By Robert Romano
January 5th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—There is a "good chance" that special counsel John Durham will recommend prosecuting Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Bush Administration officials for torture and other war crimes, concluding an inquiry Attorney General Eric Holder appointed him to complete.
Last week on FOX News' "The Journal Editorial Report," Wall Street Journal staffers discussed predictions for the New Year:
Paul Gigot: And a big wild card this year, the special counsel that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint to look into whether the CIA and Bush administration officials should be indicted for their antiterror policies. If he indicts--recommends indicting some of those, you're going to see a fire storm.
Dorothy Rabinowitz: There's a good chance he'll make that recommendation.
Deputy U.S. Attorney John Durham was originally chosen by the Bush Administration to investigate the destruction of CIA tapes. Attorney General Eric Holder recently expanded his role to include the investigation of Bush-Era interrogation techniques.
"For some reason, the Journal's Dorothy Rabinowitz thinks that Durham might well recommend that Bush Administration officials be indicted for their anti-terror policies," said Americans for Limited Government Assistant Research Director Richard McCarty. "She may have inside information and could be right, but a cursory examination of Durham's record does tend to inspire confidence."
McCarty explained, "Durham doesn't usually seek publicity and is known for his hard work and fairness. He successfully fought organized crime in Connecticut, and his strategy has been copied elsewhere. On the other hand — as seen in the Libby-Fitzpatrick case — the more time a prosecutor puts into a case, the more invested in prosecution he becomes."
McCarty said that even if the Justice Department does not pursue prosecutions of CIA and Bush Administration officials, "it appears that he's enabling the international community to pursue indictments. Obama just quietly signed an executive order giving INTERPOL even more immunity."
Pursuant to the executive order, INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization), which works closely with the International Criminal Court, will no longer have to answer to the U.S. courts or be subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. In addition, Interpol officers will now have some immunity for crimes they commit in the U.S.
According to an analysis done by ThreatsWatch.org's Steve Schippert and Clyde Middleton, "this immunity and protection — and elevation above the US Constitution — afforded INTERPOL is likely a precursor to the White House subjecting the United States under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). INTERPOL provides a significant enforcement function for the ICC, just as our FBI provides a significant function for our Department of Justice."
Predicted Schippert and Middleton, "the next move from President Obama is likely an attempt to dissolve the agreements made between President Bush and other states preventing them from turning over American military forces to the ICC (via INTERPOL) for war crimes or any other prosecutions."
Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson said the moves by Obama and INTERPOL were setting a dangerous precedent, "Not since the fall of the Roman Republic has a free nation sought to aggressively prosecute outgoing administrations for political grievances. This is a lethal threat to the Constitution. Barack Obama is playing with fire."
Robert Romano is the Washington News Alert Bureau Chief.