Justice Department won't prosecute CIA interrogators in two prisoner deaths
August 31st, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Justice Department won't prosecute CIA interrogators in two prisoner deaths

By Terry Frieden

The Justice Department on Thursday closed its criminal investigation of the deaths of two prisoners in CIA custody, ending a controversial investigation that Attorney General Eric Holder had approved more than a year ago.

The investigation, conducted by veteran Justice prosecutor John Durham, examined alleged CIA interrogation abuses in connection with prisoner deaths at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003 and at a secret prison in Afghanistan in 2002.

If the probe had led to criminal charges against CIA officers or contractors, it could have ignited a firestorm of objections by Republican lawmakers and the national security community.

Holder acknowledged that he made a controversial decision to appointed Durham in 2009 to examine allegations of CIA interrogation abuses in about 100 cases. His aides say he was aware the Obama White House wanted the torture controversies put behind it, but Holder pressed on. Republican lawmakers and the CIA were upset about the new review of alleged detainee mistreatment.

In June 2011, Durham concluded that nearly all of the allegations should not be prosecuted. However, he said he would look into two cases in which prisoners died while in custody. On Thursday, Holder said no charges would be brought in those cases.

"Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham has now completed his investigations, and the Department has decided not to initiate criminal charges in these matters," Holder said in a written statement. While praising the work of the men and women in the U.S. intelligence community, he left unanswered whether he believes inappropriate actions were taken against prisoners during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Our inquiry was limited to a determination of whether prosecutable offenses were committed and was not intended to, and does not resolve, broader questions regarding the propriety of the examined conduct," Holder said.

CIA Director David Petraeus sent a statement to all CIA employees marking the end of the investigation and ignoring the lingering controversies. "As intelligence officers, our inclination, of course, is to look ahead to the challenges of the future rather than backwards at those of the past. Nonetheless it was very important that we supported fully the Justice Department in its efforts," he said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • CIA • Iraq • Justice Department • Legal • Petraeus
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Brian Murza/Killick Vison

    "READ Killick Vison/FACEBOOK" and "Killick-YAHOO MILITARY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS"!!!

    July 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  2. Eric

    Excellent post. You must continue to offer exnclleet resources and content like you have been offering. I will most likely stop by again in the future.

    October 13, 2012 at 1:19 am | Reply
  3. The Realist

    When the CIA and British intelligence engineered the coup that installed the Shah of Iran, they helpfully provided their fascist friends with long lists of potential "leftists" and "enemies". As a result, thousands were dragged from their homes and summarily executed.

    Nothing at all has changed in the intervening years.

    Expecting civilized behavior from either government is a losing proposition.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  4. Stuck in the Middle

    I'm sure the families of the dead prisoners are comforted by the agency's desire to move on and look ahead to future challenges. Why is that when someone dies in custody in another country at the hands of interrogators it's a crime against humanity, but when we do it it's OK?

    September 4, 2012 at 7:53 am | Reply
  5. wade long

    The fact is the United States is moving toward a new type of government called Authoritarian Democracy. Sounds like an oxymoron, but because of the advances in technology, move toward globalization and sustainability. This is the accepted global governmental maneuver and there will be nowhere to hide from it or change it. New governance is being implemented on both fronts: top down and bottom up. (Bottom up in that cities are gaining membership in a UN organization called ICLEI to where they can implement the UN Agenda 21 which will dissolve property rights.) I have the mindset that the government is evolving and we should change with it, otherwise you're wasting your breath and getting your blood pressure up or getting on a hit list. This is the future and there's more to come. Is it good? Is it bad?

    September 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Reply
    • wade long

      If you want change, you and all your friends will have to be elected to the US Congress, Presidency and then hold office long enough to appoint new supreme court justices and federal justices as they retire or die; and at the same time, get elected to state, county and local governments and school boards, but then the CIA doesn't work for you and neither does the Fed.

      September 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
      • wade long

        If you choose to revolt, keep in mind that most people are content with their ipads, reality tv, sports, status quo, complaining and general disapproval with being labeled a terrorist or dying, you will probably get picked off. Especially since the President has the authority to kill US citizens, your life isn't worth that much as an adversary. Just go to work, love your family and do the right thing. You'll be much happier.

        September 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  6. wade long

    CNN blocked my post, nuff said...

    September 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
    • wade long

      I figured out a way around it.

      September 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      If CNN blocked your post wade long, then you can't be much of a right-winger!!!

      September 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • Chamisal

      Not to worry, WL, it blocks my posts all the time. I'll be interested to see if this one turns up.

      PS:for me, the way around it has been to keep them short.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  7. William

    How can people in the USA support their government/troops when they are pulling stuff like torturing people and killing unarmed people and then trying to hide it and cover it up. Sure we have terrorist out their but is this the best way to do it when the terrorist are doing the same things them self’s to other people. How can people in the USA vote for candidates in an election when they not only allow this to happen and they allow it to continue.

    September 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • Bryan

      A lot of us don't support them....but we meet a lot of resistance from the evacuated flag-waving rednecks that think torture is not only acceptable, but necessary and,. dare I say, patriotic. It's embarrassing, the people that built this country would be disgusted.

      September 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
      • Bryan

        "evacuated" should read "uneducated". Apparently my spell check is uneducated as well.

        September 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • AC

      Do they count as unarmed if they shoot at you and run away into a building to pretend to be a civilian?

      September 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Reply
      • Stuck in the Middle

        They count as unarmed when they're in custody and therefore the responsibility of the US Government. It's a shame that we don't even try to live up to the standard we hold everyone else to.

        September 4, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  8. Ptolemy Adams

    Gestapo tactics! They can kill anyone anywhere at any time!

    September 3, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
  9. Lee Oates

    Amazing how easy government agencies can get away with murder and assinations.

    September 3, 2012 at 3:52 am | Reply
    • Jo

      Very well said, Lee. How true that is! The politicians in Washington are as corrupt as the day is long!!!

      September 3, 2012 at 4:42 am | Reply
  10. ninio

    Interrogaters? you mean murderers. Lets get the terms straight.

    September 3, 2012 at 3:40 am | Reply
  11. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    By dropping charges against these lowlifes, the Justice Department is showing how political the system has become as even here the right-wingers seem to have taken over! There is no longer any sense of justice in Washington D.C. sadly enough, only an unadulterated right-wing ideology! Besides, on can smell a payoff here as Washington reeks of corruption these days!

    September 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Jo

      Thank you, Bimbo. I couldn't agree more!

      September 3, 2012 at 4:44 am | Reply
  12. GJOknows

    The interrogators were black and democrats.

    September 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  13. EvilWorm

    U.S. Ends Criminal Probe of Controversial Arizona Sheriff
    Saturday, 01 Sep 2012 06:53 AM

    The federal government has closed a criminal probe of alleged financial misconduct by Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, who styles himself as "America's toughest sheriff," saying no charges would be filed, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

    Read more on Newsmax.com: Feds Close Criminal Investigation of Sheriff Arpaio

    September 2, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • EvilWorm

      Obama and Holder are TRAITORS! They must go!

      NOVEMBERNOBAMA

      September 2, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
      • William

        Got any suggestions who we replace them with?

        September 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • ccsroscoe@gmail.com

        Ross Perot.

        He told the American people what would happen to their jobs after NAFTA and China's Most Favored Nation MFN trade status was passed in 1999. Perot was laughed at and got 19% of the vote.

        Bad things are suposed to happen to stupid people.

        That was 8 million lost American jobs ago.

        September 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
      • SHAWN

        NOTICE HOW THEY GET IN ZERO TROUBLE FOR MURDERING MILLIONS. THEY LAUGH AND HAVE A GOOD OLD TIME. THE MEDIA SAYS THEY'RE IMPORTANT WISE PEOPLE. HAHHAHAHAHHA THEY ARE THUGS OF THE LOWEST KIND. THE MEDIA TELLS YOU WHO'S SMART AND HONEST. EVEN THOUGH YOU SEE THE CONTRARY RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES. FOR DECADES ON END YOU WATCH THEM SCREW YOU AND THEN BLAME WHO?......YOU! HAHHAHAHHA THEY'VE DONE IT SINCE THE BEGINNING. ITS OUR TURN....CHINA IS NEXT, THEN WHO KNOWS. THEY ARE THE ENEMIES OF MAN.

        September 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
      • Gabriela

        I am excited about fillnay joining you on a prayer journey, after enjoying all your other studies on your blog. What a awesome task to be encouragers of the men in our lives!

        October 12, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  14. Flyboy7588

    Why the heck was this even considered in the first place????? Holder is an @ss. Plain and simple.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • EvilWorm

      An Ass I deal with. Obama and Holder are TRAITORS! They must go!

      NOVEMBERNOBAMA

      September 2, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      It's a bone thrown by Obama to the MoveOn contingent and others who wanted to see former Administration officials brought up on "war crimes".

      September 2, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
  15. majav

    Wow! These alleged war crimes happened TEN YEARS ago. With justice like that, we should expect every public servant working for the American people to behave themselves.

    September 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  16. A loose cannon

    "Holder acknowledged that he made a controversial decision..."

    Not the first time and won't be the last. This guy perches only one rung down from Joe Biden on the stupid ladder.

    September 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  17. saeed

    ppppaaakkkkiiiisssstaaaannnn usa and britain cant handle the power of pakistan we the pakistani people have defeated every nation on earth it was the pakistani people that invented the nuclear bomb the internet built all the space technology everything has comed from pakistan even irans nuclear reactor is built with pakistani technology even chinas space program is built with pakistani technology usa and britain are jelous of us pakistan zendebad.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Jo

      THEN Why the heck are you still living in mud huts and hiding behind your women and children when you fight the Israeli"s. Oh and stop hiding your homemade rockets in your children s schools

      September 2, 2012 at 7:55 am | Reply
    • :)

      Don't mind Jo, saeed. She actually takes you seriously.

      September 2, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • ccsroscoe@gmail.com

      BS

      September 3, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
  18. Mkultra

    There are two hells:one for GOD another prisons of CIA and government

    September 1, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • Flyboy7588

      Hey Mkultra, stick it where the sun don't shine.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
      • :)

        What a withering retort. You really told him!

        September 2, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  19. George Patton

    I smell a gigantic payoff here. This proves that even Canadians in high places have their price, too if the C.I.A. pays them enough. This is where a lot of our tax dollars go, paying bribes like this!!! How repulsive!

    September 1, 2012 at 2:50 am | Reply
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      You nailed it good, George! Kudos to you!

      September 1, 2012 at 6:40 am | Reply
  20. OffTheWorldPolitics

    Gotta love how CNN scrutinizes and blocks posts that are critical of its agenda but then allows this hateful banter to go unchecked.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Thank you OffTheWorldPolitics, for showing me why many of my posts here are either blocked or later deleted. What gets me here is that many of these hatefull right-wing idiots can post whatever they wish, no matter how vulgar the language nor how hateful the post!!!

      September 1, 2012 at 2:46 am | Reply
      • Kster

        Yep. Can hardly find a centrist or progressive point of view on these comment boards. I'll just keep looking and searching no matter how long it takes.

        September 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Auth

      LA!!!!!!! FINALLY I'll be able to play it! They just better resaele the oracle games on it too, for if they do, and I buy and play them, I will have played EVERY SINGLE (worthy) ZELDA GAME IN EXISTENCE! MUAHHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahaaaa .aaaa $300 DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't afford that! how much cheaper could they go, America can't go THAT lower, can they? god damn it I'm not going to be able to afford this thing for years!

      October 13, 2012 at 2:59 am | Reply
  21. :)

    "Interrogators"? More like torturers.

    August 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Jo

      Hey! I was waterboarded while going through the S.E.R.E. Portion of my Special Forces Training/ It ain't that bad if you keep your wit's about you. If it saves American Lives I believe the CIA should do what they have to do without being impeded by a few naysayers. I have worked closely with CIA officers I can't say where or when but these guys are trained well in what they do. Personally I wish they would Drone the Tali into non existence then we would not have to put our lives on the line daily , But hey! It's just War, and I just follow orders.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:02 am | Reply
      • TazMage

        "But hey! It's just War, and I just follow orders." So did all those German soldiers in WW2....their claims didn't absolve them either....

        September 1, 2012 at 9:10 am |
      • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

        Hey Jo, you make an awfully good mouthpiece for the right-wing thugs in Washington. Your right-wing drivel that "war is war" is quite nauseating to say the least!!! Then again, all ignorant Tea Partiers say the same thing!

        September 1, 2012 at 9:35 am |
      • :)

        Is it not the ultimate hypocrisy to codemn the use of torture while practising it yourself?

        September 1, 2012 at 10:08 am |
      • wade long

        Nurumberg is awash.

        September 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  22. Brian Murza

    Tell your C.I.A., to "FU.K OFF"; they are as "HONOURABLE" as the Hamilton Police Force, from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. They should all bury themselves in a "YELLOW DEEP HOLE", with "NO RETURN" to "LIFE"!!!!!

    August 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Thank you, Brian. I couldn't agree more!

      September 1, 2012 at 2:41 am | Reply
  23. Brian Murza

    Eventhough, i "LOVE" AMERICA, its U.S.ARMED FORCES, some of "AMERICA'S CIVILIANS", all of your "C.I.A.", "F.B.I.", should be "PROSECUTED" for "HIGH TREASON" of your PRESIDENT OBAMA, TREASON AND ESPIONAGE being committed "UPON" your U.S.ARMED FORCES; by your "YELLOW CANADIAN PIECES OF SH.T ALLY-CANADA: THE HAMILTON POLICE FORCE, from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, "THE PEDOPHILE SATELLITE OPERATORS"-"CHILD MOLESTERS"-"LOWDENS", "PHALENS", "VANDENBERGS", "HILLYARDS", "ASSOCIATES", whose "DOMICILES", "COWARDICE", "GOSSIPPING" and "CANADIAN CORRUPT COWARDLY CRIMINAL ACTIVITY"; is being "UNAPPREHENDED" by your "BREACH OF TRUST"-F.B.I. and C.I.A., DISLOYAL NOT ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE-CANADA WIDE, CALEDONIA ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE, CALEDONIA, ONTARIO, CANADA, CANADIAN FORCES-REGULAR FORCE/RESERVES, CANADIAN GOVERNMENT-POLITICIANS, CANADIAN SUPREME JUSTICE CRIMINAL SYSTEM!!!!!

    Obviously, your "YELLOW CANADIAN PIECES OF SH.T"-"PEOPLES IN POWER MENTIONED"; , with "THEIR PEDOPHILE SATELLITE OPERATORS MENTIONED", have had and do have your "AMERICAN C.I.A. and F.B.I." "BRAINWASHED" from 1998 ERA until SEPTEMBER 1, 2012, as the "COWARD CANADIANS" have been "SPYING" with SATELLITES and "BROADCASTING" these materials "WORLD WIDE"!!!! For the "CANADIAN COWARDS" to watch/listen too your PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA in the WHITEHOUSE, in "MR. PRESIDENT'S PRIVACY", is the criminal offence of "HIGH TREASON"!!! To watch MR. PRESIDENT'S CHILDREN-his two little daughters-"TAKING BATHS, GOING TO THE TOILET, CHANGING THEIR CLOTHES, SWIMMING SUITS", is the "CRIMINAL OFFENCES OF CHILD MOLESTATION and PEDOPHILIA ; as their voices are being distributed World Wide fed into an "ILLEGAL WEBSITE"!!!! The "PEDOPHILE SATELLITE OPERATORS"-"CHILD MOLESTERS"-"LOWDENS", "PHALENS", "VANDENBERGS", "HILLYARDS", "ASSOCIATES" are the only "CHILD MOLESTERS" watching the PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTERS, though their "VOICES" are listened too by MILLIONS OF DISTURBED PEOPLES WORLD WIDE!!!!

    To watch/listen too your U.S.ARMED FORCES and their ALLIED ARMED FORCES, in "COMBAT OPERATIONAL AREAS"; in which they relay their "PRIVACY" to the "TALIBAN"; in which some of them are being K.I.A., is the "CRIMINAL OFFENCES" of "TREASON", "ESPIONAGE" and "SEEING that this "CRIMINAL ACTIVITY" is and has been "PLANNED"; this "CRIMINAL ACTIVITY" when they are K.I.A., is "FIRST DEGREE MURDER"!!! This is the same "CRIMINA OFFENCE" when their own CANADIAN FORCES" are K.I.A., though the "CANADIAN FORCES", as their "THREE DISHONOURABLE CANADIAN POLICE FORCES" laugh and joke about it and they think it is alright and not against "MILITARY LAW or CIVILIAN LAW"!!!! These "CANADIAN COWARDS" mentioned have "NOT" only been "BRAINWASHED"; though they have a "MENTAL DEFICIENCY", for these "CRIMINAL OFFENCES" to be "LAUGHED" about and "NOT" seriously "TAKEN CARE OF"!!!!

    As your C.I.A.,

    August 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Brian Murza

      "As your C.I.A." and the "CONITUNEATION"; will be "BROADCASTED PRECISELY"; VIA the "SATELLITE" that the "CANADIAN COWARDS MENTIONED ABOVE" have operating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 31, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • TheGoat

      Brian! No one reads crazy. Just helping you out.

      August 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Jo

      WOW! You better check your nuts@ck, because it seems like you have lost your balls as well as your sanity. Easy does it Ace your gonna give yourself a hernia.
      Master Sergeant Jo
      5th Special Forces
      Currently Deployed

      September 1, 2012 at 7:06 am | Reply
      • JCK

        Joe, D.O.L. ..... I served with the 5th, two tours in Vietnam. Is there still an A-502 in 5th Group ? Spent some time in the 3rd at Bragg then with the Puzzle Palace. Keep your head down !!

        September 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • Jo

        We Moved everything to FT Campbell KY many years ago to be closer to the Nightstalker Aviation wing. The 5th was still there when i retired. Thanx for your service bud!

        September 2, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • ccsroscoe@gmail.com

      More BS.

      September 3, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • Kster

      Brian,

      This is your doctor. Please take the medication I prescribed for you.

      September 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply

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