In response to Attorney General Mike Mukasey announcing he would appoint John Durham, the Assistant United States Attorney from Connecticut, to investigate the CIA’s tape destruction, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) said “it is disappointing” that Mukasey “declined to appoint a more independent special counsel in this matter.” From his statement:
Because of this action, the Congress and the American people will be denied — as they were in the Valerie Plame matter — any final report on the investigation.
Equally disappointing is the limited scope of this investigation, which appears limited to the destruction of two tapes. The government needs to scrutinize what other evidence may have been destroyed beyond the two tapes, as well as the underlying allegations of misconduct associated with the interrogations.
The Justice Department’s record over the past seven years of sweeping the administration’s misconduct under the rug has left the American public with little confidence in the administration’s ability to investigate itself. Nothing less than a special counsel with a full investigative mandate will meet the tests of independence, transparency and completeness. Appointment of a special counsel will allow our nation to begin to restore our credibility and moral standing on these issues.