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The Justice Department decided not to bring charges in an investigation of CIA interrogations.
The Justice Department decided to close an investigation on Thursday into the deaths of two detainees who were interrogated by the CIA in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to NPR.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the department "declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt," according to The Wall Street Journal. He added that the inquiry "was not intended to, and does not resolve, broader questions regarding the propriety of the examined conduct."
The decision marks the end of a nearly three year criminal investigation led by federal prosecutor John Durham into the interrogation methods that were employed under the Bush administration, the Associated Press noted. In that time, Durham looked into the treatment of 101 detainees in American custody.
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Durham was initially chosen by President George W. Bush's last Attorney General to investigate the destruction of videotapes allegedly depicting the mistreatment of detainees by the CIA after the September 11, 2001 attacks, NPR noted. Holder expanded Durham's mandate in 2009, allowing him to look into possible violations of the anti-torture statute.
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NPR noted that the investigation opened a rift between the Justice Department and the intelligence community, and former Vice President Dick Cheney and other prominent Republicans criticized Holder for his decision to launch the probe.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said that he was "heartened that the investigation is complete, and I’m heartened by the results. I had great confidence in Mr. Durham. I just regret that many CIA officers had to go through yet another review of these activities," on Thursday, according to the AP.
The names of the detainees were not released, but The Journal reported that prosecutors had used a grand jury to look into the deaths of Gul Rahman at an Afghanistan prison called the Salt Pit in 2002 and Manadel al-Jamadi in Abu Ghraib in Iraq in 2003.