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The White House reiterated in a statement Obama's desire to "look forward, not back" but said "ultimately determinations about whether someone broke the law are made independently by the attorney general."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday named a special prosecutor to probe CIA prisoner abuse cases, a move that could distract President Barack Obama from his drive to reform the healthcare system.
Holder's decision, which promises political headaches for Obama, came after the Justice Department's ethics watchdog recommended considering prosecution of Central Intelligence Agency employees or contractors for harsh interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan that went beyond approved limits.
"I fully realize that my decision to commence this preliminary review will be controversial," Holder said in a statement. "In this case, given all of the information currently available, it is clear to me that this review is the only responsible course of action for me to take."
Originally posted by jsobecky
Who is in charge at the White House?
It doesn't sound like it's Barack Hussein Obama.
His employees disregard his words and act on their own accord.
Originally posted by ExPostFacto
Anyone who uses the "let's move forward not backward" as an excuse to overlook crimes, obviously does not know that defense doesn't work in any court room in America.
I personally think this is a good thing. It shows that we can disagree with The Almighty Obama without being considered a terrorist!
'It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department." –Attorney General Eric Holder, April 2009
"Justice Department Names Prosecutor to Reopen CIA Abuse Cases" –Wall Street Journal, yesterday
Mr. Holder had it right the first time. His about-face yesterday, compounded by his release of a 2004 internal CIA report on that agency's handling of terrorists, opens a political war that President Obama, the CIA and above all the country will live to regret.
It's good to see people doing their jobs instead of simply doing what the president tells them to do. Something that has become increasingly rare over the last decade. Also, if they have ample evidence of illegal activities, it needs to be investigated regardless of the political fallout.
United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice (see 28 U.S.C. § 503) concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government.
"The president is the chief law enforcement officer in the administration."
“The attorney general has a unique position in the cabinet obviously,” McCain said. “He can’t be told what to do by the president of the United States.”
Cheney appears to be taking an expansive view of Article II of the Constitution, which says: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States.” Yet in practice and common understanding, the chief law enforcement officer of the United States is the Attorney General.
The Judiciary Act of 1789, ch. 20, sec. 35, 1 Stat. 73, 92-93 (1789) created the Office of the Attorney General. Originally a one-person part-time position, the Attorney General was to be "learned in the law" with the duty "to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, and to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the President of the United States, or when requested by the heads of any of the departments, touching any matters that may concern their departments."
setting it up as "an executive department of the government of the United States" with the Attorney General as its head. Officially coming into existence on July 1, 1870, the Department of Justice, pursuant to the 1870 Act, was to handle the legal business of the United States. The Act gave the Department control over all criminal prosecutions and civil suits in which the United States had an interest. In addition, the Act gave the Attorney General and the Department control over federal law enforcement.