Even A Little Torture Investigation Is Too Much

Joe Lieberman on Holder's probe:

We cannot take for granted the fact that our homeland has not been attacked since September 11, 2001. That has occurred only because of the constant vigilance and unflinching efforts by those brave individuals in our military, civilian homeland security and counterterrorism agencies, and the intelligence community. These public servants must of course live within the law but they must also be free to do their dangerous and critical jobs without worrying that years from now a future Attorney General will authorize a criminal investigation of them for behavior that a previous Attorney General concluded was authorized and legal.

This is really silly. As I understand it, Holder is only after agents who somehow managed to go beyond the parameters established by the Bush administration. From Marc:

...Lieberman apparently doesn't quite appreciate Holder's dilemma: the CIA admitted that laws were broken, and behavior that wasn't authorized by a previous attorney general appears to have been an operational norm. The CIA's inspector general report, on page 255, concludes that the "Agency faces potentially serious long-term political and legal challenges as a result of the CTC Detention and Interrogation program, and the inability of the U.S. government to decide what it will ultimately do with terrorists detained by the Agency."  The IG specifically found that agency officials were aware "of interrogation activities that were outside or beyond the scope of written DOJ opinion."  That is, even if you think the DOJ's legal options were transparent tarps to cover for illegal behavior, agency operations often exceeded those limits, as well. Laws were broken, in other words.

But Lieberman thinks even those guys shouldn't be investigated. Incredible.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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