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C.I.A. Interrogation Report Draws Investigation

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By Caleb Groos on August 25, 2009 10:59 AM

Details from a report by the C.I.A.'s Inspector General in 2004 into detention and interrogation practices in the War on Terror are finally seeing the light of day. What's inside appears to have factored into Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether violations of U.S. law occurred.

First, if this report is from 2004, why is it just being acted upon now? As described by Human Rights Watch attorney Joanne Mariner, who wrote a breakdown of the report's contents and importance, the report was classified "Top Secret" in 2004. In 2008, the ACLU got a very heavily redacted version released through a Freedom of Information Act request. More litigation finally resulted in the release of this lesser redacted version (with still 35+ pages blacked out).

But the report is not new to the Department of Justice (DOJ) or Congress. As the Wall Street Journal reports, in 2004, the C.I.A. gave the full report to the Bush administration's DOJ, and both Senate and House Intelligence Committees. At that point, DOJ prosecuted (and won conviction of) only one person -- a C.I.A. contractor who reportedly beat a detainee to death.

Yesterday, Attorney General Holder appointed special prosecutor John Durham to conduct a preliminary investigation into other potential federal crimes connected to detainee interrogations overseas.

See the full (but redacted) report below.


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