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Holder Had Access To CIA Reports In 2008?

From Mike Allen at the Politico:

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER launched an investigation of Bush-era interrogation techniques in part because of Vanity Fair

June 4, 2012

From Dan Klaidman’s “Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency," out tomorrow from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

“Holder was at home catching up on his reading when he came across an article in Vanity Fair magazine by Christopher Hitchens, in which the writer and critic described what it was like to be waterboarded. Hitchens had arranged to be ‘abducted’ by a team of security contractors in a rural part of North Carolina. They hooded him, placed him in a dark room, and strapped him to a sloping board, positioned so that his head was lower than his heart. They placed a thick towel over his hooded face and proceeded to pour water into his nostrils, a managed-drowning technique.

“After reading the article, Holder viewed the accompanying video online, at Vanity Fair’s website. He sat in his study, engrossed in the macabre spectacle. Hitchens lasted for fewer than ten seconds before asking for mercy, sputtering and gagging as the cloth used in the demonstration was removed from his mouth.

By the way, given Mr. Hitchens well-known penchant for the grape, some of his reaction might have come from a fear of ingesting water.

Watching the video, Holder was both mesmerized and repulsed. Over the next few weeks he plunged into classified reports and briefings on the CIA’s interrogation program. He was increasingly convinced that he would need to launch an investigation, or at least a preliminary inquiry to determine whether a full-blown probe was warranted.” (pp. 68–9).

Is this not disturbing? This Vanity Fair article came out in their August 2008 issue. Are we to suppose that Mr. Holder had never heard of Waterboarding before then? And that was he completely unaware that ‘waterboarding’ had been done on untold thousands of US troops as part of their Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) training?

More importantly, in 2008, Mr. Holder was actually a practicing attorney at the law firm of Covington & Burling. Which was representing detainees at Guantanamo pro bono. So how did a private citizen have access to "classified reports and briefings on the CIA’s interrogation program"?

Furthermore, why did Mr. Holder think he would be able to "launch an investigation, or at least a preliminary inquiry to determine whether a full-blown probe was warranted”? Holder would not become the US Attorney General until February 3, 2009, which was six months later.

If this book’s timeline is true, this information is very troubling on a number of different levels.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 4th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Holder Had Access To CIA Reports In 2008?”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    When you;re crediting Vanity Faire with actionable intelligence, you need to take a break.

    In a sanitarium, under a doctor’s care, with a steady Lithium drip IV

  2. EvaTheFrisbeeDog says:

    No need to fact check when the story fits the narrative.

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