Holder Certain to Prosecute CIA Prisoner Abuse Cases Armed With New Ethics Report

August 24, 2009

(ChattahBox)—According to the New York Times, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility just issued a recommendation to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, advising the reopening of nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, which may expose C.I.A. employees and outside contractors to prosecution for criminal acts committed during brutal interrogations of prisoners. The cases of abuse recommended for prosecution took place in prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The new recommendations from the ethics arm of the Justice Department, come in the wake of the release on Monday of a long suppressed report on prisoner abuse prepared by the C.I.A.’s inspector general. Revelations of terrorizing prisoners with the threat imminent death, using mock executions, an electric drill and the brandishing of a gun and other brutal tactics have emerged from the report.

The report, together with the recommendations from the Justice Department, should provide Attorney General Holder with all the ammunition and political cover he needs to proceed with the prosecution of abuse cases, which took place during the Bush administration. It’s now expected that a special prosecutor would be appointed to investigate the abuse cases and bring criminal charges.

During the Bush administration, about two dozen cases were originally presented to a team of federal prosecutors for possible prosecution, but the Justice Department ultimately decided not to pursue any of the abuse cases, citing mishandled evidence and the inability to locate witnesses and abuse victims. Holder and Congressional lawmakers have questioned the decision by the Justice Department under the Bush administration, not to prosecute the abuse cases, even though some prisoners died under the brutal interrogation techniques.

The recommendations from the Justice Department, calling for the reopening of abuse cases, has been worked on for five years and just released under Mary Patrice Brown, the new head of the Office of Professional Responsibility.

The C.I.A., employees were required to operate under interrogation guidelines and legal opinions detailed in several so called, torture memos” written by Justice Department lawyers. The Justice Department ethics report was highly critical of the legal basis for torture contained in the memos and recommend some of the lawyers be referred to local bar associations for discipline.

The ethics report is also critical of the procedure used to refer violations of the torture memo guidelines for prosecution, leading the Justice Department’s ethics department to recommend the reopening of previously closed abuse cases.

The public may never know all of the abuses that went on under the Bush administration, but what has been revealed to date, is shocking. Holder reacted with disgust earlier this year, when first reading a classified version of the inspector general’s abuse report.


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6 Responses to “Holder Certain to Prosecute CIA Prisoner Abuse Cases Armed With New Ethics Report”

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