Justice Report Recommends Prisoner Abuse Investigations

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2009 3:09 AM CDT
Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington last week.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A report by the ethics office of the Justice Department recommends reopening a dozen cases of alleged prisoner abuse, a move that would expose CIA employees to prosecution if it's determined they tortured terrorism suspects, reports the New York Times. Legal experts predict Attorney General Eric Holder will launch a new criminal investigation later this week—despite President Obama's desire to ignore Bush-era abuses.

The report recommends that about half of the original cases be be reopened, including that of a prisoner captured in 2003 by Navy Seals who died in Abu Ghraib. Holder reacted with disgust when he first saw classified briefs by the CIA inspector general which detail the use of guns and power drills to threaten detainees, according to associates. Later today Holder will release a huge document detailing prisoner abuse, dating from 2004 but sealed until now.