Democrats largely applauded Durham’s appointment, but some urged that the inquiry extend beyond the actions of the interrogators who were accused of going further than the Bush administration’s guidelines allowed when questioning detainees. A key area of concern for many Democrats is learning what Bush’s most senior advisers knew about the interrogation policies.
“The abuses that were officially sanctioned amounted to torture, and those at the very top who authorized, ordered or sought to provide legal cover for them should be held accountable,” said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), a senior member of the intelligence and judiciary panels.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) cited Monday’s release of a 2004 report from the CIA inspector general on the treatment of detainees in renewing his call for a “commission of inquiry,” an independent review of all Bush-era policies against alleged terrorists.
“Who justified these policies? What was the role of the Bush White House? How can we make sure it never happens again?” he said.