Tom Maguire, citing the Washington Post, reports that AG Eric Holder seems to be winding down the much ballyhooed and widely criticized decision to investigate the CIA interrogators:
The WaPo reports that, having finished with the grandstanding and puffery, Attorney General Eric Holder's investigation into the already-investigated detainee abuse cases is narrowing and winding down.
Beyond the obvious problems - in addition to demoralizing the CIA they are investigating the foot soldiers, not the generals who ordered the policy - it turns out that technicalities of law, jurisdiction and evidence make prosecutions and convictions difficult. That is hardly a surprise to the rest of us, but apparently it is news to Holder, who did not read the reports explaining the decisions not to prosecute before reopening the investigations:
Before his decision to reopen the cases, Holder did not read detailed memos that prosecutors drafted and placed in files to explain their decision to decline prosecutions. That issue has rankled GOP lawmakers and some career lawyers in the Justice Department, who question whether Holder's order was made based on the facts or on his political instincts.
But a government source asserted that Holder was briefed on some of the details by advisers and that the attorney general was troubled by the material he read. Authorities have not pointed publicly to new evidence or witnesses that would strengthen the cases under review.
This only makes him seem more incompetent. Tom thinks maybe he'll now have time to re-open the decision to drop the voter intimidation case against the Black Panthers.
I have a different view. I think that like Charles Gibson he's decided to play dumb rather than concede that he made a stupid judgment call to appeal to the party's left wing, a call which has drawn almost universal condemnation.
Either way, he looks foolish. If we accept the "government source's" version of the events, it's a good thing he decided to cut his losses early on this one. He would be well advised to seek new legal counsel though, because whoever told him reopening these cases was the thing to do is an idiot.