Former attorney general Eric Holder on Wednesday called for the public release of details of the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into CIA abuse of detainees, saying it would show the world how hard his prosecutors tried to bring Bush-era torturers to justice.
“I’d love to be able to just throw on the table all the work that was done by John Durham, and let people see how seriously we took the responsibility that we had to figure out whether criminal charges could be brought,” Holder said at a reception for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
The DOJ investigation into torture, led by special counsel John Durham under a carefully circumscribed mandate from Holder, ended in 2011 with no charges being filed against anyone at the CIA despite the massive amount of evidence showing that they had engaged in extraordinary brutality that went well beyond even what was sanctioned by the Bush Justice Department’s infamous “torture memos.”
Holder and other Obama administration officials have been criticized for not holding anyone accountable for torture, and in that way leaving open the possibility that some future administration will do it again. That critique was revived after the release last year of the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s exhaustive Torture Report, which chronicled a seemingly endless series of atrocities, followed by lies to Congress and the public about their supposed effectiveness in eliciting information.