Last month, Amanda Silverman, a reporter-researcher for The New Republic, profiled John Durham, whom she called "the man who may be put in charge of investigating the Bush administration's torture crimes."
He got the job.
Earlier today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Durham, a career prosecutor, would lead a Justice Department investigation into overseas interrogations.
In her article, called "Good Knight," Silverman charted Durham's career from the University of Connecticut Law School to the Connecticut state attorney's office:
By the early '90s, working out of the U.S. attorney's office in Connecticut, he was receiving national attention heading cases against New England crime kings, providing evidence to put John Gotti behind bars, and going after crooked politicos like former Connecticut governor John Rowland. In 1999, he was asked by former attorney general Janet Reno to investigate a number of corrupt state police officers and FBI agents in Boston that had been working with the mob (a case whose players served as inspiration for characters in the Oscar-winning film, The Departed).
During the '80s and '90s, Durham became known in New England as the "white knight": dogged, spotlight-shy, puritanical, and successful. He's a devout Catholic that takes no prisoners in the court room. As of 2001, he'd never lost a case. In July 2004, he was awarded the Award for Exceptional Service by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Earlier this year, when then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey asked Durham to investigate the destruction of videotapes of interrogations by CIA officers, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston spoke with NPR's Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition. She said that Durham is known as a "fierce investigator," and compared him to another U.S. attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald, who investigated the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame.