The Corner‘s Marc Thiessen notes that on The Today Show this morning, while trying to defend Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to re-investigate allegations of detainee abuse by the CIA, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said: “I’m a former United States attorney. I’m a former [state] attorney general, a prosecutor. . . . I would never second-guess a prosecutor.” Watch:
The key fact that Napolitano is leaving out here is that second guessing a prosecutor is exactly what Holder is doing. Former-President Bill Clinton chief of staff and CIA director Leon Panetta explains:
The Department of Justice has had the complete IG report since 2004. Its career prosecutors have examined that document-and other incidents from Iraq and Afghanistan-for legal accountability. They worked carefully and thoroughly, sometimes taking years to decide if prosecution was warranted or not. In one case, the Department obtained a criminal conviction of a CIA contractor.
Secretary Napolitano is right: second guessing a career prosecutor’s judgment for political reasons is terrible public policy and undermines the rule of law. The Obama administration needs to come clean and admit that that is exactly what Attorney General Eric Holder is doing.