- The Washington Times - Monday, August 24, 2009

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether CIA employees or contractors committed crimes during the so-called enhanced interrogations of terrorism suspects earlier this decade.

Mr. Holder tapped John Durham, an assistant U.S. attorney from Connecticut, to conduct the inquiry, which is expected to include fewer than a dozen specific interrogations.

Mr. Durham, an experienced public-corruption prosecutor, is already presenting evidence to a grand jury in Alexandria regarding the destruction of videotapes that showed such controversial investigation techniques as waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

“I fully realize that my decision to commence this preliminary review will be controversial,” Mr. Holder said in a statement. “As Attorney General, my duty is to examine the facts and to follow the law. In this case, given all of the information currently available, it is clear to me that this review is the only responsible course of action for me to take.”

Click here to view Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement

Mr. Holder decide to call for the investigation based on recommendations from the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which encouraged such a probe.

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All the cases that will be investigated were previously referred to the Justice Department during the Bush Administration, but did not result in any prosecutions.

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