Sunday, February 24, 2008

Indecent investigation

At least they're making a show of it, anyway. News that Justice Department ethics investigators have been looking into how and why officials approved interrogation techniques regarded by other western nations as torture came as a surprise to Congress when it was revealed Friday. The disclosure by H. Marshall Jarrett, head of the department's Office of Professional Responsibility, came in a reply to a letter from two U.S. senators requesting such an investigation, the New York Times reported Saturday. It was the first public acknowledgment of an internal probe into a series of legal opinions from department lawyers starting in 2002 authorizing the harsh interrogation methods. Jarrett said the investigation began more than three years ago, but he did not estimate when it would be concluded. One thing we can be sure of is that the results of the probe, particularly if it reveals a chain of approvals that reaches the Oval Office, will not be released until after or just before President Bush leaves office in January.

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