Spanish Investigators Want Answers From Justice Dept. On Bush Admin's Torture Role

Scott Horton, via Huffington Post, is reporting that the Spanish national security court has asked our Justice Department -- Eric Holder -- for details about the Bush Administration's role in creating our torture policy.

It will be interesting to see how Holder responds. One thing seems clear, Holder's lack of (any real) criminal investigation - focusing on the underlings in the same manner Bush did with the Abu Ghraib abuses, probably led the Spanish courts to move ahead with their own investigation.

From Scott Horton:

Two investigating judges from the Spanish national security court, the Audiencia Nacional, are asking the U.S. Justice Department for details about the role played by Bush Administration lawyers in the development and approval of torture practices that were apparently applied to a number of Spanish subjects held in Guantanamo.

The judges have asked for responses by the end of October, setting up another major test for Attorney General Eric Holder. This time, the question is whether Holder will choose to oblige or stymie international criminal investigations of Bush officials for torture, in the absence of any domestic efforts in that direction.


The Spanish authorities are deciding whether to continue with a criminal investigation targeting the so-called Gonzales Six -- former attorney general Alberto Gonzales; former Justice Department officials Jay Bybee (now a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals) and John Yoo (now a law professor in Berkeley, California); David Addington, the former chief of staff to vice president Cheney; former undersecretary of Defense for Planning Douglas Feith, and former defense department general counsel William J. Haynes II (now a lawyer with Chevron).


Under Spanish law, the opening of a criminal investigation covering the same matters by the United States would probably lead to the termination or suspension of a case in Spain grounded on universal jurisdiction. However, the Spanish authorities tentatively concluded that suspension of their cases was not warranted at this point because Holder had placed so many limitations on Durham's work and because it does not appear that Durham is being asked to examine the cases involving the Spanish subjects who were held at Guantanamo.


Spanish authorities expressed particular puzzlement over Holder's decision not to release a study prepared by the Department's Office of Professional Responsibility that looks into the conduct of Yoo, Bybee and their successor, Steven G. Bradbury. This report has been five-years in the making. "This report probably contains a good deal of the information that is being sought in the interrogatories," one court investigator told m

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