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Holder won't selectively release terror memos

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Angel Bayonas
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« on: April 24, 2009, 12:28:26 am »

Holder won't selectively release terror memos
 
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 47 mins ago
WASHINGTON Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress on Thursday he won't play "hide and seek" with secret memos about harsh interrogations of terror suspects and their effectiveness. In testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Holder said he's willing to release as much information as possible about the interrogations.

Several members of the committee pressed him about the Justice Department's release last week of four long-secret legal memos detailing the harsh techniques used on some detainees during the Bush administration.

"It is certainly the intention of this administration not to play hide and seek, or not to release certain things," said Holder. "It is not our intention to try to advance a political agenda or to try to hide things from the American people."

Republicans including former Vice President Dick Cheney have urged the Obama administration to release other, still-secret documents detailing what intelligence was gained from the controversial interrogation techniques.

"I think you have an obligation to release the rest of the memos," said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va.

Holder said he wasn't sure exactly which memos Cheney is referring to, because he hasn't seen them. The attorney general suggested such classified documents may exist at other agencies.

"I'm the attorney general and I don't control many of the memos you might be talking about," said Holder.

When the Obama administration released the memos last week, the president declared no CIA operatives who followed the memos' instructions would be prosecuted. The administration has not offered the same assurances to the memo authors or the Bush officials who oversaw the program.

Congressional Democrats have expressed a strong desire to conduct their own investigation of those officials.

At Thursday's hearing, members of both parties asked Holder if he plans to seek charges against those officials.

"I will not permit the criminalization of policy differences. However, it is my responsibility as attorney general to enforce the law. It is my duty to enforce the law. If I see evidence of wrongdoing I will pursue it to the full extent of the law," Holder said.

Officials are still awaiting the results of an internal Justice Department investigation into the actions of the memo-writers.

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