Holder: Justice to Drop Investigations Into CIA Officials Involved in Torturehttp://nationaljournal.com/holder-justice-to-drop-investigations-into-cia-officials-involved-in-torture-20110630
The Justice Department will drop criminal investigations of most of the CIA officials who participated in the harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday.
(RELATED: Statements from Holder and Panetta)
However, Holder said his department will continue to investigate those officials responsible for the deaths of two detainees. The news comes just as the Senate confirmed Army Gen. David Petraeus as the CIA's new director and means that Petraeus's tenure as chief should be free from a federal investigation into the agency.
The announcement ends a wide-ranging probe that has hung over the CIA because of its past use of enhanced interrogation practices, such as waterboarding, that critics say amounted to torture. "The department has determined that an expanded criminal investigation of the remaining matters is not warranted," Holder said in a statement.
Instead, Holder decided to conduct a full criminal investigation only regarding the death of two detainees who were held by the CIA.
In a statement, Panetta embraced Holder's decisions.
"On this, my last day as Director, I welcome the news that the broader inquiries are behind us. We are now finally about to close this chapter of our Agency's history.
"As Director, I have always believed that our primary responsibility is not to the past, but to the present and future threats to the nation. We will continue to fulfill our vital mission of protecting America," Panetta said.