It's official: The US won't level any criminal charges over harsh interrogation techniques. Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday closed the final two cases involving the deaths of prisoners in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2002 and 2003, the New York Times reports. The move brings a three-year Justice department investigation into prisoner abuse to an end. "The department has declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt," Holder said in a statement.
The cases involved a suspected militant chained to a wall in brutal cold and an Abu Ghraib detainee. Human rights groups slammed Holder's decision amid "ample evidence of torture and documented cases of some people actually being tortured to death," said an activist. The GOP chair of the House Intelligence Committee, however, applauded the move, calling charges "inappropriate." Click through for background on the investigation. (Read more Eric Holder stories.)