The Destruction Of CIA Interrogation Tapes
To me, withholding these tapes from the 9/11 Commission, and then destroying them is an obvious crime. However, this isn't the first piece of 9/11 evidence that has been destroyed. There were FAA tapes destroyed. According to Curt Weldon, as reported by AP, "a Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks."
I think the efforts by Zelikow, Kean, and Hamilton to badmouth the CIA are obviously an attempt at re-establishing any credibility they may have had, though, I don't see that as possible since they have none. I also think they are trying to make the CIA the "scapegoat" for 9/11. I do think the CIA should be investigated with regard to the attacks, but I certainly don't think we should stop with them (White House, NORAD, FAA, Secret Service, Pentagon, I'm looking in your direction).
The media is focusing on the torture aspect of the tapes, but seems to be ignoring the question of what was on them. With few exceptions. Gerald Posner said that a source told him Zubaydah mentioned Saudi Arabia and Pakistani involvement or support for the 9/11 attacks. Someone else speculated about "Israeli participation" during the interrogations. I don't know what was on those tapes. I wasn't there. I believe Naomi Wolf said it best:
"What we are likely to see if the tapes documenting the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri are ever recovered is that the "confessions" of the prisoners upon which the White House has built its entire case for subverting the Constitution and suspending civil liberties in this country was obtained through methods such as electrocution, beating to the point of organ failure, hanging prisoners from the wrists from a ceiling, suffocation, and threats against family members ("I am going to find your mother and I am going to fuck her" is one direct quote from a US interrogator). On the missing tapes, we would likely see responses from the prisoners that would be obvious to us as confessions to anything at all in order to end the violence. In other words, if we could witness the drama of manufacturing by torture the many violently coerced "confessions" upon which the whole house of cards of this White House and its hyped "war on terror" rests, it would likely cause us to reopen every investigation, including the most serious ones (remember, even the 9/11 committee did not receive copies of the tapes); shut down the corrupt, Stalinesque Military Commissions System; turn over prisoners, the guilty and the innocent, into a working, accountable justice system operating in accordance with American values; and direct our legal scrutiny to the torturers themselves -- right up to the office of the Vice President and the President if that is where the investigations would lead."
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