Michigan Senator Carl Levin has raised the possibility of indicting government officials over the authorization of torture. Yesterday, Levin appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the findings of a recent Senate report on torture.
Levin–who chairs the Senate’s Armed Services Committee that produced the report–was asked about recent comments in the media by Vice President Dick Cheney that suggested that he helped give authorization for torture. Levin said that Vice President Cheney condoned torture on television on Sunday when he said that he supports the use of water boarding.
Levin offered considerable criticism of Cheney, however, when questioned about the possibility of prosecutions, he did not mention Cheney. Instead, he said that after gathering supporting information it is the role of his Committee to:
“…turn over to the Justice Department of the next administration–cause clearly this Justice Department is not willing to take an objective look–to turn over to the next Justice Department all the facts we can and we have put together and get our report–the rest of it–declassified. But then it seems to me that it is appropriate that there be an outside commission appointed to take this out of politics that would have the clear subpoena authority to get to the parts of this that are not yet clear. And that is the role of the CIA… which then may or may not lead to indictments or civil action.”
Here’s Levin on the Rachel Maddow Show:
Levin previously issued a statement saying:
“The abuses at Abu Ghraib, GTMO and elsewhere cannot be chalked up to the actions of a few bad apples. Attempts by senior officials to portray that to be the case while shrugging off any responsibility for abuses are both unconscionable and false. Our investigation is an effort to set the record straight on this chapter in our history that has so damaged both America’s standing and our security.”