The Incredible Shrinking Investigation
Marcy Wheeler doesn't think John Durham has the juice to effectively probe the Bush torture regime:
As I said in my panel at Netroots Nation, we'll know a lot about whether Holder intends to do a real investigation, or just a whitewash investigating the Lynndie Englands, by the stature of the prosecutor he names. And while Durham is already neck deep in the investigation of torture on the torture tapes, he doesn't necessarily have the stature to go after--say--Jim Haynes and John Rizzo for setting up the torture regime.
I guess Holder wasn't that serious about investigating torture after all.
The White House has now weighed in (though with the Press Secretary's office attached, not the President) praising Holder for limiting the scope of the investigation.
The President has said repeatedly that he wants to look forward, not back, and the President agrees with the Attorney General that those who acted in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance should not be prosecuted. Ultimately, determinations about whether someone broke the law are made independently by the Attorney General.
Doesn't seem like much will be gained from this investigation, after all. It'll look good in the papers, though.
By the way, the IG report is out, along with the "Cheney documents," the ones he claim vindicate the use of torture. Of course, the CIA used torture techniques in tandem with other, more traditional interrogation tactics, so it's really impossible to answer Cheney's question, which I find irrelevant anyway, because torture is torture.
As for the IG report, Spencer Ackerman and Marcy Wheeler are documenting the atrocities. What we know so far: the CIA lied to Bybee and Yoo so they could get approval for torture; they shut off the cameras for 21 hours during a waterboarding interrogation; and the torturers were engaging in techniques before being given the verbal OK by higher-ups. That's just a taste.