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The United States does not {video tape} torture.
December 6, 2007 5:10 PM   Subscribe

CIA destroys videotapes of "advanced interrogations"

"In May 2005, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema ordered the government to disclose whether interrogations were recorded. The government objected to that order, and the judge modified it on Nov. 3, 2005, to ask for confirmation of whether the government "has video or audio tapes of these interrogations" and then named specific ones. Eleven days later, the government denied it had video or audio tapes of those specific interrogations."

"We do not torture"

We do not torture.

Say it enough and it is true.
posted by zerobyproxy (117 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well duh. Only an idiot would leave evidence of a crime he committed sitting around.

I'm it'll be labeled a matter of national security and classified.
posted by mullingitover at 5:19 PM on December 6, 2007


lol amurka
posted by fire&wings at 5:22 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm conflicted. I'm generally against purges, but it would be nice if the next CoC sacked/arrested the current crop of people who were all too willing to do anything asked.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:22 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the program, exposing them and their families to retaliation from al Qaeda and its sympathizers."

I wonder who sympathizers refers to?
posted by srboisvert at 5:27 PM on December 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


if only they had shown as much concern for Plame
posted by edgeways at 5:35 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Daniel Marcus, a law professor at American University who served as general counsel for the Sept. 11 commission and was involved in the discussions about interviews with Al Qaeda leaders, said he had heard nothing about any tapes being destroyed.

If tapes were destroyed, he said, “it’s a big deal, it’s a very big deal,” because it could amount to obstruction of justice to withhold evidence being sought in criminal or fact-finding investigations...
NYT
posted by R. Mutt at 5:38 PM on December 6, 2007


If I were the next AG, I'd prosecute them for destruction of evidence.

I mean obviously the government has the ability to keep data secret and classified. They only possible fear that they could have is that the material would be legitimately declassified.
posted by delmoi at 5:39 PM on December 6, 2007


America totally tortures. A lot. Probably for kicks.
posted by chunking express at 5:43 PM on December 6, 2007


"They were made as 'an internal check' on the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques, believed to include waterboarding, a technique that involves restraining a suspect and pouring water them to produce the sensation of drowning."

There's a word missing in there:

"a technique that involves restraining a suspect and pouring water ... them"

into
onto
over
near
for

Any of these fit.

I'm so confused.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:43 PM on December 6, 2007 [3 favorites]


Hmm. If only there were some way to take the people responsible for this, and, I don't know, somehow compel them to provide us with a truthful answer about where the court-requested material disappeared to.

Some way of stressing to them the position that their refusal to comply is not just against the law, it's painful to those of us who simply want to see this issue resolved.

But of course, that kind of behavior would be illegal and irresponsible.
posted by quin at 5:44 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


AMERICA: DESTROY THE EVIDENCE OR LEAVE IT
posted by DU at 5:49 PM on December 6, 2007 [3 favorites]


Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the program, exposing them and their families to retaliation from al Qaeda and its sympathizers.

Uhm yeah, because it requires teraflops of computing power to disguise an operative face in a video, while keeping record of who's who. Not that CIA or NSA have teraflops of computing power at their disposal, or a copy of Photoshop or what have you.

Even if there was no wrongdoing, now everybody is thinking there was and there is no video proof of the LACK of wrongoing, cause it's gone. And that's from the guys who wrote manuals on psyops ? That's unbelievable.
posted by elpapacito at 5:56 PM on December 6, 2007 [6 favorites]


Oh America, what obscenity and criminality won't you justify in the name of Freedom and Justice?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:06 PM on December 6, 2007 [8 favorites]


WWNFLD?
posted by phaedon at 6:09 PM on December 6, 2007


I don’t know that this isn’t a conflated issue. Granted pretty much everyone connected to this administration is suspect given past performance. But are these tapes the tapes in question?
(Wait! Apparently some of them are - boy that CNN article is ass - I’d rather hear from Bayh or Feingold or Hagel - someone, y’know on the Senate Intelligence Committee rather than someone on the Judiciary Committe like Leahy - they are supposed to y’know, report, stuff, there at CNN, yeah? Not just grab talking heads. WTF am I not pulling down huge $ as a big media reporter? Anyone take civics over there? Bueller?)

“The disclosure of the tapes' destruction came on the same day the House and Senate intelligence committees agreed to legislation prohibiting the CIA from using "enhanced interrogation techniques." The White House Thursday threatened to veto the bill.”

Yeah, I like firing off giant exploding red flares when I cover up crimes too.

“...it would be nice if the next CoC sacked/arrested the current crop of people who were all too willing to do anything asked.” - a robot made out of meat

How do you know the folks under him would follow orders to sack/arrest people who did what they were ordered?
Bit of a catch-22.
And it was lawful - even though not constitutional, even though, really, criminal. Which is the big problem. There are matters of overlapping authority and one branch of the government superceding it’s authority in setting policy (et.al). So lawyers from the White House, the AG, the DOJ, the IG, reviewed the tapes, the policies, all that, there was supervision, everyone agreed whatever happened in the tapes was ok legally.
And a case could be made that it is a national security matter.

That said, you have members of congress trying to do their oversight job in the checks and balances set up in the system and the executive branch tells them “fuck you,” that’s a bit of a problem. And indeed, so is destroying the tapes.

But these things, in hindsight, are clear. To Joe Spook at the time, not so much (other considerations aside, I would not have, f’rinstance, waterboarded anyone. On the other hand I accept I often have moral reasoning superior to others - much as I’d like to be self-deprecating, some people are f’ing idiots and do what they’re told either because they want to keep their jobs or don’t know better or they’re more easily deceived, or they really are sadists or fanatics or whatever. I got by in the military only because I was a stellar performer, had I been one whit less than perfect all the time I’d have had my ass handed to me because I rated pretty high in insubordination.)

So - Joe Spook sees only that everyone and his brother up the chain of command is for it, he maybe talks informally to some senators - and at the time the most outspoken of them are guarded at best or so far on the margins they don’t register on radar - so it all seems irie even though he has misgivings.
And not everyone at the Company was pseudo-drowning people. So do you nail the guy that filmed it? The guy typing out “argh argh argh”? The people who jsut handled the material? The guy who brought in the hose? The garden supply store guy who pointed out the hose to Joe Spook?

Nah, you can squeeze the little fish, but you have to nail the guys at the top who ordered the cover up first, otherwise everyone plays CYA and winds up protecting the top brass.
I’d like to see the next administration prosecute Bush and Cheney (Gonzales, et.al - pretty much Bushco) for crimes against humanity tho. The initiation of the prosecution alone would clarify everyone who had a stake in doing business by torture.
Maybe give it to Fitzgerald. (Although I’d like to keep him home, he is kicking so much ass out here).
posted by Smedleyman at 6:15 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


World War Newfoundland?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:15 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Things like this would seriously damage our security where our security = the security of high-ranking members of the second Bush administration
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:16 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I’d like to see the next administration prosecute Bush and Cheney (Gonzales, et.al - pretty much Bushco) for crimes against humanity tho.

Oh please oh please.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:19 PM on December 6, 2007 [3 favorites]


Given these kinds of news of complete lack of human decency, what kind of a person signs up for U.S. covert ops? Does this hurt recruitment?
posted by Anything at 6:47 PM on December 6, 2007


I am looking for the quote from the Russian author that talks about how torture degrades security forces, and fills it with thugs and bullies and people without conscience, but can't find it now.
posted by empath at 7:23 PM on December 6, 2007


Outrage fatigue. These guys are ridiculous.
posted by lostburner at 7:27 PM on December 6, 2007


Seems self-evident, empath.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:32 PM on December 6, 2007


well, yes, but it was really well written.
posted by empath at 7:35 PM on December 6, 2007


i hate having to use it twice in one day, but: America sucks more every day.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 7:39 PM on December 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


What mullingitover said.

The CIA may be evil, and certainly needs extermination.... but that doesn't make them stupid.

Anything: I'd guess there are two groups: megalomaniacal sadists, and patriotic idiots*. I expect the idiots don't get past the testing.

* Apologies for the redundancy.
posted by pompomtom at 7:40 PM on December 6, 2007


Where did all those Americans come from anyway, oh yeah every corner of the globe. America, we are you. Your welcome.
posted by nola at 8:08 PM on December 6, 2007


You're *
posted by nola at 8:09 PM on December 6, 2007


empath:
“Violence does not live alone and is not capable of living alone: it is necessarily interwoven with falsehood. Between them lies the most intimate, the deepest of natural bonds. Violence finds its only refuge in falsehood, falsehood its only support in violence. Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his method must inexorably choose falsehood as his principle. At its birth violence acts openly and even with pride. But no sooner does it become strong, firmly established, than it senses the rarefaction of the air around it and it cannot continue to exist without descending into a fog of lies, clothing them in sweet talk. It does not always, not necessarily, openly throttle the throat, more often it demands from its subjects only an oath of allegiance to falsehood, only complicity in falsehood.” - ?

(Solzenitzen also said one of the most sinister temptations is to personify evil in someone else - the problem is that the line separating good and evil cuts right through the human heart.)
posted by Smedleyman at 8:28 PM on December 6, 2007 [4 favorites]


empath: It was Vladimir Bukovsky, writing in the Washington Post two years ago.

Investigation is a subtle process, requiring patience and fine analytical ability, as well as a skill in cultivating one's sources. When torture is condoned, these rare talented people leave the service, having been outstripped by less gifted colleagues with their quick-fix methods, and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists. Thus, in its heyday, Joseph Stalin's notorious NKVD (the Soviet secret police) became nothing more than an army of butchers terrorizing the whole country but incapable of solving the simplest of crimes. And once the NKVD went into high gear, not even Stalin could stop it at will.
posted by stammer at 8:38 PM on December 6, 2007 [4 favorites]


World War Newfoundland?

What would the NFL do.
Answer: Destroy the tapes.

posted by phaedon at 8:39 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


As a non-American, I am getting tired of the sense of moral superiority the rest of the (civilized, modern) world feels with regards to Americans. We keep asking Americans to do something about their government, but what have we done about it?

The American government is torturing people. The American public is ignoring it. We know this. And what do we (the rest of the world) do? Where is the actual outrage? Where is our street protests demanding that our governments stop all diplomatic and economical relations with the States, until they stop torturing people?

Unlike what we like to pretend, United States does not operate in a void, independent of the rest of the world. They are very much dependent on the global commerce, with us (rest of the world) on the other end. It is now obvious that the United States of America is torturing people. Is it not the moral obligation of the other countries to apply all non-violent means available to them to make it stop? Is the economical disadvantages of a trade embargo too high of a price to stop people from being tortured? Are we really all that morally superior to a middle-class American who hides his head in the sand and hopes this nightmare will be soon over?

/rant
posted by lenny70 at 8:42 PM on December 6, 2007 [6 favorites]


I mean obviously the government has the ability to keep data secret and classified.

Huh? Are you talking about the U.S. government? It leaks like a two-dollar sieve. About the only people who can keep anything secret are the intelligence agencies themselves, and even they are pretty poor (how many years did it take them to figure out how to "redact" a PDF file?). Once you start releasing information to subcommittees, it's effectively unclassified, at least if it's anything that could be used politically. The only stuff that doesn't get leaked is the stuff that's of no value.

I think you may be correct about the motivation if the tapes really were destroyed, but if the tapes had been released it would be negligent not to sanitize them of any 'life or death' source-related content (identities of foreign nationals, etc.). That sort of stuff should never leave the agencies unless there's an overwhelming reason why it needs to be included, enough to essentially negate the value of the lives of those involved.

The excuse in this case may be B.S. used to justify ass-covering, but that doesn't mean it's wholly without merit in general.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:45 PM on December 6, 2007


World War Newfoundland?

What would the NFL do.

Answer: Destroy the tapes.


Yep. Just as the New England Patriots wish they had done!
posted by ericb at 8:57 PM on December 6, 2007


Uh...who the fuck uses videotape anymore? This reminds me of that College Humor skit about what if "24" were set in 1996 or whatever. These recordings would almost certainly have been DV, which is only really gone forever if you destroy every device it's been recorded to. If someone actually, you know, investigates this claim, here's my suggestion: look in My Recycle Bin.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:03 PM on December 6, 2007 [4 favorites]


I guess they want to better protect the identity of the people giving the thumbs up sign.
posted by phaedon at 9:13 PM on December 6, 2007


I'm an American and I torture.

*stands up and waits for others*
posted by hellbient at 2:38 AM on December 7, 2007


Well, at least our reckless policies will soon lead to utter economic collapse. Once the dollar can't buy a board and a bucket, this probably won't happen as much.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:58 AM on December 7, 2007


Exerpt from recorded Primitive Interrogation Technique:

"Are you a terrorist?"
"No."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am sure."
"I am really disappointed in you. You are letting me down. Are you a terrorist?"
"No."
"Place your arm on the table. Before placing one cotton ball on your arm, I am going to give you one last time to answer: Are you a terrorist?"
"No."
"This isn't going to get any easier. I have a whole bag full of cotton balls. Admit what you are, or I will place a second one on your arm."
"I am not a terrorist."
posted by flarbuse at 5:32 AM on December 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is a Banana Republic.
posted by adamvasco at 5:56 AM on December 7, 2007


lenny70, amen. In my book, us Europeans and other trade-buddies of the U.S. are just as complicit in these atrocities and lies as any U.S. citizen; and this goes not just relations with the U.S., but with any state or local bureaucracy that's run by thugs. I get sick every time I hear of a Finnish company paying bribes and taxes -- or selling weapons technology, for fuck's sake -- to a country that employs death squads.
posted by Anything at 7:54 AM on December 7, 2007


And, yes, the big question is: what to do about it? I don't buy the calls for doing "something, anything!". Without a plan that takes into account all relevant facts about the way the world works and what has gone wrong with past attempts to change it, you'll just waste your time and strength. I don't have an answer yet, but I think about it every day.
posted by Anything at 8:11 AM on December 7, 2007


And by the way, Smedleyman, if you remember my past comments, I think this is a good opportunity for me to apologize for being a pessimist clown and putting you down with how "in the long run, we're all dead". I don't care about that any more. Hope for a better future is a beautiful thing, and it can keep me going even if none of us live to see the results.

And no, I haven't even gotten kids in the meantime.
posted by Anything at 8:33 AM on December 7, 2007


I mean obviously the government has the ability to keep data secret and classified.

Huh? Are you talking about the U.S. government? It leaks like a two-dollar sieve.


Kadin2048, you're confusing ability with willingness. The United States government has quite possibly one of the most technologically and strategically secure information maintenance systems on the planet. It is run by conniving and incompetent ideologues who choose personally to disseminate information. "The government" didn't reveal the identity of a covert CIA operative; a partisan employee of the Bush administration did.

It's like that episode of The Simpsons where Mr. Burns goes through twelve security-locked doors to get to his secret lair and then a stray dog runs in through the screen door on the other side.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:34 AM on December 7, 2007


And no, I haven't even gotten kids in the meantime.

... nor have I become religious.
posted by Anything at 8:45 AM on December 7, 2007


Exerpt from recorded Primitive Interrogation Technique:

"Are you a terrorist?"
"No."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am sure."
"I am really disappointed in you. You are letting me down. Are you a terrorist?"
"No."
"Place your arm on the table. Before placing one cotton ball on your arm, I am going to give you one last time to answer: Are you a terrorist?"
"No."
"This isn't going to get any easier. I have a whole bag full of cotton balls. Admit what you are, or I will place a second one on your arm."
"I am not a terrorist."


Or.. I propose this as a more humane way of getting confessions...
"Today is opposite day, No means Yes and Yes means No. Are you a terrorist?"
"Yes,.. I mean No"
"you said Yes"
" I meant No"
"No means Yes, Yes means No, are you a terrorist?"
"Yes"
"Opposite day just ended, thanks for your confession, have a nice time in Gitmo."
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:23 AM on December 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Are you a terrorist?"
"No."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am sure."
"I am really disappointed in you. You are letting me down. Are you a terrorist?"
"No."
"Place your arm on the table. Before placing one cotton ball on your arm, I am going to give you one last time to answer: Are you a terrorist?"
"No."
"This isn't going to get any easier. I have a whole bag full of cotton balls. Admit what you are, or I will place a second one on your arm."
"I am not a terrorist."


Man, this would work on my wife. She hates cotton.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:46 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Extremely relevant:

From Hayden's statement at cia.gov:
CIA’s terrorist detention and interrogation program began after the capture of Abu Zubaydah in March 2002. Zubaydah, who had extensive knowledge of al-Qa’ida personnel and operations, had been seriously wounded in a firefight. When President Bush officially acknowledged in September 2006 the existence of CIA’s counter-terror initiative, he talked about Zubaydah, noting that this terrorist survived solely because of medical treatment arranged by CIA. Under normal questioning, Zubaydah became defiant and evasive. It was clear, in the President’s words, that “Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking.”
Abu Zubaydah? This Abu Zubaydah? Quoth Vanity Fair:
Abu Zubaydah was a mess. It was early April 2002, and the al-Qaeda lieutenant had been shot in the groin during a firefight in Pakistan, then captured by the Special Forces and flown to a safe house in Thailand. Now he was experiencing life as America's first high-value detainee in the wake of 9/11. A medical team and a cluster of F.B.I. and C.I.A. agents stood vigil, all fearing that the next attack on America could happen at any moment. It didn't matter that Zubaydah was unable to eat, drink, sit up, or control his bowels. They wanted him to talk.

A C.I.A. interrogation team was expected but hadn't yet arrived. But the F.B.I. agents who had been nursing his wounds and cleaning him after he'd soiled himself asked Zubaydah what he knew. The detainee said something about a plot against an ally, then began slipping into sepsis. He was probably going to die.

[...]

Zubaydah was stabilized at the nearest hospital, and the F.B.I. continued its questioning using its typical rapport-building techniques. An agent showed him photographs of suspected al-Qaeda members until Zubaydah finally spoke up, blurting out that "Moktar," or Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, had planned 9/11. He then proceeded to lay out the details of the plot. America learned the truth of how 9/11 was organized because a detainee had come to trust his captors after they treated him humanely.

It was an extraordinary success story. But it was one that would evaporate with the arrival of the C.I.A's interrogation team. At the direction of an accompanying psychologist, the team planned to conduct a psychic demolition in which they'd get Zubaydah to reveal everything by severing his sense of personality and scaring him almost to death.

[...]

While the methods were certainly unorthodox, there is little evidence they were necesssary, given the success of the rapport-building approach until that point.
posted by Anything at 11:27 AM on December 7, 2007


Oh yeah, the tapes? They could have once again proved that CIA's Jack Bauer approach was fucking useless.
posted by Anything at 11:32 AM on December 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Secret Torture Memos Disclosed on Floor of Senate.
posted by chunking express at 11:36 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bush "cannot recall" CIA videos

Says it all really, as soon as someone gets the forgetting disease you know the answers are damning.
posted by Artw at 12:06 PM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Abu Zubaydah? This Abu Zubaydah? Quoth Vanity Fair:

That Vanity Fair piece should be required reading for anyone trying to defend this whole sick mess.
posted by homunculus at 12:46 PM on December 7, 2007


White House Press Secretary Dana Perino's words on the subject.
Q: "Senator Durbin is calling for Justice to investigate whether the destruction represents an obstruction of justice [...]"

A: "[...] the CIA director is gathering facts [...]"

Q: "[...] there was no step short of destruction of these tapes that would address these concerns [of leaked identification of CIA employees]?"

A: "As they are gathering facts, I think that it's best that I not comment [...]"
To paraphrase: "We had to destroy the facts in order to gather them".
posted by Anything at 2:07 PM on December 7, 2007


one of the tapes was of Zubaydah: ... the "Rosetta Stone" of 9/11, Zubaydah laid out details of how he and the al Qaeda hierarchy had been supported at high levels inside the Saudi and Pakistan governments.

He named two other Saudi princes, and also the chief of Pakistan's air force, as his major contacts. Moreover, he stunned his interrogators, by charging that two of the men, the King's nephew, and the Pakistani Air Force chief, knew a major terror operation was planned for America on 9/11. ...

posted by amberglow at 2:21 PM on December 7, 2007


and this: Torture and Taping Timeline
posted by amberglow at 2:30 PM on December 7, 2007


and from Harpers: ... the prospect of prosecution is hardly far-fetched. It is a virtual certainty. So the evidence is being destroyed precisely because it would be used as evidence of criminal acts in a prosecution of administration figures and those acting under their direction. Therefore, this is a conscious, calculated obstruction of justice. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:34 PM on December 7, 2007


Weird that they couldn't wait a year or so for all the pardons to be handed out.
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM on December 7, 2007


(Oh boy will there be a lot of pardons)
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


CIA analysts willing to ‘go to jail’ to ensure NIE’s release.
Retired Col. W. Patrick Lang, a former official in the Defense Intelligence Agency, reveals that senior CIA analysts pushed for the NIE’s key judgments on Iran to be released, threatening to speak to the media if they weren’t:
The “jungle telegraph” in Washington is booming with news of the Iran NIE. I am told that the reason the conclusions of the NIE were released is that it was communicated to the White House that “intelligence career seniors were lined up to go to jail if necessary” if the document’s gist were not given to the public. Translation? Someone in that group would have gone to the media “on the record” to disclose its contents.
posted by ericb at 3:21 PM on December 7, 2007


Former Cheney Aide’s Efforts To Discredit Iran NIE Are Contradicted By Cheney Himself.
posted by ericb at 3:22 PM on December 7, 2007


Nothing related to this story is mentioned on the CNN front page any more.
posted by Anything at 3:26 PM on December 7, 2007


Does the Pharm. Industry sell a pill for "Outrage Overload"? Cos after this week I might need one.
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:32 PM on December 7, 2007


That's one the International Edition, mind you. The U.S. Edition still links to one Time piece called The Destroyed Tapes: A Boon for Conspiracy Theorists.
posted by Anything at 3:35 PM on December 7, 2007


Pitchforks and ropes I tell ya, pitchforks and ropes.
posted by HyperBlue at 3:37 PM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


For the CIA's eyes only: Was the agency's destruction of two video recordings of harsh interrogations by the CIA a coverup?
posted by homunculus at 10:18 PM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whoever ordered it (Rodriguez, apparently) will be pardoned before Bush leaves office.
posted by cogneuro at 9:38 AM on December 8, 2007


Did the CIA Also Destroy Padilla Interrogation Tapes?
posted by homunculus at 9:53 AM on December 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


... When the truth comes out I think we are likely to discover the people doing the questioning were contractors, not undercover Agency officers. ...

And--If Zubaydah was psycho and not trustworthy, why were all the specific people he named during the torture conveniently dead shortly afterwards?
posted by amberglow at 11:24 AM on December 8, 2007


‘Well-Informed’ Source Tells CBS That Tapes Were Destroyed To Prevent Prosecution .
posted by ericb at 2:27 PM on December 8, 2007


Let a hundred Deep Throats bloom...
posted by Skygazer at 3:47 PM on December 8, 2007


let a hundred sub peaonas and indictments contend.
posted by Skygazer at 3:53 PM on December 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Instead of destroying the tapes to prevent prosecution, how about not doing the prosecutable acts in the first place? And why aren't these guys on trial for obstruction of justice?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:58 PM on December 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


But kirkaracha, then the terrorists will win.
posted by ryanrs at 2:12 AM on December 9, 2007


and now they're muddying the waters and pushing back, thanks to the ever-willing patsies at the WaPo: Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say

posted by amberglow at 9:10 AM on December 9, 2007


more on the spineless Democratic sacks of shit in congress--Greenwald: Democratic complicity in Bush's torture regimen --...The bottom line is that the law requires that Intelligence Committee members such as Pelosi, Harman and Rockefeller be briefed on such activities not because briefings are fun or intrinsically valuable. Rather, the whole point of their being briefed is that they are expected to engage in oversight, which means that they are supposed to do something when they learn that the President and the CIA are breaking the law. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:57 PM on December 9, 2007


Senators and Representatives Could Have Spoken Out On Waterboarding: the Constitution Protects Their Right to Speak Out Without Fear of Legal Consequences
posted by homunculus at 7:19 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Where is our street protests demanding that our governments stop all diplomatic and economical relations with the States, until they stop torturing people?

If that were to happen in Canada, the reaction from down here would be to think that it's nothing that a few donuts couldn't fix, and LOL CANADA.

Is the economical disadvantages of a trade embargo too high of a price to stop people from being tortured?

The economic disadvantages of a Canada-U.S. trade embargo would be far more detrimental for Canada than for the U.S.
posted by oaf at 11:52 AM on December 10, 2007


at this point tho--since we still have no checks or balances or functioning opposition party (and still won't get rights back or an end to spying or a return to habeas, etc, in 08 even with a Dem president i don't think)--we need punitive sanctions or something imposed from outside to show that it will really cost us to keep on this track. Money is the only thing that would force a change, it seems.
posted by amberglow at 4:56 PM on December 10, 2007


Coming in From the Cold: CIA Spy Calls Waterboarding Necessary But Torture
posted by homunculus at 12:14 AM on December 11, 2007


Disentangling Torture TapeGate
posted by homunculus at 12:18 AM on December 11, 2007


Torture Is Necessary To Defend The Fatherland. Therefore, Torture Is Good.
posted by homunculus at 10:49 AM on December 11, 2007


Admin Prevents Former Gitmo Prosecutor from Testifying before Congress
posted by homunculus at 1:49 PM on December 11, 2007


More Tapes of Interrogations?
posted by homunculus at 1:53 PM on December 11, 2007


Two Views On Abu Zubaydah
posted by homunculus at 6:29 PM on December 11, 2007


Durbin: What about Rendition Tapes?
posted by homunculus at 7:41 PM on December 12, 2007


Anti-Cheney Forces Inside Bush Administration Have ‘Lost The Intensity’ To Close Gitmo
posted by homunculus at 9:38 AM on December 13, 2007


Thanks for the updates little man.

It struck me the other day, that if Castro really wanted to screw the Bush administration, he would hand Gitmo over to the United States. What could they do? Say they don't want it? Wouldn't it become a U.S. territory? Wouldn't the Bush Admin. finally get a much needed and way overdue kick in the nuts from the Constitution?

Achh...I'm so confused....

*Holds head in despair*
posted by Skygazer at 12:37 PM on December 13, 2007


Castro would be doing the whole world a great service if he invaded Gitmo and got those poor innocent people free and home or into hospitals and care, etc.
posted by amberglow at 3:25 PM on December 13, 2007


US refuses UK request for Guantánamo release
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on December 13, 2007


Justice Dept. Blocks House Inquiry into CIA Torture Tapes
posted by homunculus at 3:57 PM on December 14, 2007


Ahh...beat me to it you wascally wabbit.
posted by Skygazer at 4:00 PM on December 14, 2007


Inside the CIA's notorious "black sites": A Yemeni man never charged by the U.S. details 19 months of brutality and psychological torture -- the first in-depth, first-person account from inside the secret U.S. prisons.
posted by homunculus at 10:24 PM on December 14, 2007


Bush administration tells federal judge not to look into the tapes' destruction.
posted by Skygazer at 8:46 AM on December 15, 2007


Harry Reid Responds to Chris Dodd and the Party’s Base on Wiretapping and Waterboarding.
posted by homunculus at 11:53 AM on December 15, 2007


From that last link on Harry Reid's corruption: Reid and Schumer twisted Leahy's arm to give them cover, or made a deal somewhere under the table with him. This is all about the '08 elections, the invisible hand of the Clinton political machine, the DSCC and the Village Donor$$$.

Something strange is happening here and it's so hard to put your finger on it. Things went seriously off the rails for my perception of the Dem. Senate when Schumer decided to support Mukasy for AG even though Mukasy began to sound like the second coming of a smarter, Gonzales, when he began to mince words (Alito, Roberts style) on whether Waterboarding could be defined as torture or not, with the usual absurd declaration that he wouldn't be able to comment because he might have to work on that issue as AG (!) and now that this CIA Tape destruction debacle has come to light, he doesn't want to appoint a special investigaotr becaue it would appear too partisan. WTF?! Schumer has shown himself to be a lying turd and I can't wait for him to run again, because he is now complicit in my eyes in the unconstitional torture crimes of the Bush Admin.


Presidential hopefuls Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have all said they will "support" Dodd's filibuster. Let's hope that "support" is not of the phony "I support Ned Lamont" variety Clinton and Obama displayed. Tell them to put up or shut up here.


Damn straight. This is going to be the deciding factor on who I vote for in the Dem. Primary. I don't care if it's Hillary, Obama or Edwards or Biden. Whoever does not support Dodd in this filibuster should be shamed out of the race for president. Meanwhile I would recommend going over to http://chrisdodd.com/ and chucking him a coupla bucks. This sort of attitude should be supported even if he's not your eventual choice for Dem. Prez. candidate.

I think the Dem. Senate should send bill after bill after Bill to Bush. Even the same ones...just turn them around and send them right back the next day, let him Veto and veto away until he digs his own, and the GOPs political grave.
posted by Skygazer at 1:38 PM on December 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


*Assumes lotus position. OOMMMM. OooooMMMM. OOmmmm....
posted by Skygazer at 1:41 PM on December 15, 2007


Harry Reid contact information.
posted by Skygazer at 1:58 PM on December 15, 2007


The President’s Coming-Out Party
posted by homunculus at 11:12 AM on December 16, 2007


The Dodd abides. Harry Reid pulls telecom bill. The Senate will take it up again after the first of the year, but for now there will be no retroactive telecom immunity.

Okay Sen. Schumer, let's see what you can do to bitch slap Mukasey into cooperating with a Congressional investigation of the missing CIA tapes. He's your sinking ship and he is taking you down down down....


posted by Skygazer at 7:22 PM on December 17, 2007


FBI, CIA Debate Significance of Terror Suspect. Agencies Also Disagree On Interrogation Methods.
posted by homunculus at 10:13 AM on December 18, 2007


Judge orders hearing on CIA videos
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM on December 18, 2007


Yemeni Man Imprisoned at CIA “Black Sites” Tells His Story of Kidnapping and Torture
posted by homunculus at 12:40 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Willful Blindness
posted by homunculus at 9:42 AM on December 19, 2007


Disappeared Into Secret Pakistani and US Prisons
posted by homunculus at 11:08 AM on December 19, 2007


White House assails NYTimes over CIA video report

Reminds me of the Nixon White House demanding a similar retraction or revision from the Washington Post in the run up to the watergate scandal being blown wide open.

(Bill Bradlee, the executive editor at overseeing Woodward and Bernstein at the time, refused to pull the story or provide a retraction.)
posted by Skygazer at 12:05 PM on December 19, 2007


(Bill Bradlee, the executive editor at overseeing Woodward and Bernstein at the time, refused to pull the story or provide a retraction.)

They certainly would pull and/or retract today tho, and the NY Times repeatedly caves into this administration too--including sitting on the Spying story from before the election in 04 for a whole year--and completely burying Dodd's victory just this week--online and off.

Related--Troubletown: New Clip-out Bush Scandal Guide--Updated for 2008!
posted by amberglow at 2:49 PM on December 20, 2007


Surprise, surprise--they're attacking and muzzling the messenger, as usual--- The Department of Justice is investigating whether a former intelligence officer illegally disclosed classified information in interviews he gave on how the CIA interrogated a suspected senior al Qaida member. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:21 PM on December 20, 2007


They certainly would pull and/or retract today tho, and the NY Times repeatedly caves into this administration too...

Amazing isn't it? The Democratic Congress acts so wimpy and even the NY Times cowers at the hands of this admin. You have to wonder how they do it. Very very strange. There's got to be some heavy duty shit going on in the backrooms. Threats and deals etc...whenever things disappear and look to be fixed magically, I think you can count on it. Also also indicative of a sick amount of power.

Surprise, surprise--they're attacking and muzzling the messenger, as usual--- The Department of Justice is investigating whether a former intelligence officer illegally disclosed classified information in interviews he gave on how the CIA interrogated a suspected senior al Qaida member. ...

Mukasey continues the traditon established by Gonzales of seeing the role of the Attorney General's office as the personal lawyer/enforcer of the White House.
posted by Skygazer at 10:07 AM on December 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


totally--i veer between thinking that they have dirt on all of them, blaming our horrendous media for always ignoring and/or minimizing all the GOP's crimes, and that the big money who funds all their campaigns (and now writes legislation too, pathetically, and owns most media) wants it this way.
posted by amberglow at 11:26 AM on December 22, 2007


9/11 Commission Chairman: ‘No Question’ CIA Attempted ‘To Impede Our Investigation’
posted by homunculus at 9:08 AM on December 24, 2007


Jose Rodriguez to Seek Immunity in CIA Tape Destruction Probe
posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM on December 24, 2007


The torture tape fingering Bush as a war criminal
posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on December 25, 2007


George Smiley's War
posted by homunculus at 1:52 PM on January 1, 2008


9/11 Comissioners Wag Finger at CIA
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on January 2, 2008


Criminal probe opened over CIA tapes
posted by homunculus at 1:27 PM on January 2, 2008


The guy's not independent--i bet he just runs out the clock--and it also stalls all Congressional investigations--and testimony.

... CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson, who worked with the Justice Department on the preliminary inquiry, has recused himself from the investigation. Prosecutors from the Eastern District of Virginia, which includes the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Va., are also recused.

Mukasey named Durham the acting U.S. attorney on the case, a designation the Justice Department frequently makes when top prosecutors are recused. He will not serve as a special prosecutor such as Patrick Fitzgerald, who operated autonomously while investigating the 2003 leak of a CIA operative's identity.

posted by amberglow at 5:13 PM on January 2, 2008


Will Justice Go After Cheney?
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM on January 3, 2008


Jose Padilla sues "Torture Memos" author John Yoo
posted by homunculus at 1:50 PM on January 4, 2008


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