Theodore's World: Obama and Eric Holder to Probe CIA Abuse and Criminal Investigation Treatment of Detainees

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August 25, 2009

Obama and Eric Holder to Probe CIA Abuse and Criminal Investigation Treatment of Detainees



Holder to Appoint Special Prosecutor to Probe Terror Suspect Interrogations

The decision comes as the Department of Justice releases a 2004 report from the CIA's inspector general detailing allegations of harsh interrogation practices.

FOX news

After months of consideration, Attorney General Eric Holder plans to appoint a special prosecutor to examine allegations that terror suspects were abused at the hands of their CIA interrogators.

The highly controversial decision comes as the Department of Justice releases a 2004 report from the CIA's inspector general detailing allegations of harsh interrogation practices -- which Holder cited in his decision.

"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," Holder said in a written statement Monday.

The newly-released document claims one interrogator said a colleague once told Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that if any other attacks happened in the United States, "We're going to kill your children."

Another interrogator allegedly tried to convince a different terror suspect detainee that his mother would be sexually assaulted in front of him -- though the interrogator in question denied making such a threat.

Several details in the review had already been reported, such as the alleged use of mock executions and other tactics to scare detainees.

The report said interrogators threatened Abd al-Nashiri, the alleged planner of the 2000 USS Cole bombing, by holding a power drill and handgun to his head. The report said they also staged a fake execution by having CIA officers and guards scream and yell in an adjacent cell and then leading the detainee past a hooded, motionless guard -- who was lying on the floor and made to look like he had been shot.

Holder had reportedly reacted with disgust when he first read accounts in the classified version of the IG report -- a reaction that likely contributed to his decision to appoint a prosecutor.

Holder said in his statement Monday that a "preliminary review" of such cases is the "only responsible course of action" for him to take.

Justice Department prosecutor John Durham will be named for the job.

Holder's move would reverse the policy of the Bush administration and could expose CIA employees and agency contractors to criminal prosecution for the alleged mistreatment of terror suspects in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

It would also run counter to President Obama's stated wishes to leave the issue in the past. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reiterated that view in a brief statement Monday.

"The president has said repeatedly that he wants to look forward, not back," Gibbs said, adding that those who acted in good faith should not be prosecuted. "Ultimately, determinations about whether someone broke the law are made independently by the attorney general."

But Holder stressed that the review is not yet a full investigation, and that even a full-scale probe does not mean charges are in order.

The attorney general noted the controversy the decision is sure to generate but said it should not be taken as a blanket criticism of the U.S. intelligence community. He said those who acted in the scope of the legal guidance provided to them will be safe from prosecution.

"I fully realize that my decision to commence this preliminary review will be controversial," Holder said. "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."

Prior to Holder's decision, the Justice Department's ethics office had recommended that a number of alleged CIA prisoner-abuse cases that were closed under the Bush administration be reopened.

The Washington Post reported that up to a dozen cases could now be examined.

In a memo to the agency Monday morning, CIA Director Leon Panetta urged his staff to stay focused in the face of the "politicized" debate the report is expected to stir up, and defended the way the agency has handled allegations of abuse over the past several years.
"This is in many ways an old story," Panetta wrote, saying many of the techniques have already been made public. He wrote that the CIA obtained intelligence from high-value detainees "when inside information on Al Qaeda was in short supply," and that his role now is to "stand up" for officers who followed the legal guidance given to them.

Parts of the report suggest the intelligence gleaned through the enhanced interrogations was invaluable -- but it also is not clear whether that intelligence could have been extracted through more conventional interrogation methods.

According to a memo by an unknown author included at the end of the report, the program was considered an "absolute success."

The memo said detainees provided information that led to the arrest of other terrorists and revealed a number of terrorist plots -- including a planned attack on the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan; a plot to derail a train; a plot to blow up several gas stations; and a plot to attack the tallest building in California.

A federal judge had ordered the IG report made public Monday, in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Both the report and the announcement of a probe drew split reactions from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Democrats like Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vt., said the report showed "clear evidence" interrogators overstepped their bounds. Republicans like Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Mich., said the probe "risks disrupting CIA counterterrorism initiatives."

In another development, Obama signed off on setting up a special interrogation team that would be placed at the FBI but report directly to the White House-based National Security Council.

Though such work typically falls to the CIA, one senior U.S. official told FOX News that the CIA did not want to house the new initiative.

"They're glad to be out of the long-term detention business," the official said.

The unit's structure would depart significantly from such work under the Bush administration, when the CIA had the lead and sometimes exclusive role in questioning Al Qaeda suspects.

Let me tell you, all this is, and I'll tell you what it means, I really think this means that the public option in health care is dead. If it's not dead, it is dying, it is close. Republicans and Conservatives helped a lot. But also this. What's happened is, and remember I told you last week when I was in Los Angeles I spent a lot of time on these kook websites, like the Democrat Underground, the Daily Kos. These lunatics are just livid over the failure of the public option. They are livid that the White House floated a trial balloon via Kathleen Sebelius, the public option was not crucial, they were livid that Obama then backed it up and then of course they reversed the trial balloon, oh, no, the public option we can't go forward without it and a bunch of Democrats went out there, Pelosi and so forth said so. But they're losing their base on this. They're really at each other's throats.

The CIA stuff, this new interrogation, all it is, I'm telling you, trust me, don't doubt me, all this is is an attempt to get these people back in gear because they hate the whole idea of an imperial US military more than they want the public option. They want Al-Qaeda to be portrayed as the good guys. They want the Taliban to be portrayed as the good guys. They want the US to be portrayed as the bad guys. Now, Obama and his team think that their position on Bush, Iraq, Afghanistan is a large factor in their election victory in 2008. They are mistaken about that, but that's what they believe and so they're changing the subject. They're changing the subject from the debacle that health care has become; they're changing the subject from the fact the public option is in big trouble, and they're trying to rally the base now with a golden oldie, something from the Grooveyard of Forgotten Favorites. I mean Afghanistan and Iraq are Obama's problem now, but they're trying to go back, once again, and revive this notion that America was a torturing nation and that we're not going to torture anymore.

I think this is an act of desperation, it is an attempt to change the subject, it's an attempt to get his base back on his side again because they know -- and I think this is true, it's frightening, but it is true -- the Democrat base, the far left radical lunatic fringe base, cares more about this country being humiliated militarily, foreign policy-wise, than they care about the public option. Obama's gotta get 'em on his side. This CIA stuff, I mean pulling it out of a hat, what the hell is the deal here? He's going to close Gitmo anyway, what are we talking about interrogation techniques? He's already told Holder, the attorney general, to process a new policy that interrogation will also feature Miranda rights, that when we carpet these clowns in the battlefield they gotta be read their Miranda rights, they're going to be given access to the US Constitution as criminals, not enemy combatants or prisoners of war. Why bring this all back? It's pure politics, it's nothing but a golden oldie and it shows how out of step they are.

This is all part and parcel of the campaign mode with Obama trying to get that base back.

This is all about getting his base back, and it's all about destroying United States national security in the process!!


Wild Thing's comment...........

Headline should be :Obama Attorney General ready to launch war against our own intelligence services

This is a back door way to get at President Bush and Vice President Cheney. In addition, it will further destroy the CIA. The enemies of our nation are celebrating this move and the terrorists must be cheering for Obama and Holden as these two help the terrorists do their work to destroy our country and our security.

Also maybe this too, the purpose of this is to keep claimed transgressions of the Bush administration front and center in peoples’ minds so that the ostammer shell game “Don’t look here......look there” can continue. When things are going badly, change the subject back to somebody you can bash and ridicule with impunity, such as the CIA activities under the Bush administration. The media will definitely run with this because for them it will be like getting another big bite at Abu Ghraib. It will dominate the media and death care and cap ‘n hoax will quietly slip under the radar and be passed. With ostammer starting to tank, they have to do something to take the focus off him.

Now is a good time for the CIA to get ahold of Obama's genuine birth certificate and school records released to the public.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at August 25, 2009 08:48 AM


obama hates America. obama is a muslim. Holder is a Black racist.

Posted by: TomR at August 25, 2009 12:47 PM

How can they put these men's lives in such danger and not see what they are doing. If we get hit again this MFer is toast and his friggin zars and every other friggin communist in his gang.

Posted by: Mark at August 25, 2009 03:03 PM

Tom, I agree, there is no way Obama
can convince us he is not a Muslim.

It makes me sick to my stomach all this
hate he has for such an awesome country.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 25, 2009 07:40 PM

Mark, DITTO!!!

I was shocked to see the enemy were given
these peoples names. OMG he put all their
lives in danger, their loved ones. all of

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 25, 2009 07:44 PM