After querying former intelligence officers and reviewing the letter from the U.S. Attorney’s in Richmond, Virginia, I can clarify some issues surrounding what’s what with respect to the question of the “destruction” of interrogation tapes and speculate on others.

The bottom line is: Jose Rodriguez, the recently retired Deputy Director of Operations, has been fingered as acting unilaterally, but that is not true. He did check with both the IG and the DO’s assigned Assistant General Counsel before destroying the DO’s copies of the tapes. Although Jose is a lawyer, he made the mistake of trusting fellow lawyers, and now is likely to get chopped up in the political meat grinder while trying to clear his name and reputation.  (UPDATE:  See today’s NY Times piece by Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti confirming Jose got a legal opinion before destroying the tapes.)

Why destroy the tapes? It appears that the June 2005 decision of the Italian judge to issue arrest warrants for C.I.A. officers and contractors involved in the kidnapping of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr in 2003 may have been the precipitating incident convincing Jose Rodriguez that Agency must destroy video tapes of terrorist interrogations. That operation was conducted with the full knowledge and approval of the Italians. If the Italians could flip on us that meant anyone could.

Let’s follow the timeline:

March 2002–Abu Zubaydah is captured in Pakistan. George Bush is briefed regularly by George Tenet on the details of Zubaydah’s interrogation (see p. 22, State of War by James Risen). Cofer Black is in charge of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and oversees the CIA’s hunt for the terrorists. Zubaydah is interrogated in Thailand, where the sessions were filmed. He was waterboarded sometime in the May-June 2002 time frame. Enhanced interrogation methods were used and approval for them came from Jim Pavitt (see p. 21 of ABC News interview of former CIA case officer, John Kiriakou). Pavitt was the DDO (i.e., Deputy Director of Operations). Stephen Kappes, who currently serves as the Deputy Director of the CIA, was named Assistant Deputy Director of Operations in June 2002. Ron Suskind confirms Risen’s report that the President and his National Security team were regularly briefed on the results of Zubaydah’s torture sessions (see The One Percent Doctrine, pp. 111-115).

What we know for certain is that the CIA was keeping the President and his National Security team fully briefed on the methods and results of interrogating Abu Zubaydah. In fact, it is highly likely that George Tenet showed part of the videotape of the interrogation to the President.

November-December 2002–Cofer Black leaves the C.I.A. and is sworn in as the Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State. Jose A. Rodriguez takes over the helm of the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center.

9 May 2003–C.I.A. declares in sworn statement to Judge Leonie Brinkema that it was not recording interrogations of terrorist suspects in any format (see p. 4 of letter to Federal Judges by U.S. attorneys Novak and Raskin).

June 2004–George Tenet resigns as Director of the C.I.A. James Pavitt retires. Stephen Kappes replaces Pavitt as DDO.

September 2004–Porter Goss sworn in as Director of the C.I.A.

November 2004–Stephen Kappes resigns from the C.I.A. in a dispute with Porter Goss and the his aides. Jose Rodriguez takes over as the DDO.

late June 2005An Italian judge issued arrest warrants for 13 U.S. CIA agents accused of kidnapping imam Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr in Italy in 2003, and sending him to Egypt for questioning regarding possible terrorist activities.

14 November 2005–In response to an order of the U.S. District Court for the C.I.A. to confirm or deny that it has video or audio tapes of interrogations of C.I.A. subjects, the C.I.A. the “U.S. Government does not have any video or audio tapes of the interrogations of (two terrorist suspects whose names are blacked out)” (see p. 4 of U.S. Attorney letter).

June 2006–Michael Hayden takes over as Director of the C.I.A. and Stephen Kappes returns as the Deputy Director of the C.I.A.

13 September 2007–C.I.A. notifies the U.S. Attorneys in Richmond, Virginia that it had discovered the videotape of the interrogation of terrorists whose names are blacked out in the declassified letter (see. p. 2 of the letter).

19 September 2007–The U.S. Attorneys view the video tape. Attorneys direct the C.I.A. to search its files again for relevant material.

18 October 2007–C.I.A. provides the U.S. Attorneys with an additional video tape and an audio tape of an interrogation. The U.S. Attorneys compare the video tapes with the operational cables (i.e., written reports) reporting the results of the interrogations. They determined that the reports accurately reported what was viewed on the video tape.

This is an important point–the substance of what transpired during those interrogations was given to the Moussaoui defense team.

So. Who did what?

Jose Rodriguez has the advantage of being a lawyer. I am fairly certain that he can document who he talked to and the guidance he received before taking the step of destroying the tapes. Another thing that might save him a bit is that he and Congressman Reyes are buddies, which is what Congressman Reyes may have meant when he told the NYT today that he (Reyes) “was not looking for scapegoats.”

This isn’t the first time that Jose has had his tit in a ringer. During Iran-Contra, he and another C.I.A. officer were summoned to DC for questioning by the FBI. He could prove that he had asked for, and never received, DCI confirmation through cable command channels that Ollie North’s orders were legit, and thus diplomatically told Felix Rodriguez to pound sand. However, when it was thought that he was going to be called to testify on the Hill, the DCI’s office told him that, despite what the regulations said, OGC would not provide him legal support for acting within his authority and the law. Then C.I.A. Director told Jose thru a friend that Iran-Contra was “political, get your own lawyer.”

Jose Rodriguez did not consult beforehand with Kyle “Dusty” Foggo. However, Jose did inform Dusty subsequently of the advice he received from the OGC’s counsel. Jose may not be in as much trouble as some imagined. If he destroyed the tapes before November 14, 2005 then the C.I.A. told the truth to the judge. The May 2003 date puts the onus on Jim Pavitt and George Tenet rather than Jose Rodriguez. They knew about the tapes and the C.I.A. General Counsel lied to a Federal Judge. Who told whom what then? That’s going to be the interesting question.

And last but not least. The top two Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees–the so-called “gang of eight”–were fully briefed in interrogation techniques several times during 2002-3. They concurred unanimously that the interrogation techniques were OK. This means that Democrats as well as Republicans backed this process.

All for now boys and girls. Stay tuned.

Previous articleA Salute To Our Military (+ Open Thread)
Next articleWaterboarding and Torture
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.
  • leveymg

    Larry –

    The US Attorney’s letter in Moussaoui case regarding the 3 interrogation tapes located by CIA, claims none touch on 9/11.

    Assuming the USA’s letter is accurate, THESE AREN’T THE SAME TAPES of interrogations that were “destroyed”. Or, else, we are expected to believe that Zubaydah and al-Nasiri weren’t interrogated about 9/11? Doesn’t add up.

  • Mr.Murder

    Gang of Four- Principals, Chairs?

    Gnag of Four- Chairs, Ranking members after the Chairs?

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  • Kathleen

    “Bushco’s contempt for the rule of law”

  • A small correction: I believe the top two members of the intelligence committees constitute the “gang of four”. The “gang of eight” is those people, plus the House speaker and minority leader, and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate.

    By statute, as I understand it, the gang of eight is supposed to be operationally informed of various undercover operations. In several cases, including this one, the Bush admin decided to ignore the law and inform only the gang of four.

    One more, relatively minor, instance of Bushco’s contempt for the rule of law. (In many other cases, of course, they chose to ignore the law and inform no one.) Still, we should keep the story straight rather than letting them off the hook by eliding the numbers four and eight.

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  • Thinker

    Thankyou retired, Mr M, Abnormal for adding a power to Larry’s excellent article.

    Mr M always tells me, us to connect the dots. I think its time for another of those connections. Terrorism, torture, suicide bombing, mass killing, nuclear bombing. Time to join those dots. As always I do it from a deeper level, the soul level.

    Terrorism is unfair because it targets nameless victims. The attack is all important. The resulting damage is arbitary.

    Torture is unfair because it targets the presumed guilty and possibly innocent. Though the appologists talk of value added interogation (i.e. we know so much, but torture gets us a little more), torture does not work any better than humane methods of interogation. Those who are being tortured are just as, or perhaps more, likely (- if they “know” they are going to die) to pass dud information. Torture is nothing more than a standard. The resulting damage is arbitary.

    Suicide bombing is where a non US human being has the sole intent on killing or maiming. The suicide bomber aims to be one of the “victims” to avoid social revenge.

    Mass killings are where a US human being (probably young) enters a shopping mall or school, aims to kill or maim as many who present an easy target. The mass killer is always one of the “victims” to avoid social revenge.

    A nuclear suicide bomber is………..?

    Run out of time. I shall continue these thought under seperate appropiate thread

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  • oldtree

    and what about this “operative” Zubayhah having severe mental problems including schizophrenia? The truth about this person now would serve to show how much lying with all these people has occurred.
    that may be the story. knowing the subject had nothing in advance of torture? Who would approve of that? not the agency, they know better

  • Kathleen

    CIA team that captured Abu Zubayhah. Interviews with John Kirikov

  • G Hazeltine
  • kathleen

    Just read will read again. I remember being confused when all of the CIA agents were being arrested in Italy. Kept thinking that it had to do with either the Niger documents and the Ledeen meetings with the NIger document/regime change in Iran team, including Italian agent Nicola Calipari’s assassination in Iraq.

    From a peasants perspective these are the questions that pop up for me. In your time line when did the CIA’s attorneys originally ok these torture techniques and who were these attorneys? If these techniques were given the big o.k. and then Harman, Pelosi and the rest of the intelligence committee were told that these techniques were acceptable, what responsibility do they have to look further?

    Is Rodrigues the fall guy?

    • Retired

      I don’t think that Jose will be the “fall guy,” he is too close to Congressman Reyes. My theory is that after doing his own “Ollie North” in front of Congress, possibly in open session because he is a fairly good looking Hispanic, he will end up working for Congressman Reyes. That is the brilliance of this, the designated fall guy will publically be transformed into a good guy. Politics is a wonder to behold.

      • Kathleen

        Just like Libby getting a job at the Hudson Institute. What a justice system.

        No need to wonder why there is such deep dis-respect for the US Justice system. The reasons are all so very apparent.

        Football player goes to prison for killing dogs, Jena 6 Micheal Byell tried as an adult does prison time for beating the shit out of a white kid, while the white kids who hung nooses snicker.

        Libby and the out Valerie Plame Wilson traitors run free and make plenty of money too.

        Justice. Yeah right

        • I think Retired’s point is that Jose was not carrying water for the Bushies but is being scapegoated. Jose ain’t the bad guy here in my view.

          • Cee

            Who exposed him to be scapegoated?

            So we’re looking at what they call a limited hangout thanks to Cheney?

      • Kathleen

        Does it matter who the CIA attorneys are who “designed and cleared” these torture “techniques”?

    • Centrocitta

      Kathleen, at the time the CIA kidnapped the Egyptian off a street in Milano, he was already under investigation by the Italian authorities because they thought he was also a CIA agent while he was recruiting Muslims fighters for Iraq from his Mosque. Most likely, he knew personally the people that kidnapped him. By taking him out of Italy, the CIA shut down the Italian investigation. Who knows what we may have learned.

      You see, at the time, Italians were not in favor of their president (who has since been replaced) being a friend of Bush and sending Italian troops to Iraq. There was even talk that the Italian president gave his permission for the CIA to do the kidnapping on Italian soil. To reassure the people that he wasn’t involved, he summoned the US Ambassador, Mel Sembler, and told Sembler that he needed to respect Italian soverignty. Soon enough, though, Mel Sembler was replaced and is back selling real estate in Miami.

      You know, I always found it odd that while Bush had no problem finding a Jew to be the Ambassador of Israel, he couldn’t seem to find an Italian-American for the job in Rome and had to appoint a Zionist in a slick suit who just happened to be on the job when the Niger forgeries came about.

      • Centrocitta

        Furthermore, the assasination of Calipari was nothing more than retaliation/revenge. Look at the dates:

        February 2003 – Egyptian cleric kidnapped from Milano by CIA

        February 4, 2005 — Italian journalist and leftist/Communist, Giuliana Sgrena — kidnapped in Iraq

        March 4, 2005 — Calipari assasinated while rescuing Sgrena, who was injured along with diver

        June 2005 — Arrest warrants issued for CIA agents

        CIA knew in advance Italy was planning to issue arrest warrants. They had Sgrena kidnapped in Iraq in retaliation (she is a leftist/communist). Intention was to kill everybody in the car but only Calipari died trying to protect Sgrena. Irish drunks don’t always shoot straight.

        NYPD was waiting on Route Irish for an Italian car. Retaliation, plain and simple. It’s no different than the days of Elliot Ness and Al Capone. Maybe they should have used another name for their checkpoint. But nobody ever said Bush’s thugs were competent. I’m hearing the word incompetent used more and more lately.

        • A fill-in:

          March 04 – The four Blackwater guys torched and hung.

          November 04 – Fallujah barbecued. Sgrena was there doing a story on Fallujah. Four months later, Feb 05, poof, Sgrena’s kidnapped. Musings at the time were, ‘why would the Iraqis kidnap someone who was going to report on what happened at Fallujah?’

          Agree, it was supposed to be a total.

          God, wasn’t it SO obvious at the time that it was a hit, what with the draped, bullet-riddled car that may not have been the car, being photographed from one side only, and the checkpoint fish story, and the gigantic caliber shell Sgrena was hit with. The whole thing stank (still does) like an East River bluefish.

          • Centrocitta

            Perhaps Sgrena’s detractors feared she was going to come back from Fallujah and make it known that there was no such person in Iraq named al-Zarqawi.

  • Thanks for your work in getting to the bottom of the CIA tapes being destroyed. Now that we know how lawless things have become in this Bush era, do you have any thoughts about how our country can get back on track and we can re- capture our ideals and our reputation in the world of public opinion. A little hope would go a long way for me right now. I know that there are good people trying to do their jobs. Bush and Cheney should pay the price for what they have done to tarnish our great country and the lives of all the people who have died and others whose lives they have put in jeopardy.

  • wildcat87
  • hope4usa


    Thank you for this article. It’s excellent. Depressing but excellent. What this indicates to me is that members of the highest level of our government, participated in war crimes. The only people who are pointing it out are career professionals who are placing their lives/livelihood at great risk. These people are war criminals, Democrat and Republican alike. No wonder Pelosi can’t impeach Bush, she would take herself down with him. How in the world does our country regain it’s honor. How do we sweep out the halls of all the branches of our government?

  • Mr.Murder

    “At least 27 people have died in two bomb blasts in the Algerian capital, Algiers, officials have said.”

    “The first explosion is reported to have happened in the centre of the city, near the constitutional court.

    That was followed shortly afterwards by a second blast at the United Nations offices in the Hydra neighbourhood.”

    “Throughout 2007 there have been a series of bomb attacks across Algeria in which scores of people have died.

    Those blasts have been claimed by members of al-Qaeda’s North Africa wing, calling themselves al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

    The militant group was previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) but changed its name when it joined forces with al-Qaeda last year.”

    The previous atrtacks appear to have been timed on a timetable to influence French elections. Part of the reaction to it was to enable candidates speaking with rhetoric to rally support from base voters.

    If this were an actual event from a group with AQ why no warnings before the event?

    Not specific warnings mind you, just statements of what policy could inspire it? Without giving voice to their motivation they lose the power of message reinforcement and cause recruitment.

    Timed events on the same day is consistent with the M.O. but for it to be part of the classic AQ model there would have been the issuance of some mission statement to reason they believe such an attack is justified.

    “Did you witness the explosions or are you in the area? Use the form below to send us your accounts, some of which may be published.
    You can send pictures and video to: or to send via mobile please dial +44 (0)7725 100 100. “

    • Cee

      The previous atrtacks appear to have been timed on a timetable to influence French elections.

      Didn’t work too well, did it? Why was Sarkozy in Algeria recently?

      • Mr.Murder

        The reactionary won, right wingers are a walking recruitment poster for the hard line jihadists.

        • Cee

          A little history on the president who is still manages to hold on.

          Algerian rebels murder children
          Independent, The (London), Aug 23, 1999 by Katherine Butler
          A FRESH wave of violence in Algeria at the weekend left 17 people dead, including many children, in the town of Ouzra, about 75 miles south of Algiers.

          Described as the worst incident since President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was elected in April, it came just weeks before a promised referendum aiming to establish peace and end the Islamic insurgency that has killed up to 100,000 people in the past seven years.

          Ten French citizens die and more than two hundred are injured in a series of attacks in France from July to October 1995. Most of the attacks are caused by the explosion of rudimentary bombs in the Paris subway. The deaths are blamed on the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) Algerian militant group. Some members of the banned Algerian opposition Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) living in exile in France are killed as well. For instance, high-level FIS leader Abdelbaki Sahraoui is assassinated on July 11, 1995. The GIA takes credit for these acts. The attacks mobilize French public opinion against the Islamic opposition in Algerian and causes the French government to abandon its support for recent Algerian peace plans put forth by a united opposition front (see January 13,1995). [BBC, 10/30/2002; Randal, 2005, pp. 171, 316-317; Guardian, 9/8/2005] However, in September 1995, French Interior Minister Jean-Louis Debré says, “It cannot be excluded that Algerian intelligence may have been implicated” in the first bombing, which hit the Saint-Michel subway stop in Paris on July 25 and killed eight. [BBC, 10/31/2002; Randal, 2005, pp. 316-317] And as time goes on, Algerian officials defect and blame Algerian intelligence for sponsoring all the attacks. Ali Touchent is said to be the GIA leader organizing the attacks (see January 13,1995). But Mohammed Samraoui, former deputy chief of the Algerian army’s counterintelligence unit, will later claim that Touchent was an Algerian intelligence “agent tasked with infiltrating Islamist ranks abroad and the French knew it.” But he adds the French “probably did not suspect their Algerian counterparts were prepared to go so far.” [Randal, 2005, pp. 316-317] A long-time Algerian secret agent known only by the codename Yussuf-Joseph who defected to Britain will later claim that the bombings in France were supported by Algerian intelligence in order to turn French public opinion against the Islamic opposition in Algeria. He says that intelligence agents went sent to France by General Smain Lamari, head of the Algerian counterintelligence department, to directly organize at least two of the French bombings. The operational leader was actually Colonel Souames Mahmoud, head of the intelligence at the Algerian Embassy in Paris. [Observer, 11/9/1997] In 2002, a French television station will air a 90-minute documentary tying the bombings to Algerian intelligence. In the wake of the broadcast, Alain Marsaud, French counterintelligence coordinator in the 1980s, will say, “State terrorism uses screen organizations. In this case, [the GIA was] a screen organization in the hands of the Algerian security services… it was a screen to hold France hostage.” [New Zealand Listener, 2/14/2004]

  • Point taken, Retired. We don’t know exactly the time period Kiriakou was referring to or how wide his knowledge was. So, he could truthfully be saying that he only knew of two people being waterboarded.

    Still, he’s surely aware that the technique was used very widely only a year after he was using it on just two prisoners. One might think he would mention that, perhaps saying, “While I was involved, it only involved two people, but later….” If he were really speaking out for reasons of conscience, that would be an understandable justification.

    My tentative conclusion is that Kiriakou is not speaking out for reasons of conscience.

    • Retired

      Or alternatively, his conscience kicked in at this very moment, four years after he left the Agency and just when there is a danger of videotapes being released.

      I think that there are a fair number of knowledgeable Agency officers that believe that the Agency version of waterboarding is so different from waterboarding as practiced by others so as to be a totally different animal.

      Unless, of course, you are the guy being waterboarded. I’m not sure that they appreciate these distinctions.

  • ybnormal

    This is a very interesting post. Kudos!

    Because of the information gap in MSM reporting about how or if these recordings came to exist in the first place, I was beginning to wonder why no one was asking, ‘how do we know they ever existed at all’.

    I’m just reading between the lines, but it’s now starting to sound like intel committees were asking to be shown why they should approve the following year’s budget. Tour ‘guides’ responded with video recordings of torture.

    While not providing actual intelligence, they may have provided dramatic entertainment value to the viewers.

  • There were elements of Kiriakou’s story that gave me pause.
    1. He waffled on whether the school about to be bombed was British or American, the kind of detail that tends to stick.
    2. Why was a very high level operative being used to run a solder gun?
    3. Kiriakou claims that only two people were waterboarded, but we know that it was done at Abu Ghraib (and, in fact, has been done since Vietnam), suggesting it was a common practice.
    4. Minor: Kiriakou isn’t sure if Abu Zubaydah was telling the truth about how long he had been at the hideout.

    Here’s another issue. Kiriakou gives the Administration two important points: the claim that waterboarding was rare and the claim that it saved lives. The ABC report could, it seems to me, just as easily be a true story or disinformation put out by the Administration.

    • Retired

      I think that when Kiriakou said that only two people had been waterboarded, he was referring to only two of the thirty or so in the Agency’s special interrogation program, which was the topic of Ross’s interview.

  • Will those briefed agree with this assertion? “the so-called “gang of eight”–were fully briefed in interrogation techniques several times” or will they, with the benefit of hindsight, say the briefings were anything but complete?

    • Retired

      Interesting question. According to intelligence officers who were present at the briefings, which included a virtual tour of a black site and even the viewing of interrogation videotapes (no further info), at least two of the gang of eight even asked if enhanced interrogation techniques were “pressing hard enough,” implying that CIA should be tougher in the interrogations. Of course, those briefings were highly classified. If the SSCI and HPSCI members lie about what went on and the intelligence officers present contradict them, the intel officers risk prosecution for unauthorized disclosure of classified information as their agency’s payback for the oversight committees cutting the budget in retaliation for having their lies called out. That is why no Agency officer spoke up when Sen. Moynihan denied knowing anything about CIA mining of Nicaraguan harbors after the mines had been demonstrated to him months before and he said at the time that the mining seemed like a good idea. The threat of punishment if an intelligence officer publically contradicts a member of an oversight committee when the latter is lying is a well known threat for those who come in contact with the committees. Within the Agency, stories abound about how Members of Congress and their staffers gush when the are face to fact with you and then go on TV and publically bash the very people that they had just been praising behind closed doors. Our culture has been, and remains, just to suck it up and take it.

      • ybnormal

        And speaking of interesting questions
        at least two of the gang of eight even asked if enhanced interrogation techniques were “pressing hard enough,” implying that CIA should be tougher
        sounds like an interesting question in itself. It also implies that the gang of eight was wondering, ‘so where’s the results we can use’.

        I wonder what would be the reaction of those same two when presented with the alternate wisdom that torture does not reliably produce useful results.

        • Retired

          I think that any such alternate wisdom is about to suffer a serious blow after the public gets wind of the John Kiriakous interview by Brian Ross. John has the potential of becoming the Ollie North of special interrogation techniques, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves that he just coincidentally appeared at this moment in time. John being authorized to speak to the press is in at least some sense pre-emptive damage control, possibly as a precursor to the leaking of the tapes themselves.

          The context in which John places waterboarding (i.e., it is only 30 seconds, the information so obtained was proven to be accurate and saved lives, etc., etc.) may turn out to be a brilliant defusing of the actual release or leak of the tapes, themselves. His message that waterboarding is torture and immoral and that “we’re better than that” will likely be lost in the noise.

          • Nellie

            Mr. Retired,

            I too am confused and would appreciate a direct response to Wildcat87 questions above:

            So are you saying that these were the same tapes that Hayden says were destroyed in 2005 or different tapes?

            Also, I’m still unclear if you’re saying any tapes were definitely destroyed at all.

            Thank you,


            • Retired

              I believe that Jose, the director of NCS, which is in effect a directorate of CIA, destroyed what he believed to be the originals and all of the copies of the tapes. I think that what is visible in the the U.S. Attorney’s letter implies that these were not all of the existing copies of the tapes, that there was another element of the CIA that had copies that Jose was not aware of, and that these were the tapes that were viewed by the U.S. Attorney. This is only a theory based on admittedly incomplete information.

              • Nellie

                Thank You – Now its clear.

      • Mr.Murder

        Agreed, Retired. One of my comments downstairs this is noted, in the DoE’ overhaul for its INTEL wing that was part of the NIC.

        Several review groups within the Dep’t exist, it is vertically integrated, and they run dual capacities for the ability to review info at funding levels, above and below that.

        Easily someone told what needs to be said can review and withold funds at every step of the staircase.

        This is basically emphasized as a way to shape reports and stop any undesired analysis at every step.
        2007-12-10 20:18:54
        The same way it can happen in Committee applies threefold within the chain of the Department.

        Why should a Company run any different?

        The conclusion they want reached can pushed on parallel fronts then inserted or reviewed on each step of the process.

        Funding cuts send the message most effectively. Follow the Money.

  • wildcat87

    Some clarification please.

    So are you saying that these were the same tapes that Hayden says were destroyed in 2005 or different tapes?

    Also, I’m still unclear if you’re saying any tapes were definitely destroyed at all.

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  • ” If he destroyed the tapes before November 14, 2007 then the C.I.A. told the truth to the judge.”
    Should that date not be November 14, 2005 instead of 2007? I have no empirical knowledge or evidence of my own, but everything I have read puts the destruction in 2006 sometime. I think they have problems, big problems, with the court and Brinkema.

  • oldtree

    The US Attorneys involved: Wonder if they now have an obligation to bring charges or give evidence to anyone as a result of what they have found?

    • Retired

      I believe that the drill is that if they have reason to believe that a law that existed at the time of the interrogation/taping had been broken, they are obligated to refer it to the appropriate authority (i.e., their boss) within the Department of Justice for a decision on whether to pursue a case. That is, of course, unless the statute of limitations for the alleged violation has run out. Then they do nothing.

  • Slightly OT: When you mentioned James Risen’s book, State of War, I immediately remembered what Risen reports that Bush said when George Tenet told him that they weren’t getting any answers yet from Abu Zubaydah because he was so badly wounded, and he was still too groggy from painkillers. Bush replied (and Risen puts this in italics to imply Bush was angry), “Who authorized putting him on pain medication?”

    I’d take a bet that Bush watched that interrogation tape. He probably gets off on that stuff.

    • ybnormal

      Maybe it brought back fond childhood memories of frogs with firecrackers.

      • Centrocitta

        Or that ugly mother of his pulling his ears. Oh but she DOES have a “beautiful mind”, doesn’t she?

    • Ferin

      To be honest, I wouldn’t have been all that surpirsed to see Bush or Cheney watching the interrogation in person on the tapes. They both strike me as the type to take a sadistic thrill in such a thing.

      • Praedor Atrebates

        I fear you have created a monstrous picture in my mind that will be hard to remove:

        Bush and Cheney, each alone late at night, watching elicit videos of torture sessions, their skin glistening with sweat from sexual excitement.

        I imagine Cheney gives quite the workout to his robotic heart during these sessions.

    • bu$hler’s a perv. Gotta be.

  • Retired

    John’s interview on Abu Zhubayda is the most accurate portrayal of how interrogation really works these days that I have seen. For accuracy’s sake, note in particular his description of the CIA’s waterboarding technique (i.e., no water enters the body, it is the plastic that does the choking) as opposed to the techniques employed by others (i.e., actual drowning with water entering the body). This is accurate. Also note his moral objection to the use of the technique, refusal to be trained in it and employ it, and the moral divide that the Presidential authorization created within the Agency. This is incdicative of what I have written of before in this blog about the seemingly endless ability of this administration to grow division and disfunction among even the most highly trained and motivated of professionals.

    Also of particular note is the use and success of non-physical psychological motivation (i.e., we’ve captured you all, we’ve won, and we can afford to treat you well because we are endlessly powerful and in charge) in interrogation. This is what I remember working well in many of the situations I was involved in and what we tried to teach others. This type of motivation, skillfully employed, produces a powerful response, as can be seen in Abu Zhubayda becoming a virtual consultant on Al Qaeda over the mid to longer term.

    John’s comment “We’re Americans and we’re better than that” needs to become our challenge, our standard, our goal and what we offer to this planet. Only if we demand it of ourselves can we can ask it of others.

    • Retired, I like the way you talk.

      “…the seemingly endless ability of this administration to grow division and disfunction among even the most highly trained and motivated of professionals.

      Thanks for articulating. Plus, I closet-weep because the above and following are always under my skin, I’m always pissed off that they can plan all their slimy moves years ahead (viz, Day One opting out of Geneva and ICC for just this torture intent and purpose; “pre”writing PATRIOT, presented 9 days-2 weeks, whatever, after the tragic event), they can send a million freaking e-mails a week or whateverTF huge number on their little blackberries with their greedy, piggy little fingers, and they’re all so well equipped and zippy, and ready for anything…….anything exclusively political, that is.
      They’re all such goddamned clever weasels, with their parsing, their creepy-crawling their political propaganda into every branch of gov, their astoundingly unprecedented abandonment of the law. They’re busy, busy, busy, and clever at everything but governing. There hasn’t been any legit governing for seven. interminable. years.

      ******bangs head over and over*******
      Thank you, come again.

      We’re Americans and we’re better than that.

  • Ron England

    Another great run down larry.

  • Mr.Murder

    Now combine that timeline with Cheney’s visits to Vatican City…

    • Waiting in Texas

      Which Vatican City would that be? THE Vatican City or the new US Embassy compound in Iraq that everyone says compares in size to Vatican City?!

      Sorry, couldn’t resist a little humor there, Mr. Murder.

      I went to VP homepage and the only meeting I can find is where he went to the Vatican in Jan 2004. Couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the countries Cheney visits are also the same countries that have all those “black sites.” Probably just a coincidence though.