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Ten Questions: #7
Last month, when the United States had its human rights record reviewed by the United Nations in Geneva, U.S. State Department legal advisor Harold Koh assured the world that all alleged abuses of detainees in the custody of the U.S. military “have been thoroughly investigated and appropriate corrective action has been taken,” and that Special Prosecutor John Durham is actively investigating allegations of torture by the CIA and other civilian agencies.
Drawing largely from material we have covered so far in the The Torture Report, I have come up with a list of 10 follow-up questions that the press and public at large—indeed, all of us—should be asking the Obama administration about the status of U.S. compliance with its domestic and international commitments on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment. Today we ask question #7.
In November 2002, the CIA tortured a detainee recently identified as Gul Rahman to death at its secret “Salt Pit” interrogation facility in Afghanistan, stripping him, shackling him, dousing him with water, and leaving him exposed in frigid weather overnight; he died of hypothermia. It has been reported that Attorney General Eric Holder specifically directed Special Prosecutor John Durham to investigate this case and others that the CIA's Inspector General had referred to the Justice Department, only to have the Bush Justice Department decline to prosecute. Is the Justice Department in fact investigating the Salt Pit killing? What is the status of Durham 's investigation, if any, of this case?