Congressional Quarterly
Attorney General Indicates Reluctance to Examine Detainee Treatment
By Keith Perine March 18, 2009
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. signaled Wednesday that the Justice Department is reluctant to examine allegations of illegal treatment of detainees imprisoned around the world during the Bush administration.
In a wide-ranging session with reporters at the Justice Department, Holder also said the Obama administration eventually could decide to prosecute some detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in U.S. courts, and to release some of them on U.S. soil.
The clamor for a Justice Department probe into allegations of detainee torture has intensified this week after the New York Review of Books published excerpts of a 2007 report by the International Committee of the Red Cross that contained interviews with detainees who claimed they had been tortured.
"We will let the law and the facts take us to wherever we go," Holder said. But he added that the administration does not want to criminalize policy differences.
Holder said the department is "mindful" of recent news accounts. But when asked whether there was a formal Justice Department investigation, Holder said, "I wouldn't say that."

© 2021 Mark Danner