The same Attorney General who flatly refused to allow the prosecution of the new Black Panther Party members who were videotaped conducting undisguised voter intimidation at a Philadelphia polling site and who did not even dispute the charges against them, is once again choosing to target brave patriots with prosecution, this time it’s our CIA officers who served at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Federal prosecutor John Durham, who was first appointed to probe the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes by Attorney General Michael Mukasey in 2008, is now working on an expanded probe authorized by the Obama Justice Department that includes cases of alleged abuse of terror suspects in U.S. custody.
Time reported on Monday that one Durham-issued subpoena said the federal grand jury “is conducting an investigation of possible violations of federal criminal laws involving War Crimes (18 USC/2441), Torture (18 USC 243OA) and related federal offenses.”
The case centers around the death of Iraqi prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi, who was known as “the Iceman” because after killing him, U.S. forces wrapped him in ice in an attempt to alter his postmortem appearance. In a photograph that drew worldwide scorn, Army Spc. Charles Graner was photographed giving a “thumbs-up” sign while posing over al-Jamadi’s dead body.
Citing “those close to the case,” Time said the probe is believed to target CIA interrogator Mark Swanner, the last person to question al-Jamadi before his death.
Swanner has said he didn’t harm al-Jamadi and declined to comment to Time. The Justice Department also declined comment.
The investigation, should it result in war crimes charges, could explode into the political arena.
Already, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.), who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, has called for the probe to be stopped.
“This is a political prosecution … that would be ended with a political solution, that is the 2012 elections,” he said.
One Navy SEAL was acquitted on charges relating to al-Jamadi’s death, which was officially ruled a homicide. No one else has been charged.