CIA destroys torture tapes

Popeye

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A little something to hide? Maybe if the tapes had been made public, support for torture would not be quite as strong.
CIA destroyed 'waterboarding' tapes


The CIA has admitted destroying video tapes showing what is described as the "harsh interrogation" of al-Qaeda suspects.



The interrogations of two suspects were taped in 2002 and the tapes were destroyed in 2005, after the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq surfaced.

Michael Hayden, the CIA director, told his staff on Thursday that the tapes were destroyed so identities of interrogators would not be compromised.

Scrutiny and scandal

But Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, said the CIA must have realised the tapes would be trouble after the Abu Ghraib scandal, when leaked pictures of US forces abusing Iraqi prisoners surfaced in 2004, causing an international outcry.



Speaking to Al Jazeera, Mark Agrast, of the Centre for American Progress, said: "The timing is very disturbing because they appear to have been destroyed at precisely the time that the Abu Ghraib photographs had come out and the stories of highly coercive interrogation practices were becoming known."


The destruction also came amid scrutiny over the agency's "rendition" programme, where suspects were allegedly detained and interrogated in secret locations outside the US.



Hayden said congressional intelligence committee leaders were informed of the existence of the tapes and the CIA's intention to destroy them.



He said the agency's internal watchdog had watched the tapes in 2003 and verified that the interrogation practices recorded were legal.



But Bishara said the methods were actually torture and the fact that the CIA had had the tapes but did not surrender them when the US commission to look into the 9/11 attacks and congress asked for such information, raised questions about whether the CIA obstructed justice.



Surprise expressed



Members of the commission and congress have expressed surprise at the existence of the tapes, saying that the CIA had repeatedly said that it did not record the interrogation of detainees.



Hayden's revelation appeared to be an attempt to pre-empt the New York Times, which informed the CIA on Wednesday evening that it planned to publish in Friday's newspaper a story about the destruction of the tapes.



Hayden said he was informing staff because the press had learnt about the destruction of the tapes.



Agrast said: "There will be congressional investigations, because this story was not shared with the house and senate intelligence committees that by law are supposed to be informed of activities of th is kind."



Waterboarding



Bishara said the intelligence community appeared to be "cleaning house", with the revelation about the tapes coming on the heels of a report saying Iran halted its nuclear programme in 2003.



Hayden's revelation comes a day after the US congress agreed to ban techniques such as waterboarding – where a detainee undergoes similar conditions as drowning – a method of interrogation believed to be filmed on the tapes.





He said the CIA began taping the interrogations as an internal check on the programme after George Bush, the US president, authorised the use of harsh questioning methods.



The methods included waterboarding, government officials said.



"The agency was determined that it proceed in accord with established legal and policy guidelines. So, on its own, CIA began to videotape interrogations," Hayden said in a written message to CIA employees.



The CIA - headed at the time by Porter Goss - also decided to destroy the tapes in "the absence of any legal or internal reason to keep them", Hayden wrote, adding that videotaping of the interrogations stopped in 2002.



"The tapes posed a serious security risk. Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the programme, exposing them and their families to retaliation from al-Qaeda and its sympathisers," Hayden's message said.



The CIA says it only taped the interrogation of the first two suspects it held, one of whom was Abu Zubaydah, who told CIA interrogators about alleged September 11 accomplice Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Bush said in 2006.



Al-Shibh was captured and interrogated and, together with Zubaydah's information, he led to the 2003 capture of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.



The suspected senior al-Qaeda operative held at the Guantanamo prison has claimed to be behind the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US.
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/B55F7670-957E-44F0-A87A-8DD11D5E13BB.htm
 
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Popeye

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protecting our intelligence agents right now is the most important thing we need to do.

That's just an excuse. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., told reporters the CIA's explanation that the tapes were destroyed to protect agents' identities is "a pathetic excuse," adding: "You'd have to burn every document at the CIA that has the identity of an agent on it under that theory.

Indeed, this is all about a cover up.
 

bewitched

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That's just an excuse. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., told reporters the CIA's explanation that the tapes were destroyed to protect agents' identities is "a pathetic excuse," adding: "You'd have to burn every document at the CIA that has the identity of an agent on it under that theory.

Indeed, this is all about a cover up.

so you think we should just hand the enemy all our intelligence and tactics and records?
just let them into the CIA computer database and let them have everything, how's that?
until you work in the field you will never understand the importance.
 

Popeye

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so you think we should just hand the enemy all our intelligence and tactics and records?
just let them into the CIA computer database and let them have everything, how's that?
until you work in the field you will never understand the importance.

You're completely buying the CIA's excuse. You believe whatever war monger Bush and vice war monger Cheney say as well?

Sorry, but I gave up trusting our government to tell the truth a long time ago.
 

Popeye

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Yep, looking more and more like a cover up. Remember when Bush promised to bring honesty and integrity back to government? Another lie, in this administration's record list of lies.
A well informed source tells CBS News the videotapes of U.S. interrogations of two high level al Qaeda operatives were destroyed to protect CIA officers from criminal prosecution, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

A day after CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden told agency employees the tapes were destroyed in 2005, members of Congress, human rights groups and lawyers for accused terrorists said the tapes may have been key evidence that the U.S. government had illegally authorized torture.

Angry congressional Democrats are demanding that the Justice Department investigate why the CIA destroyed videotapes of the interrogation of two terror suspects.

The Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin, said Attorney General Michael Mukasey should find out "whether CIA officials who destroyed these videotapes and withheld information about their existence from official proceedings violated the law."

Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy accused the CIA of a cover-up. "We haven't seen anything like this since the 18½-minute gap in the tapes of President Richard Nixon," he said in a Senate floor speech. The gap, which Nixon's secretary attributed to an accidental erasure, played a major role in the loss of support that resulted in Nixon's resignation.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/12/06/terror/main3586578.shtml
 

Bunz

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This certainly is disturbing news. I heard it yesterday. I hope heads will roll over it, but unfortunately when this sort of thing happens, it is never those actually responsible for thier actions that are held accountable. Usually a yes-man willing to fall on the sword for thier political masters. Nothing but pawns in the great partisan political distraction that continues to occur without an end in sight.
 

Mr. Shaman

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protecting our intelligence agents right now is the most important thing we need to do.
"I do not dispute the possibility of retaliation by Al Qaeda against an undercover officer. In fact, it happened to Valerie Plame Wilson, but her identity was exposed by the Bush Administration. Then there is the question of tradecraft. Did the CIA officers participating in the interrogation/torture sessions allow themselves to be filmed so that they could be easily identified? I am skeptical. When the truth comes out I think we are likely to discover the people doing the questioning were contractors, not undercover Agency officers."

:rolleyes:
 

bewitched

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bewitched

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if the enemy would get those tapes, and they would, then they would condition themselves against the torture methods. that would give us no leverage in getting information.

Kalid Shiek Mohammed confessed before any torture, he just spilled his guts... maybe because he knew of the lengths we would go to. but also because he wanted to send a message through his confession to the rest of his followers. the enemy knows the loopholes in our system and that makes us vulnerable.
 

Mr. Shaman

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if the enemy would get those tapes, and they would, then they would condition themselves against the torture methods.

the enemy knows the loopholes in our system and that makes us vulnerable.
You seem to know quite-a-lot, about the enemy. :rolleyes:

Maybe you can explain (exactly) how one conditions themself against Torture. :rolleyes:
 

Popeye

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if the enemy would get those tapes, and they would, then they would condition themselves against the torture methods. that would give us no leverage in getting information.

Kalid Shiek Mohammed confessed before any torture, he just spilled his guts... maybe because he knew of the lengths we would go to. but also because he wanted to send a message through his confession to the rest of his followers. the enemy knows the loopholes in our system and that makes us vulnerable.

You buy it all don't you? Watch Fox News religiously too? Biil O'Reilly teach you all about "the enemy", those evil doers?
 

Popeye

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In his book, "The One Percent Doctrine," author Ron Suskind gave us the background on Abu Zubaydah, the guy the CIA was torturing in those now destroyed tapes. Here's how the Washington Post's review of Suskind's book describes him:

Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be. CIA and FBI analysts, poring over a diary he kept for more than a decade, found entries "in the voice of three people: Hani 1, Hani 2, and Hani 3" -- a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego. All three recorded in numbing detail "what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said." Dan Coleman, then the FBI's top al-Qaeda analyst, told a senior bureau official, "This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality."

Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics -- travel for wives and children and the like. That judgment was "echoed at the top of CIA and was, of course, briefed to the President and Vice President," Suskind writes. And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as "one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States." And over the months to come, under White House and Justice Department direction, the CIA would make him its first test subject for harsh interrogation techniques.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/19/AR2006061901211_pf.html
 
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