From Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Torture Prosecutions Coming?: Certainly looks that way:
The recommendation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, presented to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in recent weeks, comes as the Justice Department is about to disclose on Monday voluminous details on prisoner abuse that were gathered in 2004 by the C.I.A.'s inspector general but have never been released.
When the C.I.A. first referred its inspector general's findings to prosecutors, they decided that none of the cases merited prosecution. But Mr. Holder's associates say that when he took office and saw the allegations, which included the deaths of people in custody and other cases of physical or mental torment, he began to reconsider.
With the release of the details on Monday and the formal advice that at least some cases be reopened, it now seems all but certain that the appointment of a prosecutor or other concrete steps will follow, posing significant new problems for the C.I.A. It is politically awkward, too, for Mr. Holder because President Obama has said that he would rather move forward than get bogged down in the issue at the expense of his own agenda.
Let me, for one, say that it would be a very bad thing if George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Stephen Hadley, John Ashcroft, Jay Bybee, John Yoo and company were never held accountable in any way in any forum at all, while CIA interrogators who used two extra gallons of water in a waterboarding or accidently killed their victims are prosecuted.
"I was only giving orders" is the Bushies defense. It is considerably less valid than the Nuremburg defense.