Holder probe would focus on low-level perps
Sunday July 12, 2009 08:13 EDT
The Holder trial balloon: Abu Ghraib redux
Yesterday, I treated this new Newsweek report that Eric Holder is “leaning toward appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration’s brutal interrogation practices” as something to celebrate. But new facts about what that investigation would entail and, more importantly, would exclude — facts added by today’s Washington Post — strongly suggest it’s the opposite. At least if that article is to be believed — and it seems clear that Holder dispatched his allies to leak his plans in order to gauge reaction — the investigation will only target “rogue” CIA interrogators who exceeded the limits of what John Yoo authorized, and would not include high-level policy makers who authorized the torture tactics and implemented America’s torture regime:
Any criminal inquiry could face challenges, including potent legal defenses by CIA employees who could argue that attorneys in the Bush Justice Department authorized a wide range of harsh conduct. But the sources said an inquiry would apply only to activities by interrogators, working in bad faith, that fell outside the “four corners” of the legal memos. . . . The actions of higher-level Bush policymakers are not under consideration for possible investigation.
Originally posted: Holder probe would focus on low-level perps