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The CIA Torture Tapes
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Congress warned them not to do it. The DOJ warned them not to do it. But the CIA destoryed the videotapes of interrogations, anyway. That turns out to have been a bad idea.
The Justice Department opened a full criminal investigation Wednesday into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes, putting the politically charged probe in the hands of a mob-busting public corruption prosecutor with a reputation for being independent.
Good.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Smarter folks than me have indicated the CIA and, to a lesser extent, the Dept. of State have been at war with the Bush Administration almost since the start.
What is the chance that the Democrat push to investigate this incident will backfire on them?
 
Written By: Greybeard
URL: http://pitchpull.blogspot.com/
Considering the event was documented, I don’t see the need to retain the videotape. Its not like the destroying the tape was directly to conceal the incident.

They could only risk being surfaced which would be used to incense violence against US citizens and jeopardize the lives of the agents involved.

Essentially the videotape could only lead to the eventual "Abu Garibification" of the incident. Incensing huge emotion, especially for political purposes, doesn’t lead to justice or good decisions either.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
JPM; Correct.
And what then, would be the purpose of maintaining the tapes? So they end up on YOUTUBE for someone’s political leverage?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
And should we be concerned about the identities of the operatives on that tape? You know... the identities we were told shouldn’t be revealed when Valarie Plame was all the rage....

Funny how that concern waxes and wanes depending on whom the target is.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I have no problem with the CIA destroying the tapes; I have a problem with them letting it get out that they existed in the first place.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Of course, the CIA’s alternative was the "Nixon treatment", an 18-minute gap so to speak.

Then again, they could have just stuffed them into their socks.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Neo makes a point about all this balderdash. We have a case of a former National Security Adviser going into, what was it, the National Archives, and removing highly classified information, i.e., stealing it, and it’s treated like a fart in the breeze. (That m****rf****R Berger should have been locked away until he came exactly clean on what that was about.) But then you have CIA guys getting the information they need to shut down terror networks and prevent what everyone expected to be a series of major terror attacks in the U.S., and we get yet another inquisition of people doing what needed to be done. Berger: Oh, don’t be so silly, that was nothing! But CIA interrogators: Why, they’ve buggered Princess Leia!

What does Kim du Toit call this, what I feel at the moment? Is it the "Red Curtain of Blood?"

F**k the g**d**n idiots who run this country.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
None of you get it. It’s sad.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Franks:
None of you get it. It’s sad.
Don’t flatter yourself. It’s you that doesn’t get it.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Dale Franks is right that the CIA should not have destroyed the tapes after being told to. That’s the legal / morally right thing to do.

But whoever destroyed those tapes and takes the fall did a minor service to the nation, because if that was on Youtube we would be screwed again like Abu Ghraib.

I wouldn’t have believed that before all of the Iraq war leaks - like Abu Ghraib where the Army was already investigating, etc., but such is the current environment.

This is basically the equivalent of the "Do I look fat?" question from the wife. Sure, being honest is righteous and morally correct, but everyone knows you don’t answer that question honestly.


 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Don’t flatter yourself. It’s you that doesn’t get it.
So the CIA is above the law, right?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The only possibly redeeming aspect to this would be if the CIA actually felt some heat for a change. But I doubt that’s how this will go. It will go directly to how the DoJ directive was insufficient and who in the DoJ & Administration knew what and when.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Ok. Did anyone ever ask if there were tapes of Monica "servicing" Bill ?
I mean, in the fictional movie "The Pelican Brief" they show video of the Oval Office.

If a video ever existed, why isn’t it on YouTube ?
Wasn’t that a "service" to the nation ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
McQ:
So the CIA is above the law, right?
No. Have you ever heard of prosecutorial discretion? How about political prosecutions? How about show trials? And how about f*****g people up the a** for doing their job? Surely, a military man must have come across the latter.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
No. Have you ever heard of prosecutorial discretion?
Oh, I’ve heard of all kinds of stuff, Martin, but the point of the post is about whether the CIA should be above the law or not.

And that’s a place you don’t seem to want to go.
And how about f*****g people up the a** for doing their job?
If they broke the law, they weren’t "doing their job". So again, we’re back to the point of the post aren’t we?
Surely, a military man must have come across the latter.
Yeah — and their job was within the law.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The real question not asked is .. just what value is there to a tape of somebody being interrogated ?
Once there is a transcript, except for their bombast, they really service no purpose.

Is there really any value to the 9/11 Commission beyond what is contained in the transcripts ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Oh, just bloody stop it. They made a tape and they destroyed it so that it wouldn’t be thrown into the rotten media caricature machine and made to look like the worst thing since the sinking of the Lusitania.

Just like I said in my first comment here, it doesn’t bother me that they destroyed the tape, it bothers me that they even let on that it existed. That part is their fault. Hell, in the late 40s they wouldn’t even tell Truman about the Venona transcripts because they thought it was too sensitive.

And they were doing their job, in wartime, to stop mass murderers. They didn’t drag people into the street and execute them in front of their children.

But now the media is gearing up to drag them into the street and debase the United States, again, in front of the world. It’s just ridiculous.

Please.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
So the CIA is above the law, right?
If it was illegal why did
Congress warned them not to do it. The DOJ warned them not to do it.
That makes it sound like Congress and the DOJ thought it unethical but not illegal. I’m looking for a point of view here and just asking for clarification.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
That makes it sound like Congress and the DOJ thought it unethical but not illegal.
Dale wrote it so I’ll leave it to him to clarify it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Oh, just bloody stop it.
Ah, the indignant ploy.
They made a tape and they destroyed it so that it wouldn’t be thrown into the rotten media caricature machine and made to look like the worst thing since the sinking of the Lusitania.
They killed the witness and destroyed the body so the rotten law enforcement officers and prosecutors couldn’t make them look like the worst thing since the sinking of the Lusitania.


 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
From a PR standpoint.
The tapes were far less likely to appear in public before.
Hope there aren’t remaining copies somewhere (digital copying being as easy as it is to accomplish these days).


The CIA cannot be above the law.
Merely two weeks ago we were all cheesed off at them for the NIE assessment change and wondering if they’re working against the government or for it.

What they did is no different than Berger stuffing his undies with undisclosed ’copies’ of information.
If they get away with destroying the tapes it’s no different than Berger and his underwear escpade, and the documents he destroyed.

If we’re worried about exposure in the media, we should be prosecuting the hell out of secret information leakers, and that includes Congressmen, Senators, Vice Presidents, and their aides, if necessary.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
> So the CIA is above the law, right

So can you reference the law in question that was broken? This is the internet, so provide a link. Should be easy enough. That way we can judge for ourselves right? (Something passed by both bodies of Congress and signed by the President would be fine. If you go to judical fiat, then also provide details of the case in question).
 
Written By: Director Mitch
URL: www.windowmanager.blogspot.com
So can you reference the law in question that was broken?
That has nothing to do with the question asked.

Let me rephrase it for you -

Is the CIA above the law?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I refuse to do a show of hands.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
So, is the law (And thereby, government) the highest thing, then?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
When it’s law by the government to restrain the government, yeah, it’s pretty high up there.

If one government branch says the law is that some other government branch can’t go around arbitrarily arresting citizens would that be a good law, or a bad law?
Is that law a demonstration of ’government’ in your definition?

As we see on a daily basis, government is not a single entity and rarely a group of entities with identical goals.
If the Hydra tends to bite it’s own heads off, who am I to argue?
(For the sake of discussion, let’s ignore that the legend indicates two heads will grow back to replace the missing one).


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
But what drives the law, or is the law the ultimate motivation?

Look, I happen to disagree with Dale on this... no shock, since this is a discussion weve had often enough before. I respect his point, and to some degree I’m sympathetic with it.

Dale, best I can tell is motivated by something higher than the law, and I greatly respect that, even though I disagree with him here. But most of the arguments... particularly from Democrats in Congress, seem to be focusing not on that but on the law itself, and frankly I don’t know as I’m comfortable with that. Seems an odd position for a libertarian to fall in line with, for one thing.







 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I have to agree with Bruce and Dale here: if it were policy for the CIA to destroy these kinds of tapes, then there wouldn’t be a problem. But the situation here is specifically that these tapes were destroyed AFTER they were expressly told NOT to.

The CIA is a government body that answers to our elected officials, to both the President and those Congressmen and Senators charged with oversight. If they are told to NOT do something, then by the Gods they better not do it. It really is that simple.

Just because we may agree with the action taken for whatever reason doesn’t mean that an agency acted Rogue, and when that agency is as powerful as the CIA, well...I don’t need to remind you how bad things can get when government doesn’t worry about repercussions.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
My feeling is that 1) I agree they were dumb to ever admit outside a classified environment the tapes ever existed - whoever leaked that should be punished. 2) I agree an investigation of who authorized the destruction is in order BUT like the tapes themselves the investigation - even it’s existense - should not be public and we don’t need members of congress releasing classified memo’s to show they said they didn’t want the tapes destroyed. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22491589/)

In reality if this were a valid investigation there is no reason to make it public. If you think that having the investigation public is good, then they were right to destroy the tapes and they should also destroy the transcipts since I don’t think those should be public and they probably will be before a public investigation is complete.
 
Written By: BIllS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com

 
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