Get ready for a month’s long media event:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appears poised to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate CIA interrogation abuses, a step that would bring unprecedented scrutiny to cases that ended in the alleged torture and death of detainees, current and former U.S. government officials said.

But a probe of even the most egregious abuses is unlikely to lead to criminal convictions because of an array of evidentiary and legal obstacles, according to current and former CIA and Justice Department officials who have firsthand knowledge of the details of the interrogation files.

Criminal convictions aren’t really the goal here. This is political warfare and a Carter-esque attempt to damage the CIA’s mission.

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