Holder Mulls Political A-Bomb: Bush Torture Probe

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2009 5:49 PM CDT
Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 25, 2009, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a new hate crimes law.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – Attorney General Eric Holder is "leaning toward" naming an independent prosecutor to probe Bush-era interrogation policies, even if it means war with the Obama administration, writes Daniel Klaidman in Newsweek. Such a probe would likely trigger partisan hostilities and threaten key Obama policies like health care and energy reform—and Holder knows it. "But that can't be a part of my decision," says Holder.

Still haunted by his role in pardoning fugitive financier Marc Rich during the Clinton years, Holder is seeking redemption, his wife says. He has already convinced President Obama to release Bush torture memos in full. Now, "shocked and saddened" by a classified CIA report on interrogation abuses, Holder is weeks away from deciding on a torture probe. "The notion that you would take actions based on political considerations," he says, "runs counter to everything in my DNA."