Holder Plans Whitewash of War Crimes Allegations

holdererictorture -abu ghraibReports indicate that Attorney General Eric Holder is close to naming a prosecutor to look into interrogation abuse, but that he is going to structure the investigation to protect high-ranking officials from investigation for war crimes. While Holder admits that waterboarding is torture, he is reportedly going to allow only the investigation into whether some interrogations went beyond the torture guidelines set by the Justice Department — which allowed for waterboarding.

The investigation is being described as “narrow” and would exclude torture permitted by the Justice Department. It is a towering example of the conflict of interest in the Justice Department handling this investigation. The first thing that it will do is reaffirm its own legal analysis permitting the commission of a well-defined war crime.

It would essentially punish people who “tortured too much,” a standard that is not only shameful but in clear violation of our international obligations. It also reaffirms (as the Obama Administration has done before) that “just following orders” is now viewed by the United States as a viable defense to war crimes.

For the full story, click here.

57 thoughts on “Holder Plans Whitewash of War Crimes Allegations”

  1. rafflaw,

    I thought of that also. He has “promised” prosecutions whenever things heated up a bit over the months, just as you say. The reason I take this trial balloon seriously is that they may have figured out a way to make “prosecutions” work for them. If they pay a few people to take a fall, they will have essentially legalized the illegal. That’s a plan I can see the administration get behind. These “prosecutions” undermine the rule of law while taking the form of legality. We have seen Obama in this pattern before. He is even now trying to make imprisoning the innocent “legal”. It’s their pattern and I think they’ll do this if they believe they will get that result. That’s why I feel we should stronly oppose these limited prosecutions and keep up pressure to go for real and complete prosecutions according to the rule of law. Nothing less is acceptable, and this plan is dangerous.

  2. lottakatz, maybe some of the lawyers can correct me if I am wrong. I think it was the independent prosecutors or counsels who did not have their hands tied and could go anywhere their investigations led. Now we have special prosecutors whose “mission” is limited by the AG. Didn’t Fitzgerald often use that as an excuse, i.e., he was not empowered to go beyond what his assignment was? I suppose if a special prosecutor were named from outside the DOJ like Professor Turley or Glen Greenwald (ha ha, dreamer!), he could go maverick, but he or she might be fired in that case. Holder will appoint a company man, however, who will do as he is told.

  3. “When I mention these rights of an alien, I must be understood of alien friends only, or such whose countries are in peace with ours; for alien-enemies have no rights, no privileges, unless by the king’s special favor, during the time of war.”

    Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Law of England, Book 1, Chapter 10

  4. Jill,
    The trial balloon news stories about the special prosecutor have been going on for some time now. I am not sure that we are not being led astray on this information. If this was a trial balloon that Holder is going to limit is investigation, why keep saying the same thing over these last 2 or 3 months? I am worried that Holder has no intention of prosecuting anyone and these stories are designed to prep us into expecting very little results. I hope that I am wrong.

  5. I love all you “rebels” (what coup leaders call the patriots) and will go down with you.

    We are toast.

    But just remember that the Roman Empire did this movie. And they went down hard.

    All that is left in Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Britain, and every other land the Romans raped … NOW … is streams, forests, clouds, children laughing as they run through the vinyards …

    So do not mourn the downfall of yet another bullshit spewing hurricane that blows its wad when it meets the land.

    Just remain land and listen to what Turley is listening to down there somewhere in paradise today.

    JT stay thirsty and stay warm.


  6. I thought Special Proscetutors didn’t have boundries unless they agreed to them- that’s what made them ‘special’. ?

    I’ve done my 1 letter to the doj a day letter already, I’ll do this one tomorrow morning, If anyoen needs an address:


  7. Yes, I have been following the story for years and was happy to see something finally get out. I am hoping the Professor can add his wisdom to this story and help get the word out. since this obviously applies to the Justice Department avoiding its responsibilities it would seem right up his ally. PLEASE!

  8. McFly/Sibol-Emonds:


    Bradblog has been doing the yoeman work on that for quite awhile and is hoping to get the ptranscript up as soon as it is available, the first article is an update on the waiting but the next few are more meaty. A quick search of the site is instructive on the issue which is relevant in that the info was disclosed to the JD and the JD did not under Bush and is not now persueing it.

  9. Bob,

    Why exactly do you think “fury” was in order? Not punishing the torturers just went from “disease” to “symptom of cancer” in diagnosing the health of the Constitution. That’s why this was a tipping point.

    Boo hoo all you want. You and I are appalled by the same thing.

  10. Buddha,

    Oh boo hoo, people were tortured and no one’s being held accountable. Take a step back and gaze at the larger more disgusting picture.

  11. Buddha,

    I think lawyers should take direct action. Listening to the OLC memos read aloud is a profoundly shocking experience. These memos are a shame on the profession. In Pakistan, lawyers marched for justice. In China, they also march and have been killed. Where is our “million lawyer march”?

    Who should join them? Everyone of conscience. Especially campaign volunteers from the Republican and Democratic party. Campaigns don’t do well without their foot soldiers. Want to scare the crap out of a politician? Take away their money and take away their grunts.

  12. seamus,

    I’ll tell you this too. I’ve never been more proud of my decision to walk away from the profession than I am at this very moment. Holder shames us all. Were I still in practice, today would have been my last damn day. We, the “Profession”, active or inactive, should all feel horrified and appalled by this blatant cover up and complicity in treason and war crimes by extension. Constitutional scholar? Turns out any 1L knows better than what these clowns have done in response to Bush Co’s crime spree. If the ABA had ANY balls whatsoever, they’d call for a strike on the civil judicial system in toto and members working in the Federal system in any capacity and DEMAND accountability and the restoration of the rule of law UNFETTERED by deal making and graft and that prosecutions be to the fullest extent of the law and apply to all conspirators from top to bottom regardless of party affiliation or industrial connections. See how long having the system stopped dead its tracks forces the fascist to fish (send in Blackwater, a fatal mistake for them) or cut bait (hold the trials and investigation in the open, public and full manner in which they should be).

    By not punishing the torturers all, fully and with due process to all, Eric Holder has single handedly said there are two legal standards in this country and two classes of citizens, to which I say “F U, Eric. And the horse you rode in on, sport.” The very recipe for social unrest and decline is based on unequal citizenship. Ask the French. It caused problems for Rome too.

    Anger does not come close to encompassing my feelings about this further Constitutional betrayal by the fascists in Washington.


    Fury is what this level of betrayal deserves.

    Mark my words. Holder’s actions will all lead to trouble for us all if he moves forward as he states. This was a tipping point.

    The Federal government fails yet again.

    This is a Constitutional Katrina and Holder and Obama are FEMA.

    Heckuva job there, Brownshirts.

  13. Here’s to the right wingers that break the law and the spineless liberals that enable them.

  14. BIL,

    I loathe these people and, yes, they are sociopaths. Unfortunately, they don’t believe that “they work for us”, in my opinion.

    I wish that something would change, but I’m afraid that it’s too late.

  15. I’ll call them psychopaths AND sociopaths.

    Screw their position. They have forgotten they work for us.

    They need to be reminded of that the hard way it seems.

  16. John,

    Good idea!


    True about the swearing and the comment in general! At least Nixon actually apologized and was, if only for a moment, actually sorry for what he had done to this country. Not one of these a@#-clowns would ever be sorry. They’re either proud of destroying our Consitution or happy about all the money and power they have or both. I believe they would be called psychopaths if their positions did not protect them.

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