The Justice Department Investigation of the CIA: It Sucks


From the Chicago Tribune.

Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday opened a preliminary investigation into whether some CIA operatives broke the law in their coercive interrogations of suspected terrorists in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — presenting President Barack Obama with the prospect of a long, distracting battle over policies and actions carried out under his predecessor.

I couldn’t be more disappointed by this investigation from the Justice Department. Although I am interested in learning more about detainee abuse and violations of the Geneva Convention in the wake of 9/11, I am more interested in a comprehensive investigation that answers important questions about our government’s role in dealing with terrorism and leaves the American people in a position to make better electoral decisions in the future.

America need to document the full extent to which Cheney and Bush felt that presidency was an imperial shield that allowed for the dismantling of the US Constitution; we should have a comprehensive understanding of the role of private contractors in our ‘war against terrorism’; and we must decide if the price we’ve paid — with the abdication of our civil liberties, wartime profiteering, and the decay of our moral and political standing in the global marketplace — was worth it.

Some people think that Americans can’t handle the truth, and they might be right. Reagan’s cuts in the federal education budget in the 80s have created an electoral base that is stupid beyond repair. Many of us are more interested in eating Fritos and watching SYTYCD rather than engaging in a substantive debate about prisoner rights at Guantanamo Bay. So let’s document what happened so that future civilizations understand what happened and how they can avoid making the same mistakes.

In the meantime, we must stop wasting taxpayer dollars on limited investigations that attempt to determine “whether there is sufficient predication for a full investigation into whether the law was violated in connection with the interrogation of certain detainees.”

You don’t need the government to ask that question. It’s been answered one hundred times over in the mainstream press and there is a copious amount of evidence to show that detainees were abused at the direction of the White House.

So my message to Eric Holder is this: if you’re not going to conduct an investigation that answers fundamental questions about our government’s behaviors and examines the leadership model of the Bush/Cheney presidency, don’t bother investigating at all. Leave the tough questions to a more courageous Justice Department and Attorney General. You’re not it.

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