The opening of this article in the Los Angeles Times seems promising. Almost exciting!
Reporting from Washington — U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. is poised to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA abuses committed during the interrogation of terrorism suspects, current and former U.S. government officials said.
Wow! Could it be the breakthrough for which we’ve been hoping?
A senior Justice Department official said that Holder envisioned an inquiry that would be narrow in scope, focusing on “whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized” in Bush administration memos that liberally interpreted anti-torture laws.
Remind anyone of the Abu Ghraib investigation? Focusing on the lower ranking officials- making them the fall guys and gals- while allowing the people actually responsible to go free? Because this isn’t just a question of what the CIA officers did, this is a question of whether they were authorized by top level government officials to commit war crimes. Like by the president. And the vice president. And the secretary of defense. And the national security advisor. And the White House counsel, who became the attorney general. And the director of the CIA. And others.
I believe that waterboarding was torture.
Which would be a war crime. But as the Times article continues:
Obama and Holder have both said that they believe waterboarding constitutes torture. But an investigation would pose thorny political problems for the administration, and probably draw criticism over questions of fairness.
“An investigation that focuses only on low-ranking operators would be, I think, worse than doing nothing at all,” said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.
Worse than doing nothing at all. Think about it.