As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Torture Tapes: Plenty Of Cooks Here

Lawyers for the clandestine service of the CIA approved the destruction of tapes revealing the torture of terror suspects in custody in secret prisons. That means there's a paper trail. One that must be handed over to any investigative body, and really that should be a special prosecutor, not the ethically compromised executive branch or Congressional Intelligence Committees.

The story hasn't been straight from the beginning. There's no way that a mid-level official within the CIA acted on his own to destroy evidence that he would obviously have understood to be politically radioactive. They're trying to push a "well, nobody ever said DON'T destroy them" kind of game, which makes sense, actually, for reasons of plausible deniability. But there is no way on Earth that this began and ended inside the CIA.

This part is interesting, too:

The C.I.A. has said that the two interrogations shown in the videotapes occurred in 2002, and that the taping of interrogations stopped that year. On Monday, however, a lawyer representing a former prisoner who said he was held by the C.I.A. said the prisoner saw cameras in interrogation rooms after 2002.

If America wakes up and flips on YouTube one day and sees Abu Zubaydah... I mean, doesn't it make sense to acknowledge that nothing can be kept secret forever, and so if other interrogation tapes exist, it's time to release them now, without delay?

UPDATE: John Kiriakou - who's very chatty - says that torture was approved at the highest levels. Not that there was a question, but this is confirmation.

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