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White House Held Torture Tape Discussions

Posted on Dec 18, 2007

A new report by The New York Times suggests that the White House was a lot closer to those secret CIA torture tapes than has been previously suggested. “At least four top White House lawyers took part in discussions ... between 2003 and 2005 about whether to destroy videotapes,” according to the Gray Lady.

New York Times:

At least four top White House lawyers took part in discussions with the Central Intelligence Agency between 2003 and 2005 about whether to destroy videotapes showing the secret interrogations of two operatives from Al Qaeda, according to current and former administration and intelligence officials.

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.

Those who took part, the officials said, included Alberto R. Gonzales, who served as White House counsel until early 2005; David S. Addington, who was the counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney and is now his chief of staff; John B. Bellinger III, who until January 2005 was the senior lawyer at the National Security Council; and Harriet E. Miers, who succeeded Mr. Gonzales as White House counsel.

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By cyrena, December 20, 2007 at 3:10 am Link to this comment

#121214 by Mr JJ

Thanks Mr JJ. I was connecting these dots myself. (except of course that looking at his record, Mukasey has presided over so many of the ‘terrorist’ trials, that I had forgotten all about his connection to Padilla).

So, I second Non Credo.

Meantime, it’s not ironic that Padilla himself has since been tortured out of his mind, and locked up for life. We don’t know if the guy ever did anything at all.

These dirty bastards. I swear I hate ‘em.

The DOJ has also refused to hear the multiple testimonies of the rape victims of Halliburton/KBR.

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By cyrena, December 19, 2007 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

#121295 by Louise on 12/19 at 11:54 am
Hi Louise,
I got it the first time. (from this – your original post) I guess you were too nice, so they missed the questions…All pretty much have the same answer..
•  Ok, lets stop being nice and ask a few questions.
•  Why did the CIA feel a need to record the torture in the first place?
You guessed it. Because the perverts who ordered it are sick, sick, SOB’s.

•  Was it so the video could be shown to the fellows in the White House who ordered the torture?
Yep, same as above. Do you remember how DESPERATELY HARD Dick Cheney fought to make sure that the CIA would be EXCLUDED for the re-affirmation of what was already the highest law of all the lands – the PROHIBITION against torture? Remember that? McCain had to re-introduce that bill to prohibit torture, even though it was ALREADY prohibited, everywhere in the world, and especially for anyone signed on the UN Convention prohibiting torture.

Well, Cheney was sweating bullets in his impassioned plea to Congress, to make sure that the CIA could continue to do it, even if nobody else could.

And WAIT! That’s not all. He was SPECIFICALLY emphatic about the sexual perversion. Yep, he wanted that to remain allowable by the CIA, fell under the “acts or assaults on human dignity”, (among other things) part of it, and Gonzo was his major backup for the legal argument. Now you can just LOOK at Gonzo and tell his pervert. And you can just LOOK and listen to Cheney, and know he’s a sadistic psychopath. And georgie the addict probably felt like it was the ultimate frat party porn. Bet he even had on his cowboy hat and holster, yelling “get them Arabs through the entire screening!

•  And why would they want to watch it?

Because they’re sick f***ing perverts and sadists!

•  Is that the real reason the tapes were destroyed?

Yeah, but look how long they kept them around for their viewing pleasure. Not to mention the fear they could instill in the other detainees to show them what was in store for them as well. Sick bastards.

•  So no one would get around to asking the highest in the land, “fellows, why did you want to see those tapes anyway?”

That’s why. Even if a few of them (like Harriet Miers)didn’t watch themselves, they must all know by now what sick bastards the whole bunch of them are, and they were all too cowardly to say anything.

So, yes. I definitely ‘got it’.

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By Louise, December 19, 2007 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

#121301 by 1dree5

“Louise, all interrogations/confessions are, as a worldwide standard procedure, recorded. Same as even your traffic ticket is completed with all possible pertinent informations .... its the same principal applied at different levels of “Law Enforcement”


Thanks, I knew that. Guess my subtle hint that Bush and his favorite Dick might be sadists flew under the radar.

Fact is, the sadists who ran Nazi Germany had an obsessive passion for keeping records of everything, which proved to be a valuable aid in bringing them to trial. Their particular brand of attention to detail led to their own convictions.

Maybe that’s why those CIA tapes had to be destroyed. Even though the repubs have passed legislation providing the torturers retroactive immunity from prosecution, the administration, and possibly a lot of congressaurs and office holders, by the very fact of their “third party” denial and professed ignorance, leave themselves open to being charged with war crimes. Maybe we’ll never see another congress with courage, but there is the world to think about. After all it was not a German court or German political party that brought the German Nazis to accountability. It was the world!

Lots of former “decent” politicians in Germany found themselves sitting on the defendant side of that court. Amazing how quickly high standards can unravel when someone makes the conscious choice to look the other way. Eventually indifference turns into acceptance, and then accompliss.

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By Don Stivers, December 19, 2007 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

Is impeachment still off of the table?

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By Louise, December 19, 2007 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Ok, lets stop being nice and ask a few questions.

Why did the CIA feel a need to record the torture in the first place?

Was it so the video could be shown to the fellows in the White House who ordered the torture?

And why would they want to watch it?

Is that the real reason the tapes were destroyed?

So no one would get around to asking the highest in the land, “fellows, why did you want to see those tapes anyway?”

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By Thomas Billis, December 19, 2007 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

The only thing they have to do is keep the President out of the loop.How hard can it be to keep a chimp out of the loop?Here Zippy fetch the bananna.So no matter what they do there is always commutation or a pardon waiting at the end of it.Also remember they only have to outsmart the Democrats.Another case of how hard can that be?P.S.Nancy Pelosi is huddled with her Constitutional experts to see if there are any other parts of the Constitution she can “take off the table”.What a country.James Madison and Alexander Hamilton among others put the parts of the Constitution on the table and a dimwit like Nancy Pelosi takes them off.

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By lawlessone, December 19, 2007 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why don’t we round up the entire Administration, thank them for their use of torture interrogations which no doubt saved us from the evil Muslim horde, give them a Medal of Freedom for their heroic work and then lock them in jail for the rest of their lives since they have proven themselves to be sociopaths too dangerous to leave loose in society?

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By Quixotic, December 19, 2007 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

But impeachment is off the table? Where did America go?  I thought we stood up to countries that tortured and kill whole cities as being bad, now its policy and the records are erased, people are detained indefinitely without access to lawyers or the Red Cross?...Wait is that a knock on my door?...

Sorry after a little conditioning from the Department of Homeland Security, I Love Big Brother now.

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By purplewolf, December 19, 2007 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

There are no coincidences. The fire is another means to cover their asses.

And Ryan this is not really a new low for this administration, it is only the tip of the iceberg, they can and will go much, much lower.

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By Travis Northington, December 19, 2007 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With offices burning at or near the white house while destruction of tortue videos make headlines I can only surmise that Mr. Cheney is as proficient with matches as he is with a gun.

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By Ryan W., December 19, 2007 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it’s curious that all of a sudden there is a fire in the VP’s building after this story was covered.  I wonder what it ‘inadvertently’ destroyed there!?  More evidence of criminal behavior by the administration?  This is a new low for an administration that I didn’t believe could go any lower!

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By Mark, December 19, 2007 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re.: Fire in Old Executive Office Bldg.: Look for Links to Corruption

Let’s see:

- Fire adjacent to one of Cheney’s offices
- Congress to start taking up investigation of CIA tape issue, which now, is thought to go all of the way up to Gonzales


- Evidence related to the above “destroyed in blaze”????
- Or perhaps “lost” due to “water damage”???

This event—esp. its location and timing—smells like Watergate squared (rather than like an ordinary fire)!

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By Pacrat, December 19, 2007 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wouldn’t you be shocked if the White House weren’t directly involved in the destruction of the CIA tapes? At this point, can the WH ever regain any credibility in this administration?

Another day, another scandal uncovered!

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By Mr JJ, December 19, 2007 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

AG Mukasey has a conflict of interest problem already, and should recuse himself and appoint a Special Prosecutor.

Jose Padilla"s lawyers argued before the Florida Federal Court that Abu Zubaydah was tortured into saying Padilla was an al Qaeda associate. The DOJ dismissed Padilla"s allegations as “meritless,” asserting Padilla"s legal team could not prove that Abu Zubaydah had been tortured. Well, it"s clear now that they certainly COULD have, if the tapes of the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah had been made available!

Now here is where Mukasey"s role comes into question. U.S. District Judge Mukasey, now attorney general, was the one who signed the warrant used by the FBI to arrest Padilla in May 2002. Court records show the warrant relied in part on information obtained from Abu Zubaydah"s interrogation. So we have a problem Houston.

The Attorney General can only issue a warrant based upon legally obtained evidence, and confessions under torture are certainly not “legally obtained”. So either Mukasey was misrepresented the evidence, and would be liable to be potentially a party in those who were presented with “perjured evidence”; or he knew that torture was used in obtaining the confession and ignored it.

In either case he is unsuitable to run an investigation, as it will, inevitably, involved himself. Thus a Special Prosecutor is necessary… Odds that this will happen? Zero percent.

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