GOP Senators to Holder: Don’t Investigate Torture

August 19, 2009 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

You know what Monday is, right? That’s the date, ordered by Judge Alvin Hellerstein, for the government to disclose the CIA inspector general’s 2004 report into the agency’s torture apparatus to the American Civil Liberties Union in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. That document, which according to reports is filled with grisly tales of abuse, is reportedly prompting Attorney General Eric Holder to consider a special prosecutor — but only to investigate low-level CIA interrogators who went “beyond” the legal guidance issued to the agency by CIA and Bush administration lawyers. Liberals have been pretty dissatisfied by the idea that the guy who waterboarded a detainee with — to steal a memorable phrase that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) used at Netroots Nation on Saturday — 8 oz. of water would be investigated but the lawyer or official who said it was OK to waterboard someone with 3 oz. of water has nothing to worry about.

Of course, that’s way too much for nine GOP senators, including Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who, as Politico’s Manu Raju reports, sent a letter to Holder insisting that if he investigates anyone for torture then it’s only a matter of time before the next terrorist attack.

[T]here is little doubt that further investigations and potential prosecutions of CIA officials would chill future intelligence activities. The intelligence community will be left to wonder whether actions taken today in the interest of national security will be subject to legal recriminations when the political winds shift…

I’m sure I can speak for Daphne when I say I can’t wait for Monday’s release of the CIA report.