Friday, December 07, 2007

CIA destroys tapes of interrogations


WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 — The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A’s secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said.

The C.I.A. said today that the decision to destroy the tapes had been made “within the C.I.A. itself,” and they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. The agency was headed at the time by Porter J. Goss. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Goss declined this afternoon to comment on the destruction of the tapes.


The recordings were not provided to a federal court hearing the case of the terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui or to the Sept. 11 commission, which had made formal requests to the C.I.A. for transcripts and any other documentary evidence taken from interrogations of agency prisoners.

C.I.A. lawyers told federal prosecutors in 2003 and 2005, who relayed the information to a federal court in the Moussaoui case, that the C.I.A. did not possess recordings of interrogations sought by the judge in the case.

source: NY Times

In other words in order to protect themselves after committing acts they thought might be illegal officals at the CIA destroyed evidence and lied to a judge and to an investigative body about it.


I almost always come down on the side of National Security when it comes to this stuff but you can't just lie to a judge and congress or investigative committees. You can refuse to provide the information, you can fight it, you can stand on principle and face the contempt charges, but in the end you have to address the matter honestly in some way. Destroying the evidence and lying about it is BULLSHIT!

Don't get me wrong here - I know the tapes had the potential to put the agents in them in danger and to potentially be used as propaganda and if they hadn't been formally requested as part of an investigation I would be like "Good, they should have been destroyed" but this is the CIA deciding on it's own that it is above the law. Absolute Crap!!

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