January 17th 2009
Eric Holder, probably the only Attorney General-designate in US history to approve giving clemency to terrorists,signaled in his confirmation hearing Friday that he might be just as eager to prosecute our intelligence officers as he was to free the FALN.
Eric H. Holder Jr., the attorney general-designate, did not hesitate to express a clear view. He noted that waterboarding had been used to torment prisoners during the Inquisition, by the Japanese in World War II and in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.
“We prosecuted our own soldiers for using it in Vietnam,” Mr. Holder said. “Waterboarding is torture.” (NYT)
Well, one soldier was prosecuted, not “soldiers,” but the point of the matter is the AG-designee did not signal any support whatsoever for our intelligence officers, which definitely forces us to consider that Obama’s designee may be looking forward to prosecuting intelligence officers.
And if he’s OK with prosecuting intelligence officers, how big a jump is it for him to go after senior members of the Bush administration, including the president himself? In fact, Charles D. Stimson of the Heritage Foundation, who previously was the Defense Department’s top official on detainee affairs, told the NYT Holder’s statements “certainly will increase the pressure on Holder to mount some kind of investigation.”
And just as certainly, Holder’s statements make it just about impossible for the Obama administration to change its position on aggressive interrogation methods, no matter what situation comes down the pike.
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