The 2004 CIA Inspector General Report

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The 2004 CIA Inspector General’s report on treatment of terrorist detainees has finally been released. Spencer Ackerman has the full text over at his place. I’m reading through a copy now. As I mentioned this morning, we already knew a lot about this report. We already knew that the CIA staged mock executions and threatened one detainee with a gun and a power drill. More broadly, Leon Panetta is right: the fact that this country did horrible, inhumane things to terrorist suspects is old news. Sure, not everyone acknowleges it. But that’s what it is: old news.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t be trying to figure out exactly what happened, when. A lot of the journalistic work around this subject has to be done detective-style. There’s value in simply establishing what happened. But the the real question—the question that matters politically, the question that matters going forward—is whether anyone will face any consequences whatsoever for all that misconduct. Eric Holder’s announcement today suggests that some people might, but they’re likely to be the Lynndie Englands and Charles Graners: the “low-level operatives” the Center for Constitutional Rights (and now the ACLU) are worried will be the focus of the probe.

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