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Thread: CIA Admits It Destroyed Tapes Of Interrogations

  1. #51
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    New York Times Agrees to Story Correction on White House Role in Destroyed CIA Tapes

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317445,00.html

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    WASHINGTON — The New York Times Wednesday issued a statement agreeing to correct a story it ran earlier in the day suggesting the White House was well involved in the discussions about whether to destroy CIA tapes showing interrogation methods of two Al Qaeda terrorists.

    The decision to run a correction online and in the print edition of Thursday's paper was based on the subheadline of the story.

    "The White House has not challenged the contents of our story, but it questioned the precision of the second deck of our headline: 'White House Role Was Wider Than It Said,'" reads the statement by the paper. "While Bush administration officials have discussed the White House role in the tapes episode (asserting, for example, that Harriet Miers opposed the destruction of the tapes) 'the White House' has not officially said anything on the subject."

    The slight movement in the newspaper's position came after White House spokeswoman Dana Perino called for a correction to the story that suggested top White House lawyers were more involved than previously acknowledged in discussions over what to do with the tapes before they were destroyed in 2005.

    Perino issued a statement calling for the correction to the story subheadline, seen in Times print editions. She told reporters that the newspaper's editors informed her that they agreed to retract the headline and run a correction.

    "Well, it says, 'The White House role was wider than it said,' implying that I had either changed my story, or I or somebody else at the White House had misled the public. And that is not true," Perino said during Wednesday's press briefing.

    The Times story — published Tuesday night on its Web site and in Wednesday's print editions — says that the lawyers involved in the CIA tape discussions included Miers, the former White House counsels Miers and Alberto Gonzales, David Addington and John Bellinger, some of the Bush administration's most powerful current and former legal advisers.

    The Times cited unnamed current and former administration and intelligence officials, reporting, "The accounts indicate that the involvement of White House officials in the discussions before the destruction of the tapes in November 2005 was more extensive than Bush administration officials have acknowledged."

    The Times writes that one former senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the matter "said there had been 'vigorous sentiment' among some top White House officials to destroy the tapes."

    While other officials told The Times "no one at the White House advocated destroying the tapes ... [H]owever, that no White House lawyer gave a direct order to preserve the tapes or advised that destroying them would be illegal."

    In addition to calling for a correction to the headline, Perino's statement Wednesday called the story "pernicious and troubling."

    "The New York Times today implies that the White House has been misleading in publicly acknowledging or discussing details related to the CIA's decision to destroy interrogation tapes," Perino said.

    But she said that couldn't be the case because the White House has been under strict orders not to comment publicly.

    "Under direction from the White House General Counsel while the Department of Justice and the CIA Inspector General conduct a preliminary inquiry, we have not publicly commented on facts relating to this issue, except to note President Bush's immediate reaction upon being briefed on the matter.

    "Furthermore, we have not described — neither to highlight, nor to minimize — the role or deliberations of White House officials in this matter.

    "The New York Times' inference that there is an effort to mislead in this matter is pernicious and troubling, and we are formally requesting that New York Times correct the sub-headline of this story."

    Perino provided a number of examples in press briefings with President Bush, herself and White House spokesman Tony Fratto declining to comment on the matter.

    In one briefing on Dec. 10, a reporter asked Perino if Miers knew about the CIA tapes and whether she asked the CIA not to destroy them, which some reports have indicated.

    "No. No. It's going to unfortunately be one of those briefings — I'm not able to comment on anything regarding that, except for what I said on Friday," Perino replied, "which is now, and since then, the Justice Department and the CIA have started a preliminary inquiry. We are supportive of that. We are in the fact-gathering stage, and we are providing them information. So beyond that I am not able to comment or characterize."

    This latest news follows Tuesday's ruling by a federal district court judge who ordered the administration to appear in court Friday to answer questions over whether it violated a 2005 order the judge issued to preserve records related to detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy on Tuesday ordered Justice Department lawyers to appear before him Friday at 11 a.m. The Justice Department has urged Congress and the courts to back off, saying its investigators need time to complete their inquiry. Government attorneys say the courts do not have the authority to get involved in the matter and could jeopardize the case.

    For now, at least, Kennedy disagreed. Attorneys in unrelated cases, meanwhile, began pressing other judges to demand information about the tapes.

    In June 2005, Kennedy ordered the Bush administration to safeguard "all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay."

    Five months later, the CIA destroyed the interrogation videos. The recordings involved suspected terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The Justice Department argued that the videos were not covered by the order because the two men were being held in secret CIA prisons overseas, not at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #52
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    House Judiciary witness: Destroyed CIA tapes are 'ultimate cover-up'

    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Witnes...apes_1220.html

    David Edwards and Jason Rhyne
    Published: Thursday December 20, 2007

    The CIA's official explanation for destroying at least two videotapes depicting severe interrogation techniques "fails the straight-face test," an expert witness told the House Judiciary Committee Thursday.

    In a hearing focused on the Justice Department's role in the tapes' destruction and the legality of torture tactics, George Washington University Law School professor Stephen Saltzburg heavily rebuked CIA reasoning that the decision was made in part to protect the identify of interrogators.

    "The rationale for destroying the tapes to protect the identity of the interrogators is almost as embarrassing as the destruction itself," said Saltzburg, who is also general counsel for the National Institute of Military Justice. He said that the tapes could easily have been modified to obscure the faces of those involved, and that regardless, the CIA keeps a written record of which officers interrogated detainees.

    "And so the explanation for destruction fails the straight-face test," he said. "The only plausible explanation, I believe, is that the CIA wanted to assure that those tapes would never be seen by any judicial tribunal -- not even a military commission -- and they would never be seen by a committee of Congress."

    Continued Saltzburg, "With [the CIA tapes] gone, we have the ultimate cover-up. The indisputable evidence no longer exists, and memories will undoubtedly differ about what happened."

    He also chided Congress for not choosing to rein in CIA practices.

    "It's vitally important for this Congress to recognize that it's part of the interrogation process," he said. "This Congress decided not to restrict the CIA, at least not explicitly. And it decided not to confine the CIA to interrogation techniques that are contained in the Army Field Manual."

    A representative from the Justice Department was invited to testify before the committee, but was not present at the hearing.

    Another hearing witness, former CIA general counsel and DOJ prosecutor John Radsan, was pressed by committee member Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) as to whether interrogators resorting to torture could be prosecuted criminally if a legal definition of the practice could be agreed upon.

    "If the tapes clearly depict torture," said Scott,"let's kind of think who could be guilty of a criminal offense."

    Responded Radsan, "If we agree that the conduct on those tapes [is torture], that person who did the conduct is guilty...that's for sure." He offered the same analysis for those authorizing torture.

    In statements before witnesses were called, Democratic committee members also admonished the White House for its alleged role, as reported by the New York Times, in participating in discussions about the tapes with the CIA.

    "It is important that we investigate these allegations carefully," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), "because if true, we may be facing the possibility of a dangerous and criminal abuse of powers at the highest levels of our government."

    Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) called on the US to take a moral stand on the issue of torture , and said the country should separate itself from other nations engaging in the practice.

    "This government has to be based on truth and transparency, and it certainly must be based on security, the protection of America," she said. "But the United States does not make those practices of violating the law, violating the Constitution, violating the international convention on torture -- it must not make that the norm...therefore we must not draw to the practices of foreign dictators, but we must stand alone as a beacon of light shining around the world to ensure the principles of freedom and equality and justice reign strong in this nation."

    This video is from CNN.com, broadcast on December 20, 2007.

    Video At Source
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #53
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    Bush: My answer on when I learned about CIA tape destruction 'sounds pretty clear to me'

    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Bush_M...en_I_1220.html

    Published: Thursday December 20, 2007

    At his year-end press conference, President Bush spoke on the economy, but the very first question after his opening remarks was about the ongoing CIA tape destruction controversy.

    Bush complained that Congress had stuffed a year-end spending bill with hundreds of projects that he called wasteful and instructed his budget director to explore options for dealing with them. He said he will ask his budget director to review options for eliminating spending he considers wasteful in the half-trillion dollar spending bill that Congress just passed.

    The president did praise Congress for sending him "a spending bill to fund the day to day operations of the federal government. They passed this bill without raising taxes." But he complained that the measure was done so late in the year that it could slow the processing of tax returns to millions of Americans.

    He said his administration would "work hard to minimize" such a delay.

    The president got a little testy when a reporter asked him for more details on when he first learned about his administration's destruction of CIA interrogation tapes.

    "It sounds pretty clear to me when I say the first recollection is when Mike Hayden briefed me," Bush said. "It sounds pretty clear to me."

    Bush said he will reserve judgment about the CIA tape affair until several inquiries are finished.

    Later, in a question about the 2008 presidential race, Bush was asked about what qualities he thought a potential president should possess.

    After a moment of reflection, he said that strong guiding principles and the willingness to call on frank assessments from advisers were key.

    "What are the principles that you will stand on in good times and bad times? What will be the underpinning of your decisions? What will it be?" the president said he would ask current Oval Office seekers. "Because a president needs to be consistent, and a president needs to understand that what may look like a non-issue today could be a big issue tomorrow."

    Taking a somber tone, Bush also said it was paramount that a president rely on honest advice.

    "How do you intend to get advice from people you surround yourself with...and what process will you have in place to ensure that you get the unvarnished opinion of advisers?" he asked. "Because whoever sits in that Oval Office is going to find this is a complex world..."

    Following the press conference, House Democratic Caucus chair Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) issued the following statement:

    “In 2007, Congress brought change to Washington, but President Bush’s veto pen prevented the kind of significant change our country needs. Rather than usher in support for new sources of energy, the President’s veto pen prolonged our addiction to oil. Rather than give 10 million children the health care they deserve, the President’s veto pen left millions of kids uninsured. And rather than hold Iraqis accountable for Iraq, Bush’s veto pen ensured the American military and taxpayers continue to bear the cost of the war. 2008 can be a year of big change if President Bush joins us in preparing for the future, rather than defending the failed policies of the past.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #54
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    Subpoena of CIA officials threatened
    Justice Dept. action in tape destruction probe angers House panel chairman, who expects testimony from two top intelligence agency officials.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...ck=1&cset=true

    By Richard B. Schmitt, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    December 20, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, chafing at the Justice Department's handling of a probe into missing CIA interrogation tapes, threatened Wednesday to subpoena two top CIA officials to jump-start the panel's own investigation.

    The department, which is conducting a criminal inquiry with the CIA inspector general into revelations that a CIA official destroyed videotapes of two terrorism suspects being interrogated in 2005, asked the panel last week to defer its inquiry.

    Committee Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) has called a hearing for Jan. 16. He said he expected testimony from both acting CIA general counsel John Rizzo and Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., the former head of the agency's operations branch, who authorized destroying the tapes.

    Congressional leaders are angry because, they say, the administration did not keep them fully informed about the tapes at a time when they were investigating coercive interrogation techniques used after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Seeking to defuse the growing controversy, the Justice Department said late Wednesday that it had never advised the CIA not to cooperate with the committee, and that it hoped both investigations would proceed through "consultation and coordination," Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said.

    Meanwhile, the deputy attorney general-designate told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he would have counseled the CIA to preserve the tapes.

    Mark Filip, a U.S. district judge in Chicago who has been nominated by Bush to be the department's second-ranking official, said at his confirmation hearing that he would make sure that the department was complying with any legal orders potentially covering the tapes.

    "It might be the better practice to keep those in any event, given the interest in the subject matter that was on the tapes," he said.

    A federal judge in Washington has set a Friday hearing to explore whether, in destroying the tapes, the U.S. violated an order he issued in a case concerning a group of alleged terrorists being detained at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #55
    AuGmENTor Guest
    Doesn't Bush just tell these people to ignore these things?

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuGmENTor
    Doesn't Bush just tell these people to ignore these things?
    I believe so. Wasn't there someone recently the Bush White House told not go to testify even though they received a subpoena?

    Here's one example...

    http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15905
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #57
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    White House faces hearing on CIA tapes
    Bush Administration Faces Court Hearing Over the Destruction of CIA Videotapes

    http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila..._12212007.html

    MATT APUZZO
    Dec 21, 2007 08:03 EST

    The Bush administration has made its position clear in legal filings and now gets a chance to say it to a judge in open court: Hold off on inquiring about the destruction of CIA videotapes that showed suspected terrorists being interrogated.

    U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy ordered the hearing Friday over the objection of the Justice Department after lawyers raised questions about the possibility that other evidence also might have been destroyed.

    Kennedy, appointed to the trial court by President Clinton, is considering whether to delve into the matter and, if so, how deeply.

    The hearing marked the first time that administration lawyers were to speak in public and under oath about the matter since the CIA disclosed this month it destroyed the tapes of officers using tough interrogation methods while questioning two al-Qaida suspects.

    Kennedy is presiding over a lawsuit by Guantanamo Bay prisoners who are challenging their detention. The judge had ordered the government not to destroy any evidence of mistreatment or abuse at the Navy base in Cuba.

    Because the two suspects — Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — were being held overseas in secret CIA prisons, however, they are likely not covered by the order.

    The tapes could be covered by a more general rule prohibiting the destruction of any evidence that could be relevant to a case. For example, if the tapes showed Zubaydah discussing any of the detainees in Kennedy's case, their destruction could have been prohibited.

    Lawyers for both sides have filed classified documents regarding the tapes. That means there is a good chance Kennedy already knows whether the videos are relevant to his case.

    If the judge believes the CIA destroyed the tapes to keep them from being used in court, he could side with the detainees' lawyers and order the government to disclose all the evidence it has collected, including any other evidence in addition to the tapes that has been destroyed.

    He could order government officials to testify in court about the tapes, which were created in 2002 and destroyed in 2005.

    The government has strongly urged against this move, saying it would disrupt a joint Justice Department-CIA investigation into the tapes. In court documents, acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey S. Bucholtz was concerned that Kennedy might order testimony that "could potentially complicate the ongoing efforts to arrive at a full factual understanding of the matter."

    A congressional investigation is under way too. The CIA invited Capitol Hill investigators to the agency's Virginia headquarters Thursday to begin reviewing documents and records relating to the videotapes.

    Kennedy could side with the Justice Department and agree there is no evidence the government acted improperly and, therefore, no reason to order anything else. Or he could say he lacks the authority to act because the videotapes were not related to his case.

    Kennedy was as a federal prosecutor during the Nixon and Ford administrations until he was named a federal magistrate judge in 1976. President Carter appointed him to be a judge in the District of Columbia's courts and Clinton named him to the federal bench.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #58
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    Congress subpoenas ex-CIA official
    Congressional Panel Subpoenas Ex-CIA Official Who Ordered Destruction of Interrogation Tapes

    http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila..._12202007.html

    PAMELA HESS
    Dec 20, 2007 20:19 EST

    The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena Thursday for Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA official who directed that secret interrogation videotapes of two suspected terrorists be destroyed.

    The panel ordered Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, to appear for a hearing on Jan. 16. Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said Rodriguez "would like to tell his story but his counsel has advised us that a subpoena would be necessary."

    The CIA cracked open its files to congressional investigators Thursday, inviting them to the agency's Virginia headquarters to begin reviewing documents and records related to the videotapes.

    House Intelligence Committee staff members want to know who authorized the tapes' destruction; who in the CIA, Justice Department and White House knew about it and when, and why Congress was not fully informed. The committee, which had threatened to subpoena the records if they did not get access this week, also wants to know exactly what was shown on the tapes, which document the harsh interrogation of two al-Qaida suspects in 2002. The CIA destroyed the tapes in 2005.

    "We learned we have a long way to go, that there are a number of people involved that we need to talk with," said a committee official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation of the tapes' destruction is ongoing. "Many in the executive branch will be called." The committee is still drawing up its list of witnesses to call.

    President Bush declined to address the controversy, saying at a White House news conference Thursday he was confident that administration and congressional investigations "will end up enabling us all to find out what exactly happened." He repeated his assertion that his "first recollection" of being told about the tapes and their destruction was when CIA Director Michael Hayden briefed him on it earlier this month.

    At the Justice Department, investigators were combing through CIA e-mails and other documents and planning to interview former agency officials. One official familiar with the investigation said the review so far indicates that Alberto Gonzales, who served as White House counsel and then attorney general, advised against destroying the videotapes as one of four senior Bush administration attorneys discussing how to handle them. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. Gonzales' attorney, George Terwilliger, declined comment.

    Another of the administration attorneys, John Bellinger, then a lawyer at the National Security Council, has told colleagues that administration lawyers came to a consensus that the tapes should not be destroyed, said a senior official familiar with Bellinger's account of the 2003 White House discussion. Bellinger could not be reached for comment.

    "The clear recommendation of Bellinger and the others was against destruction of the tapes," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. "The recommendation in 2003 from the White House was that the tapes should not be destroyed."

    Exactly which White House officials and attorneys discussed the tapes' destruction and when, with whom, and what they recommended is still a matter of dispute, and one that Reyes hopes his investigation will settle.

    Reyes plans to open his investigation with testimony from Rodriguez and acting CIA general counsel John Rizzo on Jan. 16.

    The CIA has consented to allow Rizzo to testify, although it has not committed to a date. Rodriguez is represented by attorney Robert Bennett, who also once represented President Clinton, two former secretaries of defense and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

    Reyes also wants the CIA to make available CIA attorneys Steve Hermes, Robert Eatinger, Elizabeth Vogt and John McPherson to testify before the committee. Former CIA directors Porter Goss and George Tenet, former deputy director of operations James L. Pavitt and former general counsel Scott Muller are also on the list.

    Muller, who headed the CIA's legal office from 2002 to 2004, advised agency officials against destroying the tapes, according to former government officials familiar with the situation who are not authorized to speak on the record.

    Among the documents the House Intelligence Committee could see is a May 2004 memo Muller wrote recording details of a meeting with White House officials that occurred as the Bush administration was scrambling to deal with the unfolding Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. According to these officials, the White House raised the issue in that meeting and recommended the tapes be retained intact. Muller did not seek White House input in 2003 because he believed the issue had been decided within the agency, the officials said.

    Reyes' panel rejected a Bush administration request that it defer its investigation until a preliminary inquiry being conducted the Justice Department and CIA inspector general is completed.

    Reyes and the committee's top Republican, Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, asked last week for immediate delivery of all documents, cables and records regarding the taping of detainee interrogations, as well as for testimony from Rizzo and Rodriguez at a planned Dec. 18 hearing. The officials did not come and the documents were not provided immediately.

    Reyes said the Justice Department's letter requesting a delay in his investigation had chilled the CIA's willingness to comply with the committee's requests for information and witnesses.

    Justice Department officials denied that, saying their letter did not specifically forbid the CIA to testify or provide documents, something the officials said they have no authority to do. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about the letter.

    Attorney General Michael Mukasey, however, has refused to immediately provide details of the Justice Department's investigation to the congressional judiciary committees out of fear that could taint what may become a criminal case.

    In a separate tug-of-war over who has jurisdiction to investigate the videotapes matter, a federal judge has summoned Justice Department lawyers to his courtroom Friday to determine whether the destruction of the tapes violated a court order to preserve evidence about detainees.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #59
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    9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/22/wa...rssnyt&emc=rss

    By MARK MAZZETTI
    Published: December 22, 2007

    WASHINGTON — A review of classified documents by former members of the Sept. 11 commission shows that the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda, and were told by a top C.I.A. official that the agency had “produced or made available for review” everything that had been requested.

    The review was conducted earlier this month after the disclosure that in November 2005, the C.I.A. destroyed videotapes documenting the interrogations of two Qaeda operatives.

    A seven-page memorandum prepared by Philip D. Zelikow, the panel’s former executive director, concluded that “further investigation is needed” to determine whether the C.I.A.’s withholding of the tapes from the commission violated federal law.

    In interviews this week, the two chairmen of the commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, said their reading of the report had convinced them that the agency had made a conscious decision to impede the Sept. 11 commission’s inquiry.

    Mr. Kean said the panel would provide the memorandum to the federal prosecutors and congressional investigators who are trying to determine whether the destruction of the tapes or withholding them from the courts and the commission was improper.

    A C.I.A. spokesman said that the agency had been prepared to give the Sept. 11 commission the interrogation videotapes, but that commission staff members never specifically asked for interrogation videos.

    The review by Mr. Zelikow does not assert that the commission specifically asked for videotapes, but it quotes from formal requests by the commission to the C.I.A. that sought “documents,” “reports” and “information” related to the interrogations.

    Mr. Kean, a Republican and a former governor of New Jersey, said of the agency’s decision not to disclose the existence of the videotapes, “I don’t know whether that’s illegal or not, but it’s certainly wrong.” Mr. Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, said that the C.I.A. “clearly obstructed” the commission’s investigation.

    A copy of the memorandum, dated Dec. 13, was obtained by The New York Times.

    Among the statements that the memorandum suggests were misleading was an assertion made on June 29, 2004, by John E. McLaughlin, the deputy director of central intelligence, that the C.I.A. “has taken and completed all reasonable steps necessary to find the documents in its possession, custody or control responsive” to formal requests by the commission and “has produced or made available for review” all such documents.

    Both Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton expressed anger after it was revealed this month that the tapes had been destroyed. However, the report by Mr. Zelikow gives them new evidence to buttress their views about the C.I.A.’s actions and is likely to put new pressure on the Bush administration over its handling of the matter. Mr. Zelikow served as counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from 2005 to the end of 2006.

    In an interview on Friday, Mr. McLaughlin said that agency officials had always been candid with the commission, and that information from the C.I.A. proved central to their work.

    “We weren’t playing games with them, and we weren’t holding anything back,” he said. The memorandum recounts a December 2003 meeting between Mr. Kean, Mr. Hamilton and George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence. At the meeting, it says, Mr. Hamilton told Mr. Tenet that the C.I.A. should provide all relevant documents “even if the commission had not specifically asked for them.”

    According to the memorandum, Mr. Tenet responded by alluding to several documents that he thought would be helpful to the commission, but made no mention of existing videotapes of interrogations.

    The memorandum does not draw any conclusions about whether the withholding of the videotapes was unlawful, but it notes that federal law penalizes anyone who “knowingly and willfully” withholds or “covers up” a “material fact” from a federal inquiry or makes “any materially false statement” to investigators.

    Mark Mansfield, the C.I.A. spokesman, said that the agency had gone to “great lengths” to meet the commission’s requests, and that commission members had been provided with detailed information obtained from interrogations of agency detainees.

    “Because it was thought the commission could ask about the tapes at some point, they were not destroyed while the commission was active,” Mr. Mansfield said.

    Intelligence officials have said the tapes that were destroyed documented hundreds of hours of interrogations during 2002 of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, two Qaeda suspects who were taken into C.I.A. custody that year.

    According to the memorandum from Mr. Zelikow, the commission’s interest in obtaining accounts from Qaeda detainees in C.I.A. custody grew out of its attempt to reconstruct the events leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

    Its requests for documents from the C.I.A. began in June 2003, when it first sought intelligence reports describing information obtained from prisoner interrogations, the memorandum said. It later made specific requests for documents, reports and information related to the interrogations of specific prisoners, including Abu Zubaydah and Mr. Nashiri.

    In December 2003, the commission staff sought permission to interview the prisoners themselves, but was permitted instead to give questions to C.I.A. interrogators, who then posed the questions to the detainees. The commission concluded its work in June 2004, and in its final report, it praised several agencies, including the C.I.A., for their assistance.

    Abbe D. Lowell, a veteran Washington lawyer who has defended clients accused of making false statements and of contempt of Congress, said the question of whether the agency had broken the law by omitting mention of the videotapes was “pretty complex,” but said he “wouldn’t rule it out.”

    Because the requests were not subpoenas issued by a court or Congress, C.I.A. officials could not be held in contempt for failing to respond fully, Mr. Lowell said. Apart from that, however, it is a crime to make a false statement "in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch."

    The Sept. 11 commission received its authority from both the White House and Congress.

    On Friday, the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and to Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, asking them to preserve and produce to the committee all remaining video and audio recordings of “enhanced interrogations” of detainees in American custody.

    Signed by Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, and Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, the letter asked for an extensive search of the White House, C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies to determine whether any other recordings existed of interrogation techniques “including but not limited to waterboarding.”

    Government officials have said that the videos destroyed in 2005 were the only recordings of interrogations made by C.I.A. operatives, although in September government lawyers notified a federal judge in Virginia that the agency had recently found three audio and video recordings of detainees.

    Intelligence officials have said that those tapes were not made by the C.I.A., but by foreign intelligence services.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #60
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    As I said on 12/6/2007, it's "almost as if they were trying to make the CIA the scapegoat."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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