Justice Department ends criminal probe of detainee deaths

In 2009, Holder asked Assistant U.S. Attorney of Connecticut John Durham to investigate whether laws were broken when CIA officials detained and interrogated 101 detainees after 9/11.

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Holder last year announced that a full investigation into the two deaths would proceed, while the review into rest of the detention cases would end.

Holder’s decision to launch the wide review of the interrogation cases, which he said stemmed from a 2004 CIA Inspector General report, was criticized by lawmakers, Bush administration officials and members of the intelligence community.

When Holder announced the 2009 probe, former Vice President Dick Cheney, a prominent defender of the use of enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding, called it a political investigation, while Sen. John McCain — who has criticized waterboarding — said it was a mistake.

In his statement, Holder said that the conclusion of the investigation still did not resolve the issues surrounding enhanced interrogation techniques.

“Our inquiry was limited to a determination of whether prosecutable offenses were committed and was not intended to, and does not resolve, broader questions regarding the propriety of the examined conduct,” Holder said.

The Justice Department has not identified the two detainees who were killed in U.S. custody. Previous media reports say they were Manadel al-Jamadi, who died in 2003 in Abu Grahib, and Gul Rahman, who died in a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan, called the Salt Pit, in 2002.