Obama and Holder Drop 99 of 101 CIA Torture Cases
Saturday, July 02, 2011
That’s the number of CIA torture cases involving detainees that the Obama administration will continue to investigate after spending two years reviewing just over 100 instances of alleged abuse during the George W. Bush years.
Outgoing CIA Director Leon Panetta was thrilled by the news, which amounted to “one of the greatest gifts the Justice Department could have given” to the agency’s new leader, former General David Petraeus,” according to Spencer Ackerman at Wired.
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said special prosecutor John Durham’s two-year review of the CIA torture program led to the conclusion that any further investigation of the 99 other cases “is not warranted.”
The two continuing inquiries involve the deaths of detainees at the hands of CIA officials or hired contractors. One centers on Manadel al-Jamadi, who died in CIA custody in 2003 at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Al-Jamadi became known as the “Iceman” after his body was photographed packed in ice and wrapped in plastic.
The second case involves the death of Gul Rahman, a suspected militant who died in 2002 after being shackled to a concrete wall in a secret CIA prison called the Salt Pit in Afghanistan.
The investigation has drawn widespread criticism since its inception in 2009. Those on the left argued that the review, which narrowed its focus to low-ranking interrogators, did not go far enough. Critics on the right, like former Vice President Dick Cheney, slammed the probe as an “outrageous political act.”
The decision to conduct further criminal inquiry doesn’t necessarily mean charges will be brought against CIA officials for killing detainees, noted Ackerman.
CIA Exhales: 99 Out of 101 Torture Cases Dropped (by Spencer Ackerman, Wired)
U.S. Widens Inquiries into 2 Jail Deaths (by Eric Lichtblau and Eric Schmitt, New York Times)
Atty. Gen. Holder to Probe Deaths of 2 People in CIA Custody (by Allan Lengel, Tickle the Wire)
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