Holder to Probe CIA Torture Cases: Officials

Special prosecutor will pursue agents who took things 'too far'
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2009 4:55 PM CDT
Mike Morice, center, and other members of World Can't Wait group perform a live waterboarding demonstration.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to name a special prosecutor to probe cases of alleged CIA torture of terror suspects, the Los Angeles Times reports. Insiders say the narrowly focused inquiry will aim to determine "whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized" in the so-called torture memos, but will not challenge the legal basis of the interrogation program itself.

Several CIA officials have put off retirement to maintain access to classified files and build their defense cases. "Once you're out, it gets a lot harder," one retiree says. But some Justice and CIA insiders doubt Holder's prosecutor can navigate these untested legal waters: "A number of people could say honestly, correctly, 'I didn't know what was in" the memos, says a former official. Other analysts insist that interrogators knowingly took things too far.