Holder Launches Probe Into CIA Torture Allegations

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2009 3:35 PM CDT
CIA Director Leon Panetta.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – AG Eric Holder today named a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of torture against CIA operatives who interrogated terror suspects during the Bush administration, the Washington Post reports. John Durham, who is currently probing the destruction of interrogation tapes, will look into fewer than 12 cases detailed in a CIA report released today and determine if a full-scale investigation is warranted. The Bush-era Justice Department investigated and dismissed the cases.

Though President Obama has urged a policy of “looking forward, not backward,” he is staying clear of the current action, the New York Times reports. “The president thinks that the decision of who to investigate and to prosecute is in” Holder’s hands, a spokesman said today. Meanwhile, the CIA bristled at the focus. “The CIA has a strong record in terms of following legal guidance,” director Leon Panetta told his staff in a memo released today. (Read more Eric Holder stories.)