want to reiterate that point today, and to underscore the fact that this preliminary review will not focus on those individuals.

I share the President's conviction that as a nation, we must, to the extent possible, look forward and not backward when it comes to issues such as these. While this Department will follow its obligation to take this preliminary step to examine possible violations of law, we will not allow our important work of keeping the American people safe to be sidetracked.

I fully realize that my decision to commence this preliminary review will be controversial. As Attorney General, my duty is to examine the facts and to follow the law. In this case, given all of the information currently available, it is clear to me that this review is the only responsible course of action for me to take.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 24, 2009; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  National Security , Primary Source  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: President Kicks Off Vacation With Tennis, Golf
Next: GOP Pushes Health 'Bill of Rights'


Correction and amplification:

In the post below by "scrivener," the phrase "rule of law" came out here inverted. The author is not dyslexic. But he is apparently subject to a warrantless government surveillance program that serves as a pretext to harass and censor and maliciously tamper via telecommunications.

How? Please scroll down and read from the bottom of the "comments" section of this ACLU "Freedom Blog":

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 24, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse



• When will President Obama wake up and smell the police state that threatens democracy, makes a mockery of the law of rule -- and subverts his agenda?


So far, the big "revelation" is that a power drill was held to a prisoner's head.

Now quite as dramatic as the likely truth:

That microwave and laser radiation "directed energy weapons" have been used to -- in the words of a recent Senate Armed Services Committee report -- "induce" weakness, fatigue, exhaustion, mood changes and confusion...

The same sort of ELECTROMAGNETIC TORTURE widely reported by victims of a what is reputed to be a "multi-agency coordinated action program" of DOMESTIC extrajudicial targeting and punishment aimed at U.S. citizens deemed to be "dissidents" and "undesirables."

Is THIS what today's torture memo redactions are trying to whitewash?

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 24, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

During these historic trying times, this is just what America needs, a Spook Circus to further divide and rip apart our nation.

Nothing more entertaining than having our government eat our own.

What a macabre circus this will be.

I am certain Osama Bin Laden is grinning and giggling, "Those stupid Americans!"

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation
Puma Politics

Posted by: PurlGurl | August 24, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

What a surprise! (Not..) At the same time, Bush boo-booed badly by not understanding his gaffes and goofs would lead Americans to vote in an ultra-left, terrorist- and criminal-friendly government. The word for the ex-president is "Daaaaah!"

Posted by: HassanAliAl-Hadoodi | August 24, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company