Thursday, June 30, 2011

Holder Drops Most of The Investigations of CIA Interrogators

In a word, good...

"Not quite all of them — two cases involving the actual death of a detainee will still be pursued, which is as it should be — but more than 100 involving less significant incidents will be cashiered. This probe was one of the last vestiges of the original Obama counterterror agenda. He banned enhanced interrogation and gave the order to close Gitmo on day two of his administration; a few weeks later, he opened the door to prosecuting Bush-era CIA interrogators. Fast-forward two years and not only is Gitmo still open, he’s now the guy who sent SEALs to shoot Bin Laden in the face, who’s pounded jihadis with drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, who’s marked Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, for death, and who’s running a war in Libya that’s not only unauthorized by Congress but illegal according to Pentagon lawyers and his own OLC chief. Under those circumstances, how absurd would it have been for Eric Holder to start dragging CIA agents into court over waterboarding, let alone lesser coercive techniques like belly slaps or stress positions? It would have angered hawks by punishing guys who were acting zealously to prevent further attacks, and it would have angered doves who’d be forced to revisit O’s own Bush-on-steroids counterterror record. So, bye-bye prosecutions."

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