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No Spanish Inquisition After All, and No American One Either

On Tuesday we relayed a story from The Daily Beast claiming that "The Bush Six" -- the Bush administration lawyers accused of greenlighting the use of torture in America's war on terror -- were about to be indicted by Spanish prosecutors for their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantanamo. Now it's clear that "several reliable sources" were a bit hasty in their assumptions. Spanish Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpio said today that he would not be moving ahead with the prosecution. "If there is a reason to file a complaint against these people, it should be done before local courts with jurisdiction, in other words in the United States," he told journalists, according to The Associated Press.

Scott Horton, who originally reported the tips about the indictment, noted on Monday that some critics were upset the Obama administration wasn't conducting its own investigation. Well, those critics received some good news and some bad news today. The bad: Attorney General Eric Holder announced this afternoon that the CIA officials who used waterboarding on three "high-level detainees" in 2002 and 2003 will not be prosecuted. As President Obama's aides signaled back in January, before he took office, the new administration was unlikely to press charges because these actions were deemed legal at the time -- by former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the five other former officials who were singled out by the Spanish. Holder has since let it be known that those legal opinions are now considered void, and today (the good news), he formally revoked "every legal opinion or memo issued during Bush's presidency that justified interrogation programs," according to the AP. He released "four significant Bush-era legal opinions governing -- in graphic and extensive detail -- the interrogation of terror detainees." The memos were released as part of a lawsuit against the government by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Posted by Laurel Newby on April 16, 2009 at 03:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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