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The ostensible news today is that the Justice Department is conducting full criminal investigations into the deaths of two Bush-era detainees while in CIA custody.

But let’s consider the historic implications. The President of the United States set up an officially authorized system of off-the-book, extralegal prisons and a regimen of government-sanctioned torture; and the consequences of this dark period will be — at most — two criminal prosecutions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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