More from The Washington Post:
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move.
Holder is poised to name John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the high-stakes inquiry, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not complete.
Durham’s mandate, the sources added, will be relatively narrow: to look at whether there is enough evidence to launch a full-scale criminal investigation of current and former CIA personnel who may have broken the law in their dealings with detainees. Many of the harshest CIA interrogation techniques have not been employed against terrorism suspects for four years or more.
By every indication, Durham is uniquely qualified to handle this case:
The Attorney General selected the longtime prosecutor in part because Durham is familiar with the CIA and its past interrogation regime. For nearly two years, Durham has been probing whether obstruction or false statements laws were violated in connection with the 2005 destruction of CIA videotapes. The tapes allegedly depicted brutal scenes including waterboarding of some of the agency’s high value detainees.
[All emphasis mine]
This development could complicate relations between the Department of Justice and the White House considering that President Obama has repeatedly voiced his disinterest in investigating possible Bush-era torture.
Still, we know that the CIA has been extremely dishonest when it comes to revealing their role in the authorization and implementation of torture. Because of that, I’m (tacitly) in support of this preliminary investigation, and I don’t really see a downside–if there’s no evidence to justify a full-scale criminal probe, then the digging stops here and we can all move on.