Holder Promises to Follow the Law on Any Torture Investigation But Fails to Mention Special Prosecutor

holdereric Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that he will “follow the law” in deciding whether to pursue criminal charges against Bush officials for the torture program. While first reported as a major advance, the statement conspicuously does not mention the appointment of a special prosecutor, an essential component to any investigation since the Justice Department featured heavily in these allegations.

Holder stated “We are going to follow the evidence, follow the law and take that where it leads. No one is above the law.” That is a great statement and much appreciated. However, the Justice Department should not be investigating itself. The Justice Department is notorious for a certain lack of vigor in the investigation of its own attorneys and any investigation without a special prosecutor from outside of the department would be viewed with considerable skepticism. There is an obvious conflict of interest and it is again bizarre (and worrisome) that Holder is resisting such an obvious step.

In the meantime, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a timeline on the program. Sen. Jay Rockefeller released the declassified report. Rockefeller has been a source of considerable criticism for his alleged knowledge of the unlawful surveillance and torture programs for years and his role in blocking any serious investigation. The timeline indicates that the work on the torture program began before the legal memos used later as a defense by Bush officials.

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95 thoughts on “Holder Promises to Follow the Law on Any Torture Investigation But Fails to Mention Special Prosecutor”

  1. At this time Internet has been the foundation of many treats to
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  2. LottaK,

    A Disk Read Error is fatal. I noticed that FormerFederalNothing said he was a computer guy. I had one DRE, I bought a new computer, and if your old system is over 4-years-old that is what I suggest. I might get a iMac next time myself. Good Luck

  3. Re: Jill, …what issues…

    I was thinking (like Slartibartfast)about Wright. Also the money to faithbased groups that discriminate in hiring (as I recall he requests from many representatives in the religious community across denoninations asking him to change his criteria regarding open hiring as a prerequisite) and now investigations into torture.

    I also see his position on executive compensating as having changed in response to public pressure. As a Senator he was aware of the initial bailout package he voted for and while I can’t be sure, I suspect that he was aware of the bonus money and various incentives (in aggregate) slated to be paid out. If the economy is what occupies center stage with him I imagine he gets regular if not daily updates and unlike Bush, actually asks questions.

    It seems to me that his movement to the center (for lack of a better description) has been ongoing for months throughout the later part of his campaign. Most of that movement IMO has been in rsponse to political pressure and the advice of his ‘experts’ such as the military in convincing him to alter his timetable for a pull out in Iraq. I don’t believe the change in position is in any way unusual for a candidate, from my observations. I am disappointed but not surprised of his protection of the power seized for the Executive Branch. Very disappointed.

    I am coming to realize though that between Republican obstructionism and Blue Dog Democrats that the change we were waiting for doesn’t have a chance until 2010 or later (if it comes at all.) I’m not unhappy with the Presidents first 100 days- I’m sure McCains would have looked quite a bit different.

    **After a gi-normously expensive fix for my ‘puter including a new HD (expected problem) it shot craps again last night ‘DISK READ ERROR – Please insert system disc…’ and I’m on a friends Mac laptop for a few hours again today. My computing days may be seriously curtailed or numbered ;-( **

  4. Mike,

    My image of you has not slipped or faltered, Sir. You fall squarely within the human species by exhibiting many of our species’ frailties and you are simply willing to admit it a bit more openly than others and I do.

  5. FFLEO,
    I’m certainly not the man I once was, but occasionally I get those old flashes. The funny thing is I remember my hormonal urgencies of age 15 to 40 fondly, but I am now glad to be rid of the overriding urgency. It led to some bad choices on my part. The woman who finally chose to be with me cured me of my old wandering ways. The joy of her companionship and my family outranks every else I’ve done in my life. I’ll let you in on another secret though and that is I’m a sucker for HGTV and American Idol. Oops I feel my image on this board is slipping.

  6. Mike Spindell said:

    “but my wife is calling me to bed to watch Antiques Roadshow, a guilty pleasure.”

    Well Mike, at your age going to bed to watch an Antiques’ Roadshow is like lookin’ in the mirror, isn’t it?

    BTW, you definitely highlight your agedness when TV in *bed* becomes more of a guilty pleasure than other such pleasures…

  7. but if you look someone in the eye and (don’t) see malice or trickery.

    Damn I should proofread better but my wife is calling me to bed to watch Antiques Roadshow, a guilty pleasure.

  8. FFLEO,
    Thank you for the kindness and back at you. Here’s the funny thing though. Back in the 70’s (73, 75, 77, 78, & 79)I drove cross country. I avoided the South because of “Easy Rider” and also Oklahoma and Texas for similar reasons and rather unreasonable statutes regarding grass. Made it to the left coast two times, but most of my time was spent in Colorado, the Dakotas (camped a week by the Sturgis Rally in 77 and learned to ride a motorcycle), Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona. I looked as I described myself except my full beard (trimmmed though for vanity’s sake)made me look rather fierce. I’m six foot but because of a large head people think of me as bigger. I write this description as a way of saying I appeared, though wasn’t a fierce looking guy.

    Spent much of that time camping in national parks and also stopped into small towns, where KFC was the big restaurant open on Saturday night. I was clearly a stranger, yet admittedly accompanied by a good looking. Also spent some time in local bars, where I was also not familiar. In all that time no one said more to me than the usual meeting stranger stuff and I never felt anything other than hospitality, although mixed with curiosity about my background and my own about theirs.

    We humans develop different cultures and attitudes, but if you look someone in the eye and see malice or trickery, why then you can relate. I loved the West I saw and the people that populated it. This was even true in Salt Lake City where me and my girlfriend at the time were kinda strange looking for the area. Knowing your intelligence and measured view of the world I’m sure we would have been just fine if we met back then. Now we’re just two old farts, who’ve become wise to the ways of the world through an openness to experience and that’s why I enjoy your comments and relish your point of view. A persons value doesn’t shine through his politics, it is exposed through his decency and openness to reevaluate his premises.


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  10. Mr. LEO:

    Your words are a gift. Man let’s stay open to all the possibilities, now and in the weeks and months ahead. The truth is what we’ve been waiting for and it’s started to flow.

  11. Mike Spindell,

    Back in the 1960s/70s you and I were the polar opposites. You with your long hair, beads, marijane, and my cowboy clique would have yelled at you with your protest signs—once we spit out our snuff or chaw in disgust—hey, you buncha dirty, hippy, pinko-commie-draft-dodgin’-anti-Murkan losers, if you don’t love it leave it, go suck on your funny weed, stone-head freaks.

    To which your flower child clan would have likely retorted: Peace brothers, we mean you no harm, we shall overcome, mellow-out man, chill, you got your rope we got ours, goat-ropers like ya’ll ain’t such a drag, you’re just wigged-out ‘cause you see us with our cool, outa sight foxy hippy chicks and it gets your goat to know we will be groovin’ the groove with them while you are bad trippin’ out hangin’ with those green-teethed tabaccy chawin’ cowgal skinks! Man, our Old Ladies are groovy! Can ya’ dig it, bummer huh?

    Oh, “those were the days, my friend…”. Now, as I read this blawg and listen to some of your life’s story—by the way, you are the most open person posting here—I reflect back on that era and think; what if I had met and associated with a hippy guy like you. All I know now is that you are one decent old man who has done his duty to help improve society, in a much different way than I tried, but we both ended up devoting our careers to this government that is now turning into a pitiful disgrace and a discredit to the soldiers—including my brother, friends, and fellow soldiers I helped to train as medics—who gave their lives in Viet Nam. Then there is Bush’s Inferno that he should stand before a tribunal to answer for his high crimes and the lies that have caused so much death and destruction.

    From one old goat-roper Republican to one old Hippy Democrat, Peace Brother…”There is a season, turn, turn, turn…”

    Oh, and tell your Old Lady that this square said hello and that he thinks she has a good Old Man…

  12. Slar..:

    Well I was once called a lion (as in leo) by a woman, but that was 26 years ago and now that I think back on her comment she might have, in retrospect, called me a liar instead!

    Part of my federal career was as a law enforcement officer (LEO is the correct abbreviation)

  13. FF LEO,

    I’m glad to have exposed you to Hitchhiker’s Guide and hope that you read the book (obviously I’m a big fan). For the record, in real life I’m bald (by choice, not nature (yet)) although I do have a somewhat unruly goatee. Your comment brings up one burning question in my mind: What is a LEO?

    Make sure you know where your towel is.

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