CIA destroyed evidence of torture

First rule of a criminal conspiracy and coverup: Destroy the evidence.

Which is exactly what the Central Intelligence Agency did with videotapes showing torture of suspects. CIA Director Michael Hayden admitted Thursday the tapes were destroyed.

As evidence continues to mount that the Bush Administration not only sanctioned, but encouraged, torture of terrorism suspects in direct violation of the Geneva Convention accords, revelations that evidence of such torture were willfully destroyed will turn the issue into an election-season hot potato.

Will this be the smoking gun that finally brings down the Bush Administration and its long legacy of corruption and criminal conspiracy?

Stay tuned.

Reports The Washington Post:

Captured on tape were interrogations of Abu Zubaydah, a close associate of Osama bin Laden, and a second high-level al-Qaeda member who was not identified, according to two intelligence officials. Zubaydah has been identified by U.S. officials familiar with the interrogations as one of three al-Qaeda suspects who were subjected to “waterboarding,” a technique that simulates drowning, while in CIA custody.

The tapes were made to document any confessions the two men might make and to serve as an internal check on how the interrogations were conducted, senior intelligence officials said.

All the tapes were destroyed in November 2005 on the order of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the CIA’s director of clandestine operations, officials said. The destruction came after the Justice Department had told a federal judge in the case of al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui that the CIA did not possess videotapes of a specific set of interrogations sought by his attorneys. A CIA spokesman said yesterday that the request would not have covered the destroyed tapes.

The tapes also were not provided to the Sept. 11 commission, the independent panel that investigated the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which demanded a wide array of material and relied heavily on classified interrogation transcripts in piecing together its narrative of events.

The startling disclosures came on the same day that House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement on legislation that would prohibit the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics by the CIA and bring intelligence agencies in line with rules followed by the U.S. military.

The measure, which needs approval from the full House and Senate, would effectively set a government-wide standard for legal interrogations by explicitly outlawing the use of simulated drowning, forced nudity, hooding, military dogs and other harsh tactics against prisoners by any U.S. intelligence agency.

The proposed ban sets the stage for a potential election-season standoff between congressional Democrats and the Bush administration, which has fought vigorously on Capitol Hill and in the courts to preserve intelligence agencies’ ability to use aggressive interrogation techniques against terrorism suspects.


  1. psyopswatcher

    Whoa doggies. This is damning and everyone in the nation should be ashamed of what is being done in our name.

    Those who know the rules should have known this would happen. “First Rule: Destroy the evidence” But wait, W knows nothing I suppose, business as usual.

    When do the war crime trials begin?

  2. old_curmudgeon

    “When do the war crime trials begin?”

    The missing key is someone, say Colin Powell coming forward and saying, “I have something to say…” and then open Pandora’s Box and show the American people (and the world) what has been going on behind George Bush’s doors. There would still be those “cool-aid” drinkers who would continue to deny and defend Bushco – mostly from the fools in Congress – but there would be enough to finally stand behind those in Congress who believe that Impeachment AND criminal trials are appropriate for ALL involved. I’m absolutely amazed that there are so many that cannot believe that what Bushco has perpetrated upon this nation and the world is criminal and beyond the pale of humanity. It’s time to beg people like Colin Powell to make history and tell the truth to the American people for a change. But, FWIW, that’s just this old curmudgeon’s opinion…

  3. storky

    The Bush cancer has entered the bloodstream of responsible government. Without radical treatment to purge the invaders, government will soon cease to function in America.

    Start with a good dose of Impeachment and let’s see whether invaders who have infected other government offices stubbornly resist or collapse.

    My guess is that the disaster capitalists would slither, creep and scurry out behind their disgraced leaders.

  4. James Tubman

    Video tapes? We are to believe that the CIA, which its budget larger than that of many countries, is still using video tape technology? This is nonsense.

    They’re using digital video cameras like everyone else, and those tapes (if they aren’t using high def by now) are dumped to hard drives. If they’ve destroyed the tapes, let’s see the computer hard drives where these tapes were rendered. Let’s see the back-up drives; let’s see the archives.

    What? The CIA doesn’t back up their data? Oh, please….

  5. Sandra Price

    The American people are being “had” in a terrible way and only weeding out the CIA and the White House can clean this up.

    Many Republicans are still standing behind Bush and they have no interest in integrity. I have questioned many of my Conservative writer friends and they are horrified I would even dare to question the President. When I replied to Hal Browne’s commentary on Blackwater (I had read the book too) I was called terrible names that our President would never support a mercenary organization. Well he did, and added to that, much worse actions.

    Have Americans been so corrupted in their lives and their education not to be able to spot illegal actions like this? Many of these people were not Republicans until Clinton started bopping women but they were triggered by Christians and Jews to get behind anyone who would show the Democrats that Clinton’s morals would never be acceptable.

    As long as the candidate was religious that was enough. Well, we have seen the underbelly of the religious right and it smells rotten.

    We all should push an investigation of all these terribly illegal actions and release Bush from any more decision making until this can be cleaned up. We can censor him and remove his ability to act without full approval of the Congress. This would be a good time to check the integrity of the Congress which looks very bad at this time.

    I don’t care if it does set back the elections as we are in a dangerous position of leaving the Bush Administration in charge. I don’t care if it destroyed the GOP. They have acted very immorally since 2000.

    Throw the bastards out!

  6. ekaton

    “As long as the candidate was religious that was enough. Well, we have seen the underbelly of the religious right and it smells rotten.”

    You have spoken many times of your fear of the establishment of a theocracy in this country. Have you noticed the rising star of Mike Huckabee as “Rudy’s” falls? Along with Bush’s “faith based” initiatives we now have the distinct possibility of an evangelical minister in the catbird seat. At first I thought your concerns over the establishment of a theocracy in this country were overwrought but I’m starting to come around. It is said that of 300 million in this country as many as 100 million are fundamentalist Christians. What if they all vote for Huckabee? Its getting weirder and weirder in this country.

    — Kent Shaw

  7. Sandra Price

    All the Saturday morning news channels are talking about what a terrible position this problem will bring to the Atty General. What should he do? What can he say?

    Has anyone thought about telling the truth? Miers tried to warn not to destroy the tapes but will testify against Bush? If the Democrats sit this one out, they do not deserve to stay in the Congress.

  8. old_curmudgeon

    Please tell me that you don’t REALLY believe that Harriet Meirs actually said anything of the sort. That little tidbit was thrown out to cover Bush’s butt – make it like the WH was doing something right for a change. Just static, pure chaff. Don’t believe anything that comes out of the WH butthole.