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Mukasey Launches Probe of CIA Tapes

Posted on Jan 2, 2008
AP photo / Evan Vucci

It’s on:  Attorney General Mukasey has set the investigation of the CIA tape scandal in motion.

The Justice Department is (finally) treating the CIA’s decision to destroy videotapes of agents using severe interrogation methods on terrorism suspects as cause for a criminal investigation.  Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey acknowledged that the probe was a go on Wednesday and named John Durham as the outside prosecutor for the case.

AP via

Mukasey named John Durham, a federal prosecutor in Connecticut, to oversee the case. Durham has a reputation as one of the nation’s most relentless prosecutors. He served as an outside prosecutor overseeing an investigation into the FBI’s use of mob informants in Boston and helped send several Connecticut public officials to prison.

“The CIA will of course cooperate fully with this investigation as it has with the others into this matter,” agency spokesman Mark Mansfield said.

The CIA has already agreed to open its files to congressional investigators, who have begun reviewing documents at the agency’s Virginia headquarters. The House Intelligence Committee has ordered Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA official who directed the tapes be destroyed, to appear at a hearing Jan. 16.

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By Blackspeare, January 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

The DOJ investigating the CIA is a bad joke.  Between executive privilege, privileged information, and national security overtures, this investigation is going nowhere!  But it looks good for public consumption and sometimes appearance is more important than substance especially for the weak-minded and gullible population.

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By rage, January 4, 2008 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has there been any reporting
Has there been any reporting on what caused the fire in Cheney’s office? By David, January 3 at 2:25 pm

Yeah, it was allegedly Addington smoking crack in the mens’ room next door to Dumya’s meth lab. Those fumes are flammable.

Now they have allowed that old fox Mukasey to guard their little henhouse from a real investigation. How convenient.

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By David, January 3, 2008 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has there been any reporting on what caused the fire in Cheney’s office?  It’s seems a foregone conclusion that it had to do with covering up some illegal activity, but has there ever been an explanation?

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By Freedom Jenkins, January 3, 2008 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately it’s not funny!  Our country is being run by the worst criminals in the history of the world… the problem is, our country is extremely uninformed, uneducated, and disinterested in the truth…. the worst part is that America doesn’t know any better and doesn’t care.  Our media got us in to this war and now they don’t even report it.  15 years ago, the saying was, “Do you believe everything you see on TV?”... Now the saying is “I don’t believe it unless it’s on TV!” 

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By chabuka, January 3, 2008 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
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Right….Mukasey is Durhams boss…and Bush is Mukasey’s boss….I’m sure every one involved is innocent…Thank You, Chuck and Diane for this whitewash…....

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By Pacrat, January 3, 2008 at 6:03 am Link to this comment
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So the justice department will investigate the justice department? Bet the justice department wins -again! Whose wrist will be slapped in the process?

Will this be a repeat of the Libby investigation - and last just long enough until Bush and the AG leave office - with appropriate pardons of course!

This entire administration has been a charade, so why not another act as Bush and Cheney fade slowly into their retirement sunsets?

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By cyrena, January 3, 2008 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

I did. (read the article that is).

It may appear as though the ‘conflict’ is not with Mukasey, (since he appointed a prosecutor), but that’s pretty much the point…at least for me..

MUKASEY is the one who first decided to ‘allow’ the investigation, and the person selected, (Durham) was CHOSEN by Mukasey.

So, the ‘conflict’ obviously started with the appointment of Mukasy as AG.

But then, we KNEW that. He couldn’t decide that waterboarding was torture.

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By cyrena, January 3, 2008 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

•  “The CIA will of course cooperate fully with this investigation as it has with the others into this matter,” agency spokesman Mark Mansfield said.
Would that be the same way they ‘cooperated fully’ with the 9/11 Commission?

Besides, what’s left to ‘investigate’? The building where Cheney hides everything burned up within a week after the destruction of the tapes was publicized.

And then this from Mukasey, the guy who doesn’t know that waterboarding is torture:

•  The Department’s National Security Division has recommended, and I have concluded, that there is a basis for initiating a criminal investigation of this matter, and I have taken steps to begin that investigation,” Mukasey said in a statement released Wednesday.

This is just déjà vu of the 9/11 commission. Mukasey avoided any suggestion of an independent investigation on this from the get-go. Now that political pressure forces him to do something, he picks a prosecutor that HE knows and has probably dealt with in the past. Meantime, Cheney and the rest of the gangsters have had time to burn up or otherwise hide any real evidence.

As for this Durham fellow, he may have experience prosecuting mobsters in the past, but those dudes would present like juvenile delinquent pranksters compared to the thugs in this administration.

I see another whitewash. If not, this guy (Durham) should hire the best bodyguards that money can provide.

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By Expat, January 3, 2008 at 12:16 am Link to this comment

Just curious, did you read the article?

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By Mr JJ, January 2, 2008 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
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AG Mukasey has a conflict of interest problem already, and should recuse himself and appoint a Special Prosecutor (someone from outside the DOJ)

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 then Judge Mukasey could 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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By don knutsen, January 2, 2008 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment
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The race is on to find the scapegoat….who will it be ? Sounds as though from what I’ve read that the white house attorneys themselves were in on the decision to destroy the tapes…so again, the slime-trail leads you to Cheney’s office. This will show just how impartial or non-partisan our new Attorneys General is..somehow I don’t think I’m gonna be surprised though.

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By weather, January 2, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment
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Mulkasey is why you don’t vote for incumbents.

Ron Paul 08

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