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CIA claims it cooperated with 9/11 panel

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December 23, 2007

The CIA on Saturday rebutted suggestions the spy agency was uncooperative and hid from the Sept. 11 commission the videotaped interrogations of two suspected terrorists, saying it waited until the panel went out of business before destroying the material now in question.

The destruction in late 2005 of the videotapes of two al-Qaida suspects has upset a federal judge and riled the Democratic-controlled Congress, which has promised an investigation. The Justice Department also is trying to find out what happened and whether any laws were broken.

A recent memo by Philip Zelikow, the former executive director of the Sept. 11 commission, suggests the CIA was less than forthcoming when asked for documents and other information from the panel, which investigated the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The CIA disputed that characterization and suggested the panel should have requested interrogation videotapes specifically if it wanted them.

“The notion that the CIA wasn’t cooperative or forthcoming with the 9/11 commission is just plain wrong. It is utterly without foundation,” spokesman Mark Mansfield said Saturday. “The CIA’s cooperation and assistance is what enabled the 9/11 commission to reconstruct the plot in their very comprehensive report.”

In a statement e-mailed separately Saturday, Mansfield suggested the commission should have been specific about wanting videotapes.

“Because it was thought the commission could ask about tapes at some point, they were not destroyed while the commission was active,” he said. Mansfield, citing similar comments this month by CIA Director Michael Hayden, added that “the tapes were destroyed only when it was determined they were no longer of intelligence value and not relevant to any internal, legislative, or judicial inquiries.”

Zelikow’s seven-page memo, dated Dec. 13, reviews the commission’s requests for information from the CIA.

It cites a Jan. 26, 2004, meeting of commission members and administration officials, including then-CIA Director George Tenet, at which the government offered to present written questions to the detainees and relay their answers back to the commission.

“None of the government officials in any of these 2004 meetings alluded to the existence of recordings of interrogations or any further information in the government’s possession that was relevant to the commission’s requests,” Zelikow wrote.

Near the end of the commission’s work, and in response to a request by the commission to all agencies, John McLaughlin, then the deputy CIA director, confirmed on June 29, 2004, that the CIA had “taken and completed all reasonable steps necessary to find the documents in its possession, custody or control responsive” to the commission’s formal requests and “has produced or made available for review” all such documents, the memo said.

The existence of Zelikow’s memo was first reported by The New York Times.

8 Responses to CIA claims it cooperated with 9/11 panel

  1. Sandra Price

    December 23, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I have a real problem with the actions and laws broken by the CIA. Is it foolish for me to assume that we are all the same team? I do not mean GOP vs Dems but America against the terrorists? Or are we the terrorists? If the CIA held information back from the 9/11 Commission report, they should be closed down. If the White House approved it should also be closed down.

    Every day our government looks worse. Can somebody tell me who are the good guys???

  2. AustinRanter

    December 23, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    And The Punchline Is? Oh, Brother! CIA Mee-hish-hey…who in the hell is going to believe anything said by government?

  3. AustinRanter

    December 23, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Sorry, double entry.

  4. DejaVuAllOver

    December 23, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Ya’ know, even street criminals have protections and rights against self-incrimination. Does anybody REALLY expect the CIA (who probably have more information on more nefarious activities than any organization in history) to commit suicide over YET ANOTHER investigation? C’mon, folks. J. Edgar Hoover set the precedent long ago for the CIA avoiding a.)the truth b.)the damaging and c.)the inconvenient. I’m not saying it’s right, or good, but let’s get real. This is:

    a.) A silly attempt to discredit the CIA for standing up to the Neocons and their recent attempts at promoting and/or ensuring war with Iran…. a.k.a. the Lieberman / Kyl Resolution, now shown to be based on lies…..

    b.) A neocon Hit-Piece by the NYT (ala Judith Miller) to raise our blood pressure to the point where we WOULD support the above war with Iran.

    The rest of the world has figured out the zionist game. Whadaya say? How about WE get a clue, too????

  5. DejaVuAllOver

    December 23, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    Ya’ know, even street criminals have protections and rights against self-incrimination. Does anybody REALLY expect the CIA (who probably have more information on more nefarious activities than any organization in history) to commit suicide over YET ANOTHER investigation? C’mon, folks. J. Edgar Hoover set the precedent long ago for the CIA avoiding a.)the truth b.)the damaging and c.)the inconvenient. I’m not saying it’s right, or good, but let’s get real. This is:

    a.) A silly attempt to discredit the CIA for standing up to the Neocons and their recent attempts at promoting and/or ensuring war with Iran…. a.k.a. the Lieberman / Kyl Resolution, now shown to be based on lies…..

    b.) A neocon Hit-Piece by the NYT (ala Judith Miller) to raise our blood pressure to the point where we WOULD support the above war with Iran.

    The rest of the world has figured out the zionist game. Whadaya say? How about WE get a clue, too????

  6. DejaVuAllOver

    December 23, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Sorry for the double post. My fault.

  7. SEAL

    December 25, 2007 at 1:47 am

    That picture of Osama must be at least 20 years old. There he is folks. The strong and healthy demon for you to fear. The last time anyone atually saw him was 7 years ago, only 6 feet from his dialysis machine and he was gaunt, haggard, with lotsa grey. But he did have in his hands a rifle that looked to be about 20 years old. Yeah, he scared me shitless!

    Here’s an idea. Why don’t they ask the CIA [as long as they have them under oath] if they know where Osama is? I know damn well they do. Or where he is buried. They will attempt not to lie by giving some general location along the Northern Afghan/Pakistan border. And those stupid excuses for senators will probably let them get away with that. But they know the street, house, and “clinic” room he lives in, if he is still alive. Ergo, so does Bush. Of all those seeking election to the oral office, only Hillary Clinton would not be surprised by that information.

    I don’t know why everyone seems so surprised and outraged that the CIA was not totally forthcoming with the commission. It is second nature for them to evade or withold that not specifically requested. Everything they do and all they know is a secret don’t yanno? The CIA is a secret. Unless you debunk a Cheney lie. Then everyone knows who you are.

    All this hullabaloo over the destruction of some tapes they made of interrorgations would really be a kick if they lied about that and the tapes are in somebody’s floor safe in Jersey. There’s how many copies?

    I spent a lot of time with their spooks over the years. Took or had them on missions so they could do whatever it was they were supossed to do. My orders were to take them in and bring them out but I could not know what they were going to do. Not knowing what is going to happen will get you dead quicker than anything. I wouldn’t trust one of those bastards any further than I could throw him unless it was off a cliff. I thought we were tight lipped but those guys mouths are sewed shut. Everyone of them I ever met lied to me. I brought one back in need of serious medical attention for not telling me what he was going to do. He damn near got us all killed. Fortunately, he was the only one seriously injured. It’s all right there in my report.

    It’s really funny that the justice department is investigating to find out if the CIA broke any laws. The purpose of the CIA is to break laws. Hello! It’s a spy agency. Everything they do is illegal. And, they would never have acknowledged the existance of the tapes if they hadn’t known they could destroy (?) them if they wanted to. They covered all their bases and the outfield.

    This is going to go down just like everything else. Lotsa noise and accusations and raised eyebrows for the camera. Great publicity for the democrats. Another great big nothing by great do nothings. Once again some senator will read a two hour address to an empty senate chamber and two others will introduce a bill that will eventually be forgotten. Or maybe passed, wiped out with a signing statement, and then forgotten. Business as usual.

  8. SEAL

    December 25, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Almost forgot. Happy holidays to everyone. As some of you know I am Native American so Christmas is only Tuesday to me. But ya’ll have fun and I hope you get what you want. I remember what it’s like for those with small children. We had to do the present thing on Xmas too because of all the other kids getting them. It was fun watching them tear the wrapping off and seeing their little faces light up. But it wasn’t Christmas, just present time.

    Best wishes from our family to all of yours.