To Investigate CIA You Must Target Cheney

Vice President, High-Level Wrongdoing Must Be Focus of Inquiries

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, the chief critic of executive excess and wrongdoing in the Senate during recent Republican and
Democratic administrations, wants Attorney General Eric Holder to
appoint a prosecutor to investigate the CIA's harsh interrogation

But Feingold wants Holder to do it right.

The chair of the Constitution subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary
Committee is concerned that the appointment of a prosecutor by Holder
-- which now seems increasingly likely
-- come with a charge by the attorney general "to focus on holding
accountable the architects of the CIA's interrogation program."

In a letter to Holder, Feingold, who also sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote:

Dear Attorney General Holder:

Recent news stories indicate that you have reviewed the highly
classified 2004 CIA Inspector General report on the CIA's interrogation
program, and that as a result you are considering appointing a
prosecutor to investigate individuals who may have gone beyond the
legal authorization for that program provided by the Office of Legal
Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice. I write to encourage you to
do so, but also to urge you to focus on holding accountable the
architects of the CIA's interrogation program. While allegations that
individuals may have even gone beyond what was justified by those
now-public OLC memos are extremely disturbing, we should not lose sight
of the fact that the program itself -- as authorized -- was illegal,
not to mention immoral and unwise.

As I said in a letter to President Obama in April, the OLC documents
make clear that the details of this program were authorized at the
highest levels of government, which is where the need for
accountability is most acute. Those who developed, authorized and
provided legal justification for the interrogations should be held

I understand this is a difficult decision for you, and I want to assure
you that you will have my full support if you take this important step
in furtherance of the rule of law.

This is an essential message, and an essential step in the process.

Official Washington does not like accountability.

Holder will be under pressure to organize a narrow inquiry that focuses on the misdeeds of underlings.

But this investigation needs to go where the real wrongdoing took place.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a principle proponent of harsh
interrogation during the Bush-Cheney years, and has since emerged as the primary defender of the initiative.

When asked about the use of torture tactics late last year, Cheney told ABC News,
"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the
process cleared, as the agency, in effect, came in and wanted to know
what they could and couldn't do. And they talked to me, as well as
others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it."

That is an invitation -- from Cheney himself -- to, as Feingold
suggests, investigate the extent to which illegal activity was
"authorized at the highest levels of government" and to "(hold)
accountable the architects of the CIA's interrogation program."

Americans should tell the Attorney General to accept this
invitation, and the Credo Action project of Working Assets is offering
them an opportunity to do just that with a new campaign to "Tell Eric Holder to Start His Torture Investigation with Dick Cheney."

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