Prosecuting CIA will be tough

NY Times:

The federal prosecutor who will conduct the inquiry into the brutal interrogations of terror detainees faces formidable legal hurdles and complex political dynamics that make prosecutions far from certain.

“I think it would be very difficult to mount a successful prosecution in any of these cases,” said John L. Helgerson, a former C.I.A. inspector general who first investigated abuses in agency jails and whose findings were made public on Monday. “Personally, I would not prosecute.”

Mr. Helgerson, along with legal experts and former federal prosecutors, cited gaps in evidence, lack of criminal intent and passage of time since the episodes occurred as some of the problems confronting John H. Durham, the newly appointed Justice Department prosecutor.

Justice Department officials privately acknowledge that Mr. Durham’s task is difficult. But Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has said he believes he had no choice but to open the inquiry given the seriousness of abuse allegations — including deaths and cruel treatment.

Sure he had a choice and so did Obama. That is why they call it prosecutorial discretion and that is why the President is given the power to pardon. What these two have done is decide to free many terrorist and prosecute those who were trying to protect us. Voters should not be too forgiving of those choices. That is something that Democrats are going to have to live with in coming elections. There may be some kooks in the Democrat base who believe this is the right thing to do, but most voters will disagree.


  1. Merv, at what point does political opportunism become treason? If a Government Official has no reason to fear legal sanction for such treasonous actions, what can private citizens do to stop such betrayal of national interests? What is a legitimate penalty? What penalty would stop others from betraying us? What is the historic solution?


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