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Ear to the Ground

CIA Says It Gave Probers What They Asked For

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Posted on Dec 22, 2007
Kean
AP photo / Haraz N. Ganbari

9/11 Commission Co-Chairman Thomas Kean briefs reporters in December 2005.

Tapes?  Oh, those tapes!  CIA officials are justifying their failure to hand over videotapes of “severe interrogation” methods by saying they were not specifically asked for them.  The officials were reacting to criticism by former 9/11 Commission members.


The New York Times:

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.

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By PaulMagillSmith, December 26, 2007 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

RE: #121933 by cyrena on 12/22 at 3:14 pm

“Castro did mention retiring. Maybe we can convince him to run…”

Even if he does (retire), cyrena, there’s always Hugo Chavez. Couldn’t be any worse than the newest right-wing glory boy trying to sneak into the Whitehouse under the pretext of being a ‘different’ kind of Repug, Ron Paul. ‘Different’? Right…like the difference between Mussolini & Hitler.

If he was really ‘different’ he wouldn’t be a Republican…or Democrat, now would he?

Vulgarly (but truthfully) put, same old shit just ‘different’ turds.

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By Louise, December 25, 2007 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

“...why in the world would Jose Rodriguez – one of the most cautious men I have ever met – have gone ahead and destroyed them?”

***

THE CIA chief who ordered the destruction of secret videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of two top Al-Qaeda suspects has indicated he may seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying before the House intelligence committee.

Jose Rodriguez, former head of the CIA’s clandestine service, is determined not to become the fall guy in the controversy over the CIA’s use of torture, according to intelligence sources.

It has emerged that at least four White House staff were approached for advice about the tapes, including David Addington, a senior aide to Dick Cheney, the vice-president, but none has admitted to recommending their destruction.

Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorism at the CIA, said it was impossible for Rodriguez to have acted on his own: “If everybody was against the decision, why in the world would Jose Rodriguez – one of the most cautious men I have ever met – have gone ahead and destroyed them?”

The tapes recorded the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, two suspected Al-Qaeda leaders, over hundreds of hours while they were held in secret “ghost” prisons. According to testimony from a former CIA officer, Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding, a form of torture that simulates drowning.

[We know now why attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey refused to discuss waterboarding as a form of torture, don’t we. Probably a key instruction he was given by the president, always eager to protect his own butt.]

The House intelligence committee has subpoenaed Rodriguez to appear for a hearing on January 16. Last week the CIA began opening its files to congressional investigators. Silvestre Reyes, a Democrat who is chairing the committee, has said he was “not looking for scapegoats” – a hint to Rodriguez that he would like him to talk.

Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer, believes the scandal could reach deep into the White House. “The CIA and Jose Rodriguez look bad, but he’s probably the least culpable person in the process. He didn’t wake up one day and decide, ‘I’m going to destroy these tapes.’ He checked with a lot of people and eventually he is going to get his say.”

Johnson says Rodriguez got his fingers burnt during the Iran-contra scandal while working for the CIA in Latin America in the 1980s. Even then he sought authorization from senior officials. But when summoned to the FBI for questioning, he was told Iran-contra was “political – get your own lawyer”.

He learnt his lesson and recently appointed Robert Bennett, one of Washington’s most skilled lawyers, to handle the case of the destroyed interrogation tapes. “He has been starting to get his story out and was smart to get Bennett,” said Johnson.

It emerged yesterday that the CIA had misled members of the 9-11 Commission by not disclosing the existence of the tapes, in potential violation of the law.

“It looks increasingly as though the decision was made by the White House,” said Johnson. He believes it is “highly likely” that Bush saw one of the videos, as he was interested in Zubaydah’s case and received frequent updates on his interrogation from George Tenet, the CIA director at the time.

It has emerged that the CIA did preserve two videotapes and an audiotape of detainee interrogations conducted by a foreign government, which may have been relevant to the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the Al-Qaeda conspirator.

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/latestnews/index.php?id=10593

Question to Congress: How much more do you need to work up the courage to Impeach?

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By Johnny Smith, December 25, 2007 at 5:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“When we pay attention to our history and not polemics we understand that there is always a level of deceit in government, but I think the amount of deceit and hypocrisy in this Christian led government… “

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This government isn’t “Christian led.” The Republican party merely uses the televangelists and the extremist Christians’ hate for anyone different (blacks, gays, immigrants) to garner votes at the polls. It’s a diversionary tactic to keep the voters eyes off of things such as the federal deficit, the huge federal debt, the spiraling costs of health care, the theft of social security funds, etc. Do you think the next campaign will focus on any of those issues or will it be about illegal immigration? Damn Mexicans!!

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By The Conservative Deflator, December 24, 2007 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Because we have human sewage like manapp99 in the United States, who are so damn stupid and ill-informed and get what little misinformation they have in their tiny brains from Rush Dimbulb and other right-wing buffoons, we live in a much poorer country.

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By jackpine savage, December 24, 2007 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

This story, if it doesn’t blow up, will be forgotten about by the media.  If you watch closely, somewhere down the road the CIA will tell the truth in a backhanded way.  They have done it for a long, long time.

That being said, it is important to keep in mind that the CIA is fundamentally for the CIA.  If you don’t believe me, ask the DEA…whose investigations have been thwarted many times.  What’s important about this is that the Bush administration has used the CIA as its scapegoat since 9/11.  That happened because of faulty intelligence on the part of the CIA, not ignoring the intelligence on the part of the administration.  Same story with Iraq.

As some point, the spooks are going to feel backed into a corner.  The only thing worse than a cornered, rabid rat is a cornered spy.

It might be good for the country, these are the people who know all the dirt.  Though how much they can expose without exposing their own actions is difficult to tell.

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By reason, December 24, 2007 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

Witty comments are not going to change the status quo so pervasive in our government. Fortunately I am not very witty. I try to be direct in addressing what I perceive to be a complete disregard for the laws that all U.S. citizens are supposed to be governed by. Our congress and senate are totally inept and the government agencies they are supposed to over see and/or regulate have even less respect for their integrity than the average american.
The CIA’s response to the commission’s inquiry would be humorous if it didn’t reflect both the CIA’s and the commission’s regard for the intelligence of the american citizen. If this behavior is allowed to go unchecked it is highly likely that whoever gains controling power (democrats or republicans)in the 2008 election; they will do little to change the governments general disrespect for the law and the american people in general.

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By manapp99, December 23, 2007 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Providing any classified information to the senate is the same as submitting it directly to the NYT’s. The Dems in the senate have a hitory of providing information to Al Qaeda via their New York branch.

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By DennisD, December 23, 2007 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The CIA thought the commission meant “interrogation duct tape” and handed over a truckload of it. A natural mistake since the duct tape kept the victims screams from being heard by the commission.

“Mr. Kean said the panel would provide the memorandum”
Oh no, not that - has the WH used up all the subpoenas that were sent to them as toilet paper already.

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By Jim Yell, December 23, 2007 at 6:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When we pay attention to our history and not polemics we understand that there is always a level of deceit in government, but I think the amount of deceit and hypocrisy in this Christian led government has never been as brazen or as transparent as in this gangster led regime of Bush/Cheney.

Any hope of relief from this lawlessness is lost if as it appears Bush/Cheney are going to be allowed to vacate the government offices without being impeached, convicted and punished in criminal court.

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By Margaret Currey, December 22, 2007 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the president was Impeached Congress could not be tried up any more than it is now, seems as though 60 votes have to pass in congress and even then Bush will Veto anything he does not like, like the supposed saving of the environment by making cars go 35 miles per gallon, in the mean time Calif. lost its ability to waver the present limitations on emissions, but Bush said all states have to march to the same drummer, what he really means is I have to do something for the auto industry since they cannot be forced to hurry, you know the environment be dammed, so I am glad that these clowns have only a year left, less time to really screw up.

But Barbara Boxer and Ms. Feinstein are not going to roll over easily, as Ms. Boxer said I will see you in court.

No matter who is president you can guarantee that Congress will pick up Democrats and then the fillibuster game will be no more.

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By cyrena, December 22, 2007 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

“....who are trying to determine whether the destruction of the tapes or withholding them from the courts and the commission was improper.
....”

Humm, trying to determine if DESTROYING the tapes was IMPROPER? Ah yes. NOW I understand.

Waxman,

Castro did mention retiring. Maybe we can convince him to run…

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By desertdude, December 22, 2007 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Yes, and we don’t torture either!

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By waxman, December 22, 2007 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

MERRY BUSHMAS AND HAPPY CHENEYYEAR….BE THANKFUL IN ONE MORE YEAR THE NIGHTMARE IS OVER…EVEN IF CASTRO IS ELECTED OUR PRESIDENT..

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By John, December 22, 2007 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I guess it depends on what your definition of the word “all” is.

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