Magazine article Newsweek

The CIA on Trial?

Magazine article Newsweek

The CIA on Trial?

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman, and Mark Hosenball

Earlier this year, when justice Department prosecutors began trying to assemble a case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators for orchestrating the 9/11 attacks, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. told them to make it airtight. "I cannot have a case that is not won," Holder said, a senior Justice official tells NEWSWEEK. But the team agonized over one key question: how to prosecute the detainees without the trial being derailed by embarrassing disclosures about CIA "enhanced interrogation" techniques. For months, Justice officials say, they scoured case files for evidence "untainted" by rough interrogations or other "extralegal" methods. They were so nervous about torture allegations that they even decided against using confessions made to an FBI "clean team" that questioned the detainees after they were transferred from CIA custody to Guantanamo. The reason: prosecutors couldn't be sure the FBI agents' questioning wasn't influenced by information they had previously gleaned from tough CIA treatment.

By last week, Holder and his deputies were confident they had succeeded, allowing the A.G. to announce that Mohammed and his cohorts will stand trial blocks from the former World Trade Center site. (Holder called Air Force One to inform Asia-bound White House officials of his decision, says the senior Justice official.) "There's plenty of evidence outside of the torture stuff," says another senior Justice official familiar with the decision who, like others interviewed, declined to be named talking about delicate deliberations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.