Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond (R., Mo.), the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has told The Washington Times that Eric Holder privately assured him that there would be no prosecution of Bush officials for torture or unlawful acts. The story is reminiscent of last week’s statement by Gen. Michael Hayden that he was assured by President Obama that there would be no investigations or prosecutions allowed for war crimes committed by the Bush Administration. I discussed this story and the recent ACLU demand for the release of the torture and surveillance memos on this segment of Countdown.
Sen. Bond says that Holder secured his vote with the promise and the story has added to concerns by civil libertarians that the Democrats are playing another game of bait and switch on the issue: pretending to consider prosecution while privately assuring Republicans that no one will be held accountable.
While Holder denies the statement (and Obama denies the statement to Hayden), these concerns would be put to rest if the Administration would simply say that any alleged crimes will be investigated and, when the evidence warrants it, any accused criminals will be prosecuted. War crimes are not matters of discretionary politics. The fact that they are still not making that simple statement adds credibility to such accounts.
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