Sunday, July 12, 2009
Should Holder Push Forth With Torture Probe?
The White House has said that it does not wish to pursue a criminal investigation into enhanced interrogation techniques employed by the Bush administration. But the Associated Press is reporting that it has learned from sources that Attorney General Eric Holder is contemplating moving forward with a probe nevertheless.
The overriding question is, of course, should he?
There are those who would argue that violations of the law, no matter the perceived good intent, should not be tolerated in an administration. Others might argue, however, that in order to protect American lives, administrations should be doing what they must - extrajudicial or not.
Another, related, story that broke yesterday underscores this dichotomy. The New York Times reported that then-Vice President Cheney ordered the CIA to keep from the congressional intelligence community information about some super secret counterterrorism operation - one that current CIA Director Leon Panetta ordered dismantled after he learned about its existence last month. The comments to my posting of that story ranged from: the New York Times has a history of leaking sensitive information as does Congress so what Cheney allegedly did was right, to: there's no excuse for an administration to break the law (the CIA is required to inform the congressional intel agencies of its actions).
I'm suspecting that the response to this Holder story will follow similar lines.