Leave it to the intrepid Larisa Alexandrovna to ferret out a key piece of information–the torture tapes were not destroyed in 2005. Just take time to read the letter U.S. Attorneys, Novak and Raskin, sent to the Federal Court on 23 October 2007.

Especially check out page 2, paragraph2 of the letter. The U.S. Attorneys “viewed the video tape and transcript . . . of the interview” in September 2007.

Sure would appear that Jose A. Rodriguez did not destroy anything. How can you watch a destroyed tape? Way to go Larisa.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
  • wildcat87
  • TC

    Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. The same people who get their TV news from FAUX read on Newsmax that torture “is not painful.” That’s why it’s torture……really, I think my head just exploded a little bit inside.

    • TeakwoodKite

      Flippin radio channels on the AM dial I run ito a caller on Hanitty ( insert derogatory) The caller was saying that “Huckabee doen’t support waterboarding but Guliani does” She said it in way that made like it was baking bread. The conditioning of the masses continues…

  • From ABC via Kos

    Coming in From the Cold: CIA Spy Calls Waterboarding Necessary But Torture
    Former Agent Says the Enhanced Technique Was Used on Al Qaeda Chief Abu Zubaydah

    Dec. 10, 2007

    A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary.

    CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 1 — Watch the Full InterviewIn the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds.

      • Just So Jaded

        “From that day on, he answered every question,” Kiriakou said. “The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.”

        That line reads like an attempt to justify if ever I heard one, and it smells to me… Why come forward now? An attack of conscience?

        “Kiriakou says he did not know that the interrogation of Zubaydah was being secretly recorded by the CIA and had no idea the tapes had been destroyed.”

        So, he failed to notice the vidcam in the room? Also, he didn’t know about the taping, yet he had no idea the tapes were destroyed? There’s a contradiction, I’m sure. The whole article reads like some White House moron thought this up as a way to convey to the American public that, ya know, sometimes you’ve just got to waterboard, there’s just no other way! And, oops, sorry we got caught with our pants down.

        Bottom line: 1) I can’t believe this was not some kind of dis-information project. 2) I truely believe that Zubaydah will never see the light of day again (or a courtroom) after that interview, no matter who is president. Maybe that was the intent…

        One of the reasons I detest the current WH admin. so much is the way they have used our intelligence agencies like throw away toys. Sadly, our intel agencies may never recover from this.

    • Oboy, more names:
      LATimes via Think Progress
      AWOL military justice

      Why the former chief prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions resigned his post.
      By Morris D. Davis

      I had instructed the prosecutors in September 2005 that we would not offer any evidence derived by waterboarding, one of the aggressive interrogation techniques the administration has sanctioned. Haynes and I have different perspectives and support different agendas, and the decision to give him command over the chief prosecutor’s office, in my view, cast a shadow over the integrity of military commissions. I resigned a few hours after I was informed of Haynes’ place in my chain of command.


      From TP:

      Haynes is a close ally of Vice President Cheney and has been described as a “prime mover” in the effort to contravene the dictates of the Geneva Conventions. A 2003 working group appointed and supervised by Haynes argued the Geneva Conventions “must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to [Bush’s] Commander-in-Chief authority.”

      More recently, Haynes blocked Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, a former Guantanamo Bay prosecutor, from testifying before Congress about his experiences with “enhanced” interrogation.

      In October, Morris also revealed that the Pentagon had been pushing for “high-profile” convictions of detainees ahead of the 2008 elections. Morris said “that he felt pressure to pursue cases that were deemed ’sexy’ over those that prosecutors believed were the most solid or were ready to go.”

  • oldtree

    there is still some confusion about the tapes not having been named yet. I have seen “the torture tapes” used by multiple reports. Is this likely to be the three we have info about here? Are one of these three applicable with new discovery pending? or is this the first weed in the garden?
    As angry as some of the folks seem to be, one would expect some very hard truths to come down in the next few days. Seems a pity that plain folks otherwise have to bargain this way with our government.
    But thanks for your work, woe that we can’t thank you properly yet.

  • Donovan Fraser

    i knew they made copies. governments always do…..probably in triplicate with 8×10 glossy pictures with lines and arrows and paragraphs on the back describing the scene of the massacre in minute detail. ) oh that was “Alice’s restaurant” wasn’t it?

    anyhow……they probably said the tapes were destroyed because after the filmed torture ( the stick) part of his interrogation yielded NOTHING TRUTHFUL they went to actually talking to the prisoner ( the carrot method) that probably gave them the info they were asking for.

    • TeakwoodKite

      It really is a half mile from the railroad tracks.

      can’t produce evidence you don’t have. To wit even if you did destroy and get convicted…Bush will pardon your ,,,, on the way out.

      • TeakwoodKite

        What was Porter Goss doing when he was a case officer? Was that around the time of the “Cuban Missile Crisis? Was he in South America?

  • Blunt Force Trauma

    “How can you watch a destroyed tape?”

    Sort of like how one see’s the first plane hit the WTC on TV when no one did. Right, Bush? (Please don’t correct me with rhetoric such as ‘there’s a video tape of it, I saw it’. Yeah we all did…days later. It was recorded. I’m talking about Bush’s bungling in that he said he saw it ‘live’.)

  • Leo


    The corporate media and Congress have finally focused on a story that casts doubt on the official version of 9/11. The MSM is telling you that the reason the CIA erased the videotapes of the CIA interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, a key al-Qaeda figure, was to protect the identity of the CIA interrogators. The second reason offered, which you may have heard,is Richard Posner’s account that Zubaydah confessed to naming five prominent Saudi and Pakistani leaders, including the head of Saudi intelligence and the top General in the Pakistani Air Force, who knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance. Four of these five died shortly thereafter, except the Saudi Intel Chief, Sheikh al-Turki, who was later welcomed by the Bush Administration as the Saudi Ambassador to Washington.

    Now, here’s the third reason: Abu Zubaydah was a key Al-Qaeda figure in the CIA’s Chechnya operation, which involved several of the 9/11 hijackers. He was in a position to know about the relationship of the 9/11 Hamburg cell with the CIA.

    Abu Zubyadah was involved in training several of the 9/11 hijackers. Before he was captured and tortured during interrogation, he knew a great amount about that operation and the role of the CIA in organizing al-Qaeda in its secret war against the Russians in Chechnya, and the relationship between US inteligence and al-Qaeda is both much more recent and closer than is officially acknowledged.

    A few weeks ago, Paul Thompson and I had a lengthly exchange here at DU. Paul, chief author of The 9/11 Timeline, concludes that Luai Sakka, a prominent al-Qaeda logistics and training expert, was in fact a CIA double-agent who handled several of the principal 9/11 hijackers during their training in the late 1990s. At that time, the Agency was still running al-Qaeda as part of its operations against the Russians in Chechnya.

    In the course of this Chechnya operation, Sakka worked with Abu Zubaydah. They also worked together in a series of bomb plots in Jordan (the so-called Millenium Plot), for which the two were convicted in absentia by a Jordanian court, according to The Times of London. See,


    • Cee

      Thank you. The media won’t touch this.

    • Retired

      Sorry, I’ve already read the novel “Outsourced.” The author ought to sue you for stealing her plot. Nice try.

      For those of you who like this type of thing, I encourage you to buy the novel. It is a real page turner! Oliver Stone ought to make a movie out of it.

    • TeakwoodKite

      Just out of curiousity who were the “Four of these five died shortly thereafter,”?

      If your writing states that 4 out of 5 players died, you would think it important to at least say the real names and circumstances of thier deaths.
      This artical leaves you with the imperession that the deaths were untimely.


      Four of these five died shortly thereafter, except the Saudi Intel Chief, Sheikh al-Turki, who was later welcomed by the Bush Administration as the Saudi Ambassador to Washington.

      Now, here’s the third reason: Abu Zubaydah was a key Al-Qaeda figure in the CIA’s Chechnya operation, which involved several of the 9/11 hijackers. He was in a position to know about the relationship of the 9/11 Hamburg cell with the CIA

    • kathleen

      If true..you have to be really good at running around in circles and getting through mazes with intelligence. I get dizzy trying to follow.

    • kathleen

      Larry is this true to the best of your knowledge?

  • Teaeopy

    I can’t definitively say who scooped the story, but Skeeter Sanders of OpEdNews.com posted U.S. Attorney Says Two CIA Interrogation Tapes Still Exist on December 9. Sanders’ post gives much more context than does Larisa Alexandrovna in her short post dated December 10.

    • T, it ran NYT on 12-07, pdf link is in Related box

      • Teaeopy

        Thanks, OHC. I thought I’d followed a link to a NYTimes article on the subject, with a link to the letter .pdf, a couple of days or so ago, but I was unable to find it when I searched Google News today. I’m still too stubborn to register at the NYTimes site, but I expect to get another look at the article sometime.

    • Larisa’s first post on this went up on 8 December.

  • Cheryl

    Kathleen at 11:12:08

    I have been asking the same question for some time now. I called Rockefeller’s and the Intelligence Committee offices to ask about the completion of Phase II a few weeks ago. The staff person in Rockefeller’s office told me that it was complete and released. I argued a little with him because I didn’t think it had been released in full. He then said he didn’t know and transferred me to the Intelligence Committee office and I didn’t get an answer to my question.

    I found only parts of the report online. Two links:



    I hope this helps. I don’t know how to make the links so I just copied them from the web. I can’t find a completed Phase II report and I have a feeling we’ll never see the details that show how the intelligence was cherry picked in the lead up to the “war in Iraq.”


    • http://intelligence.senate.gov/phaseiiaccuracy.pdf

      Fascinating, thanks!

      So far, we’ve got the aluminum tubes fracas pp 17-20, goofily redacted in places; yellowcake bottom of p21; Curveball p 27, pp 30-32.
      If I’m gleaning what I think I am by just skimming, all and assorted claims made by bu$hCo in the runup were pure crap, no intel to back them up. But it was no one’s fault.
      Additional Views is a tripey “oh, yes, he did” “move along, nothing to see,” by the thug members. I see NO Additional Views by any Dems.

      • TeakwoodKite

        Kathleen posted two links of PDF’s that are same amount of pages and same title…is there a difference? I saved for read this eve. Again thanks for posting the link of the memo here.

        • Anytime.

          Other link same pdf page count, probably the same doc. Can’t wait to finish reading, but trying to get holiday cards out.

        • kathleen

          Cheryl posted that link. Thanks Cheryl

    • kathleen

      Cheryl thanks for the links. I have been hammering Reps especially Senator Rockefeller for three years about this issue. David Corn, Larissa, Justin Raimando and Think Progress have written the most about this issue.

      From my understanding (will call Rockefeller today) the last two parts of that investigation/report are not complete. Senator Pat Roberts did everything in his power to delay, divert and dilute that investigation. Will Senator Rockefeller finish it?

      Supposedly the last two parts of that report have to do with the Office of Special Plans where the majority of cherry picked and false pre war intelligence came out of.

      • Cheryl


        Have you read the Mother Jones article re: “The Lie Factory” by Robert Dreyfuss and Jason Vest? I found that article very good and the graphic of the OSP is great for a quick visual. Link below:

        Also the Timeline in 2005, “Senator Pat Roberts (R – KS) Helps to Fix the Intel by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane was very helpful. Link below:

        I still wonder what happened to William Luti in the OSP. Back then I thought that he was a conduit for the cherry picked Intel but it’s been so long and so many unlawful activities that I can’t even remember why I thought he was so important in the whole thing. Agh!

        My representatives don’t ever know what is going on with Phase II which is why I finally called Rockefellers office but they weren’t very helpful.

  • Taters

    WH mouthpiece Dana Perino has been told by legal told that she may not address questions pertaining to the missing tape.(s)
    I just missed Larry on Thom Hartmann, bummer.

    • TeakwoodKite

      Larry speaks well. He has podcasts I believe. He was on Stephine Miller as well which I listen to on the way in.

      • TeakwoodKite

        Thom Hartmann has podcasts. oops.

      • Retired

        Larry is equally impressive in person before a live audience. Of course, I have a weakness for people who know what they’re talking about, regardless of whether or not I share their opinion on the topic du jour.

  • Retired

    Certainly one theory might be that Jose ordered the NCS’s copies of the tapes to be destroyed, not realizing that copies existed elsewhere within the Agency but outside of his control. This is the security “problem” with anything that may be copied: Anyone with access to it at any time may have made a copy that you don’t know about. It is a conundrum exploited by spies and dreaded by security officers everywhere.

    • TeakwoodKite

      Potomic Two Step…and Dancing With the Stars they will be dancing the CYA and Tango….

  • Kathleen

    Bill Kristol’s latest
    “What highly significant word is nowhere to be found in the declassified summary of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear intentions and capabilities? Iraq.”

  • Kathleen

    Over at National Review Micheal Rubin says that John
    Bolten is owed an apology. I guess this means we will be hearing an apology coming out of Rubin’s mouth for the part he has played in the death and destruction in Iraq?

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    An apology owed to John Bolton [Michael Rubin]

    The most recent Iran NIE confirms that Iran was actively pursuing a nuclear weapon back in 2003. Forgotten in much of the recent press coverage is that this proves John Bolton, at the time was undersecretary of state for Arms Control, correct. Many of the people under and around him, perhaps fearing that his analysis might get in the way of their initiatives, attacked him and leaked anonymously in the press to undermine him. And yet, now we know that Bolton was right. It seems that a

    number of journalists, diplomats, and Senate staffers owe Mr. Bolton an acknowledgment, if not an apology.


    • Yogi-one

      Dear Mr Bolton,

      I am sorry you were born.



  • Cee

    I had to post this about what we’re supposed to forget.

    New intelligence report a devastating, humiliating blow to U.S. president and his neocons

    “Merry Christmas, Mr. President,” hissed the men in cloaks as they plunged a dagger into George Bush’s back.

    America’s spooks finally had their revenge. After being forced by the White House in 2002-03 to concoct a farrago of lies about Iraq, and then take the blame for the ensuing fiasco there, the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies struck back this week.

    U.S. intelligence chief Mike McConnell made public a bombshell National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report that concluded “with high confidence” Tehran had halted its rudimentary nuclear weapons program in 2003.

    If restarted, Iran is unlikely to produce any weapons before 2015.

  • Cee

    Soooooo, Cheney and the neocons threw out this red meat to distract from the news of the NIE.

    And ditto on Larissa. View the video at her site that mentions Operation Diamondback.

    • wethornet

      Thanks Cee. I was just about to post the same thing. Here is the link to Larissa’s Dec. 8th post. Please view the YouTube video with US Gvt. undercover operative, (FBI, ATF) Randy Glass. It’s the only video linked in this post. It is 03:45 long.

      Randy Glass: ballpark. “I asked him exactly what his intentions were.” (They had just finished a dinner in NYC.)

      RG Abbas, Pakistani ISI operative points to the World Trade Center and says, “those towers are coming down.”

  • Kathleen

    Larissa is a journalist to be respected. She does not even complain when she does not get credit for her investigative reporting treasures.

    Thanks Larissa..thanks Larry.

    Hey Larissa anything new about the incomplete Phase II of the SSCI?

    • wildcat87

      Yes, Larissa is to be respected for her discoveries. She is the only one taking the ball and running with this angle, which I believe to be the most important of this case.

      Thanks for picking it up.