"STATEMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL REGARDING INVESTIGATION INTO THE
INTERROGATION OF CERTAIN DETAINEES
WASHINGTON - The Attorney General made the following statement today:
'On January 2, 2008, Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed Assistant United States Attorney John Durham of the District of Connecticut to conduct a criminal investigation into the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the Central Intelligence Agency. On August 24, 2009, based on information the Department received pertaining to alleged CIA mistreatment of detainees, I announced that I had expanded Mr. Durham's mandate to conduct a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations. I made clear at that time that the Department would not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees. Accordingly, Mr. Durham's review examined primarily whether any unauthorized interrogation techniques were used by CIA interrogators, and if so, whether such techniques could constitute violations of the torture statute or any other applicable statute.
'In carrying out his mandate, Mr. Durham examined any possible CIA involvement with the interrogation of 101 detainees who were in United States custody subsequent to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a number of whom were determined by Mr. Durham to have never been in CIA custody. He identified the matters to include within his review by examining various sources including the Office of Professional Responsibility's report regarding the Office of Legal Counsel memoranda related to enhanced interrogation techniques, the 2004 CIA Inspector General's report on enhanced interrogations, additional matters investigated by the CIA Office of Inspector General, the February 2007 International Committee of the Red Cross Report on the Treatment of Fourteen "High Value Detainees" in CIA Custody, and public source information.
'Mr. Durham and his team reviewed a tremendous volume of information pertaining to the detainees. That review included both information and matters that had never previously been examined by the Department. Mr. Durham has advised me of the results of his investigation, and I have accepted his recommendation to conduct a full criminal investigation regarding the death in custody of two individuals. Those investigations are ongoing. The Department has determined that an expanded criminal investigation of the remaining matters is not warranted.
'As I noted at the time I announced the expansion of Mr. Durham's authority, the men and women in our intelligence community perform an incredibly important service to our nation, and they often do so under difficult and dangerous circumstances. They deserve our respect and gratitude for the work they do. However, I concluded based on information available to me then, and continue to believe now, that the Department needed to thoroughly examine the detainee treatment issue. I am confident that Mr. Durham's thorough review has satisfied that need.' "
"Message from the Director: DoJ Investigations Moving Toward Closure
The Attorney General has informed me that, with limited exceptions, the Department of Justice inquiries concerning the Agency's former rendition, detention, and interrogation program have been completed and are now closed. Specifically, I have been notified that Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham has finished the "preliminary review" of detainee treatment cases announced in August 2009. After extensive examination of more than 100 instances in which CIA had contact or was alleged to have had contact with terrorist detainees, he has determined that no further law enforcement action is appropriate in all but two discrete cases.
In those two cases-each involving a detainee fatality-the Department of Justice has determined that further investigation is warranted. No decision has been made to bring criminal charges. Both cases were previously reviewed by career federal prosecutors who subsequently declined prosecution. The Agency will, of course, continue to cooperate fully in the remaining investigations.
On this, my last day as Director, I welcome the news that the broader inquiries are behind us. We are now finally about to close this chapter of our Agency's history. As Director, I have always believed that our primary responsibility is not to the past, but to the present and future threats to the nation. We will continue to fulfill our vital mission of protecting America.
Leon E. Panetta"