The Justice Department announced today that they were opening “a full criminal investigation” into the “destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes, putting the politically charged probe in the hands of a mob-busting public corruption prosecutor with a reputation as being independent.”
Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced that he was appointing John Durham, a federal prosecutor in Connecticut, to oversee the investigation of a case that has challenged the Bush administration’s controversial handling of terrorism suspects.
The CIA acknowledged last month that in 2005 it destroyed videos of officers using tough interrogation methods while questioning two al-Qaida suspects. The acknowledgment sparked a congressional inquiry and a preliminary investigation by Justice into whether the CIA violated any laws or obstructed congressional inquiries such as the one led by the Sept. 11 Commission.
The announcement followed an OP/ED in the N.Y. Times today: Stonewalled by the C.I.A.. Authors of the OP/ED, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, who served as chairman and vice chairman, of the 9/11 commission contend:
As a legal matter, it is not up to us to examine the C.I.A.’s failure to disclose the existence of these tapes. That is for others. What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.
Balkanization says: “The CIA Tapes Prosecutor is Neither “Outside” Nor “Special,” Nor “Independent”.” Memeorandum has all the buzz on this latest controversy involving BushCo. Looks like we’re starting out the New Year with a bang.