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Thread: CIA Admits It Destroyed Tapes Of Interrogations

  1. #21
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    Justice, CIA watchdog launch inquiry
    It's a first step to see whether the agency acted criminally in destroying videotapes of terrorism suspects' interrogations.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...adlines-nation

    By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    December 9, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department and the CIA's Office of the Inspector General said Saturday that they had launched a joint inquiry into the CIA's controversial destruction of videotaped interrogations of two Al Qaeda suspects. The preliminary inquiry would be a first step in determining whether a full investigation and potential criminal charges were warranted.

    The probe had been under discussion since shortly after CIA Director Michael V. Hayden disclosed Thursday that CIA officials had made the videotapes in 2002 and destroyed them three years later. The Justice Department has asked for an initial meeting with the CIA's legal staff and inspector general, John L. Helgerson, early this week.

    "I welcome this inquiry, and the CIA will cooperate fully," Hayden said Saturday in a statement. "I welcome it as an opportunity to address questions that have arisen over the destruction back in 2005 of videotapes."

    Hayden's disclosure, made in a letter to employees, has caused an uproar in Congress and among some human rights advocates and defense lawyers. Many have called for investigations, charging that the agency lied about the tapes' existence and then destroyed them to cover up evidence of extremely harsh, possibly illegal interrogations.

    One staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaking on condition of anonymity because the inquiry is ongoing, said the CIA's actions could amount to obstruction of justice and false testimony to Congress -- both federal crimes -- because the agency did not turn over requested interrogation tapes to the congressionally appointed Sept. 11 commission.

    The CIA has agreed to "preserve any records or other documentation that would facilitate this inquiry," Asst. Atty. Gen. Kenneth L. Wainstein, head of the Justice Department's national security division, said in a letter Saturday to the CIA's acting general counsel, John A. Rizzo.

    At least one member of Congress and, reportedly, a senior White House official claim to have told the CIA to preserve the tapes before they were destroyed.

    "Everybody from the top on down told them not to do it and still they went ahead and did it anyway," a senior U.S. official familiar with the internal discussions said Saturday. The fact that the tapes were destroyed despite those warnings figures prominently in the inquiry, the official said.

    The decision to destroy the tapes was reportedly made by the head of the CIA's clandestine operations at the time, Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.

    Democratic leaders demanded Friday that Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey order a full Justice Department probe. It was unclear Saturday what role Mukasey played in the launching of the inquiry.

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) said Saturday that the inquiry would be "an important first test for Atty. Gen. Mukasey." He said his committee would begin its own probe, also reviewing "what was depicted on the tapes -- the interrogation practices that were authorized at the highest levels of government."

    The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced an inquiry as well.

    The White House said Saturday that it supported the Justice-CIA inquiry.

    Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said he could not comment on any aspect of the inquiry except to say it would focus foremost on the circumstances surrounding the destruction of the tapes.

    "We are just beginning and gathering the initial facts," he said.

    In Hayden's letter to employees Thursday, the CIA director implied that one of the videotaped interrogations was of Abu Zubaydah, a senior Al Qaeda lieutenant captured in Pakistan in March 2002. The second suspect was identified Saturday as Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, a suspected mastermind of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole warship in Yemen.

    A U.S. intelligence official said Saturday that the CIA did not videotape the interrogations of any other suspected senior Al Qaeda operatives. The practice was discontinued sometime in 2002.

    Hayden's letter said the sessions were taped for the legal protection of interrogators using harsh new procedures to get Zubaydah and other defiant prisoners to talk.

    Hayden also said that the Office of the Inspector General examined the tapes in 2003 "as part of its look at the agency's detention and interrogation practices," but he did not say whether the office approved of what was on the tapes.

    And Hayden said that the existence of the tapes was disclosed to congressional oversight committees "years ago," and that the agency later notified the panels of the tapes' destruction.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #22
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    Probe into destroyed CIA interrogation videos begins

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/5363362.html

    By JOSH WHITE
    Washington Post
    12/9/2007

    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department and the CIA announced Saturday that they have started a preliminary inquiry into the CIA's 2005 destruction of videotapes that depicted harsh interrogation of two terrorist suspects.

    The announcement follows congressional demands Friday for an investigation into the CIA's action despite warnings from the White House and congressional leaders to preserve the tapes.

    CIA Director Michael Hayden disclosed the destruction of the tapes Thursday in a letter to his staff, telling them that the identities of the interrogators in the 2002 sessions needed to be protected. Some lawmakers have rejected that explanation.

    In a letter sent Saturday, Kenneth Wainstein, of the Justice Department's national security division, wrote to CIA General Counsel John Rizzo to confirm the inquiry and asked the CIA to preserve evidence and documents.

    Wainstein indicated in the letter that he will be working with the CIA inspector general's office to determine "whether a further investigation is warranted."

    Hayden said in a statement released Saturday that the CIA will cooperate fully with the joint inquiry.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #23
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    CIA is accused of torture cover-up

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle3022192.ece

    Sarah Baxter
    12/9/2007

    The CIA has been accused of covering up the torture of two top Al-Qaeda terror suspects after it emerged that White House and justice department officials and senior congressmen warned it against destroying hundreds of hours of videotape of the interrogations in 2003.

    The tapes were destroyed in November 2005, the month in which The Washington Post exposed the CIA’s imprisonment of suspected terrorists at “black sites”. Last night the justice department and the CIA’s internal watchdog launched an investigation.

    The tapes show the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who are now held in Guantanamo Bay. Zubaydah is believed to have been “waterboarded”, a technique that induces panic by simulating drowning, while al-Nashiri has complained that he was extensively tortured.

    Harriet Miers, the White House counsel for President George W Bush, told CIA officials she opposed the destruction of the tapes, according to Bush administration sources. Porter Goss, who went on to become director of the CIA in 2004, also warned against their destruction when he was a senior congressman in charge of the House intelligence committee.

    The destruction of the tapes occurred on Goss’s watch, but it appears he was not warned in advance by Jose Rodriguez, the head of the agency’s clandestine service. The existence of the tapes was kept secret from members of the September 11 commission, which had asked for all material relating to detainees.

    Lee Hamilton, the co-chairman of the September 11 commission, said: “It certainly raises a suspicion of a cover-up, of activities they’re not proud of . . . activities they might even think are criminal.” The CIA had clearly obstructed the inquiry, Hamilton added.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #24
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  5. #25
    AuGmENTor Guest
    You've quantified everything right there Jon. They do it over and over. The news covers it, and the people just switch over to another channel. My attitude on topics like this has really started changing of late. The "People" are going to get exactly what they deserve for their lifetime of acceptance.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuGmENTor
    You've quantified everything right there Jon. They do it over and over. The news covers it, and the people just switch over to another channel. My attitude on topics like this has really started changing of late. The "People" are going to get exactly what they deserve for their lifetime of acceptance.
    What about this?

    Weldon: Atta Papers Destroyed on Orders
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #27
    AuGmENTor Guest
    Are you trying to piss me off on purpose?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuGmENTor
    Are you trying to piss me off on purpose?
    heheheheheh...
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #29
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    Senator seeks tougher CIA tapes inquiry

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22171303/

    By Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington
    updated 6 minutes ago

    The controversy over the CIA's destruction of videotapes allegedly showing harsh interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects grew on Sunday with an influential Democrat calling for a special counsel investigation.

    A joint investigation by the US justice department and the CIA inspector-general was announced at the weekend. But Joseph Biden, the chairman of the Senate foreign affairs committee and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, said this would not be sufficiently independent.

    Mr Biden questioned the ability of Michael Mukasey, the new attorney-general, to oversee an internal inquiry, given his previous refusal to tell Congress the "waterboarding" - or simulated drowning - interrogation method constituted torture.

    "He's the same guy who couldn't decide whether waterboarding was torture and he's going to be doing this investigation," said Mr Biden. "I think it's clearer and crisper and everyone will know what the truth [is] . . . if he appoints a special counsel; steps back from it."

    The Senate and House intelligence committees are also investigating the destruction of the tapes, which showed the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah, an alleged 9/11 planner, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the 2000 bombing of the destroyer USS Cole in Aden.

    Michael Hayden, the CIA's director, has defended the tapes' destruction, saying it protected agents' identities. But several Bush administration officials had reportedly warned the intelligence agency not to destroy them.

    Mr Biden said: "It appears there may be an 'obstruction of justice' charge here. . . I think this leads right into the White House. There may be a legal and rational explanation, but I don't see any on the face of it."

    The US administration has been criticised around the world over a CIA secret prison programme in which terrorist suspects were interrogated using harsh methods such as waterboarding.

    The tape scandal comes as the US intelligence community is under attack from neo-conservatives over the release of an intelligence report saying Iran had halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #30
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    White House goes mum on CIA video case

    http://rawstory.com/news/afp/White_H..._12102007.html

    Published: Monday December 10, 2007

    The White House said Monday it would not answer questions about the CIA's destroying interrogation tapes of terrorism suspects, citing ongoing investigations into what some have called a cover-up.

    Spokesman Dana Perino said that US President George W. Bush's official lawyer had requested a no-comment policy while the US Justice Department and Central Intelligence Agency looked into the simmering controversy.

    "Until that process works itself out, I'm going to adhere to their request," she told reporters. "I think that that's appropriate, and I'll adhere to it."

    When a reporter noted that the White House has similarly stonewalled questions about other potentially embarrassing issues, and suggested that such a policy was politically expedient, Perino bristled.

    "I can see why that cynicism that usually drifts from this room could come up in this regard. What I can tell you is that I try my best to get you as much information as I can, and in this regard I've been asked by our Counsel's office not to comment, and I'm not going to," she said.

    But she repeated that Bush had no recollection of being told about the tapes or about their destruction in 2005 until briefed last week following media reports.

    Some of Bush's Democratic critics and human rights groups have denounced the decision as an attempt to cover up interrogation practices widely seen as torture -- despite Washington's insistence that it does not torture.

    The videotapes, made in 2002, reportedly showed harsh interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who were among the first suspects interrogated by the CIA after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    CIA director Michael Hayden, who was not leading the agency when the tapes were destroyed, has said that doing so was necessary to avoid having the recordings leak to the public, revealing the identity of CIA questioners.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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