Holder Reportedly Considering Special Prosecutor — But Serious Questions Remain

holderericNewsweek is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder is leaning toward the appointment of a special prosecutor on the issue of torture. Much, however, was not stated and there remains a question of whether Holder will appoint a special prosecutor with the full authority to pursue any and all crimes related to the torture policy. There are rumors that, if an investigation occurs, it may be sharply curtailed.

Notably, these stories do not mention the unlawful surveillance programs, including recent accounts of previously undisclosed secret programs.

The most worrisome statement came from spokesman Matt Miller who said that “[a]s the attorney general has made clear, it would be unfair to prosecute any official who acted in good faith based on legal guidance from the Justice Department.” That dovetails with rumors that Holder is going to announce an investigation and then gut it but saying that no one will be prosecuted for following the legal advice of the Justice Department, even if it called for the commission of war crimes. It is a position that directly contradicts our position in the prosecution of war criminals during World War II where “following orders” was rejected as a defense.

Under Holder’s approach, all a president must do is appoint lawyers who will endorse war crimes — and thereby prevent any prosecutions for the crimes. Holder cannot take the high ground by appointing a special prosecution who is barred from pursuing any crime supported by the evidence. Obviously, any crime would still have to pass through a grand jury, a trial court, and a trial jury. Holder needs to appoint a prosecutor who will be allowed to investigate unfettered and unmolested in the pursuit of justice.

For the full story, click here.

56 thoughts on “Holder Reportedly Considering Special Prosecutor — But Serious Questions Remain”

  1. The coward Holder is an Obama stooge, not worthy of trust. Holder is a traitor to the United
    States. Holder should be investigating Obama who is one of the biggest criminals in history. Holder has no morals as his Führer Obama. Obama and Holder should be prosecuted for Fraud and Treason.

  2. The DOJ is worried about lack of evidence? Why not just put people in Gitmo like we do so many others about whom we have no reason to think they are guilty of any crime, let alone have evidence of crimes. Here there is evidence and detainees are ready to give it.

    That was a very interesting article FFLEO.

  3. This is one more reason why trying to ignore war crimes simply will not work:

    “Al Jazeera Journalist Imprisoned & Tortured at Gitmo to Sue Bush

    The action may be brought in Europe using the Pinochet strategy.

    By Jeremy Scahill

    Sami al-Haj, the al Jazeera journalist who spent seven years at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo is preparing to file a lawsuit against former president George W Bush and other top Bush administration officials. al-Haj was repeatedly interrogated by U.S. operatives attempting to falsely link al Jazeera to al Qaeda. al-Haj was also tortured. From The Guardian:”


  4. Here’s some interesting news, in addition there is news of suing GWB in my post above this one:

    “By Jeremy Scahill

    The House Intelligence Committee has just announced that it is launching an official probe into the alleged concealment by former vice president Dick Cheney of a C.I.A. assassination program. Senior Obama officials may think it was perfectly legal, but House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Sylvestre Reyes doesn’t seem to agree (H/T Greg Sargent):”


  5. Check this out from The Guardian via Common Dreams:

    “Al-Jazeera Reporter Imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay to Sue George Bush
    Sami al-Haj – freed in May 2008 after more than six years – to launch legal action against former US president

    by Gwladys Fouché in Oslo

    An al-Jazeera reporter who was imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay plans to launch a joint legal action with other detainees against former US president George Bush and other administration officials, for the illegal detention and torture he and others suffered at the hands of US authorities.

    The case will be initiated by the Guantánamo Justice Centre, a new organisation open to former prisoners at the US base, which will set up its international headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, later this month.”


  6. Domestic ops are still in progress right here in the U.S. — I’ll just keep on trying to expose them until these programs come to light, as I believe they ultimately will. They’re criminal/unlawful program/s, but clearly state-sanctioned, in my opinion, given what I’m seeing. I only wish it were “paranoia.” Someone had better step up to the plate and do something. If not, may God help us.

    George repeated Jill’s quotes and I’ll post them yet again, because she couldn’t be more right.

    “It scares me that so few people seem to grasp how dangerous this situation truly is.”

    “A clear eyed view of history will show the disaster that lies before us.”

    ~ Jill

  7. “It scares me that so few people seem to grasp how dangerous this situation truly is.”

    “A clear eyed view of history will show the disaster that lies before us.”

    ~ Jill


  8. horus,

    I agree. The ruling class has set themselves above the law. This includes financial as well as war crimes. Glenn Greenwald lay bare part of the story of the financial crimes. JT laid bare the consequences for failure to hold high level officals to account for war crimes.

    It scares me that so few people seem to grasp how dangerous this situation truly is. When you have an economic and political elite who feels entitled to do anything, that’s exactly what they will do–anything. The massive suffering that has already resulted to our people and to people from other nations at the hands of a lawless elite is staggering. I’m not clear how people believe a country functions well under a lawless administration/ruling elite. A clear eyed view of history will show the disaster that lies before us. People in power understand one thing–greater power. Once that threat is removed, they will in fact do just as we see–anything. If any citizen thinks this will keep them safe they are not paying attention.

  9. The embarassing evasion of their legal duty to investigate war crimes by Obama and Holder only demonstrates that neither of them take the law seriously and that both consider whether or not to investigate the well known and well documented instances of war crimes a political question. The lack of moral fiber this demonstrates is frightening.

    Obama’s moral underpinnings have always been suspect. His oft stated belief that “policy disagreements” should not be criminalized clearly shows his lack of moral understanding about what took place. It is not a mere policy difference to decide to torture human beings or commit other war crimes. Only in the perverse atmosphere of Washington could such amorality pass as acceptable. The shocking lack of disgust and horror over serious war crimes is an outgrowth of the now acceptable imperial mindset of Washington and Obama, as Emperor, is blinded to just how unacceptable that is in a republic like ours used to be and which he so disingenuously promised to restore by bringing back transparency, accountability and the rule of law to the executive branch.

  10. mespo,

    Prosecution if not legally or moarlly optional. We are talking about torture and murder. Holder has said, on tape, that if murder resulted from torture it would be a crime. God knows why someone has to die before he thinks torture is a crime, but we already have stacks of evidence showing murder as the result of torture. I think this excerpt from Ben Davis, a law professor makes the issue quite clear:

    “I know it is hard for some to imagine elite members of government being tried in a public court in this country. But that is precisely what we need to get to in order to 1) have the full public record under oath and 2) have an American jury of peers under the law convict or acquit.

    The Spanish moved ahead with criminal investigation of six of the former high-level lawyers who authored the “torture memos.” The Spanish court has written to Mr. Obama asking whether the United States intends to prosecute. The United States has an obligation to investigate and prosecute under the Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, but it will not do so unless Americans insist that our leaders do the right thing.

    We should not continue to dither about criminal prosecution of the high-level civilians and generals. After all, we have prosecuted the uniformed soldiers who did their bidding. It is not a question of whether to prosecute, it is a question of how high up we wish to go.”

    Eric and Danny I agree with you both.

    A.Y.–the overlord commands that one partake of his bounty!

  11. Jill is right, in that if the Obama administration fails to investigate alleged war crimes, we concede our rights and set dangerous precedents for the future.

    However, President Obama is very frugal with his political capital, and appears afraid of failing to make good on program changes we can believe in. Unlike Jill, I believe many Americans, of every political stripe, are so confused by the last eight years of distortion that they no longer see a requirement for our political leaders to adhere to the rule of law, and hold others to account when they break with the requirements of our Constitution. For our representative democracy to function properly, we must have informed citizens, who hold our leaders to political account for their actions. It is not good enough to follow them blindly, like sports heroes or celebrities.

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