The Justice Department appears close to re-opening nearly a dozen prisoner abuse cases that were all but buried by the Bush Administration. The move comes after a recommendation of the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The Obama Administration, however, is still blocking any investigation into war crimes and the torture program. I discussed the appointment of Mr. Durham in <a href="“>this segment of Countdown.
The Justice Department is expected to release details on prisoner abuse this week, which will add pressure for re-opening these cases. The Bush Administration rejected any prosecution after sending the cases to the Eastern District of Virginia. The Eastern District has had a number of controversial terrorism cases and has been criticized for extreme views of the law. Critics charged that the office effectively buried the cases.
This announcement also comes with the disclosure that the CIA officers used mock executions and a power drill to interrogate detainees, here.
The cases include the controversy over the death of Manadel al-Jamadi, who died in 2003 in C.I.A. custody at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. While prosecutors dismissed the case by saying that he probably suffered the wounds in his capture, Navy seals who captured him deny that.
Rather than proceed on this piecemeal approach, the Obama Administration should simply appoint a special prosecutor with full authority to investigate the torture program and all detainee abuse –without limitations. Instead, Attorney General Holder appears to be struggling to game the system to protect officials for any war crimes prosecution — a politically difficult move for the Obama Administration.
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