Obama Justice Dept. Won’t Charge Anyone over CIA Interrogation Deaths
Having passed on prosecuting Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials who tortured terrorism suspects, the U.S. Department of Justice has now decided to not file criminal charges against the CIA for killing two detainees during the George W. Bush administration.
After a year-long investigation, Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week he would not pursue those responsible for the deaths of Gul Rahman and Manadel al-Jamadi.
Rahman died in November 2002 inside a freezing cell at a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan, while al-Jamadi died while in CIA custody in November 2003 at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. A military autopsy concluded that Al-Jamadi’s death was a homicide that followed an interrogation conducted by CIA officer Mark Swanner.
Holder said that “based on the fully developed factual record concerning the two deaths, the department has declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The decision follows another by Holder to rule out any prosecution of CIA agents or contractors who used waterboarding and other forms of torture on detainees.
Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU said, “That the Justice Department will hold no one accountable for the killing of prisoners in CIA custody is nothing short of a scandal. The Justice Department has declined to bring charges against the officials who authorized torture, the lawyers who sought to legitimate it, and the interrogators who used it. It has successfully shut down every legal suit meant to hold officials civilly liable.
Continuing impunity threatens to undermine the universally recognized prohibition on torture and other abusive treatment and sends the dangerous signal to government officials that there will be no consequences for their use of torture and other cruelty.”
The Obama’s administration’s vigorous refusal to hold anyone criminally accountable for the use of torture contrasts with its continued prosecution of CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who was the first to go public with the CIA’s use of waterboarding and who the is now charged with disclosing national defense information to journalists.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Probe Into CIA Detainee Deaths Wraps Up Quietly (by Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service0
Justice Dept Won't Bring Charges Over CIA Interrogations (by Pete Yost, Associated Press)
No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A. (by Scott Shane, New York Times)
Obama and Holder Drop 99 of 101 CIA Torture Cases (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Command’s Responsibility: Detainee Deaths in U.S. Custody in Iraq and Afghanistan (by Hina Shamsi and Deborah Pearlstein, Human Rights First)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Arizona Taxpayers Pay the Price for New, Restrictive Laws
- North Carolina Law Would Force New Cars to be Sold through Dealerships
- Federal Court Panel Says Florida Cannot Punish Businesses with Cuban or Syrian Connections
- Kansas Only State to Close Criminal Records to Public
- New York City Police Officers Reminded to Allow Women to Bare their Breasts in Public