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CIA Destroyed Tapes Despite Court Orders

One way to avoid prosecution for wrong doing is to destroy the evidence. The CIA did exactly that, despite court orders:

The Bush administration was under court order not to discard evidence of detainee torture and abuse months before the CIA destroyed videotapes that revealed some of its harshest interrogation tactics.

Normally, that would force the government to defend itself against obstruction allegations. But the CIA may have an out: its clandestine network of overseas prisons.

While judges focused on the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and tried to guarantee that any evidence of detainee abuse would be preserved, the CIA was performing its toughest questioning half a world away. And by the time President Bush publicly acknowledged the secret prison system, interrogation videotapes of two terrorism suspects had been destroyed.

The CIA destroyed the tapes in November 2005. That June, U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. had ordered the Bush administration to safeguard "all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay."

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler issued a nearly identical order that July. [...]

In legal documents filed in January 2005, Assistant Attorney General Peter D. Keisler assured Kennedy that government officials were "well aware of their obligation not to destroy evidence that may be relevant in pending litigation."

For just that reason, officials inside and outside of the CIA advised against destroying the interrogation tapes, according to a former senior intelligence official involved in the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is under investigation.

The Republican administration has been corrupt from the start, but with a Republican-led Congress they acted with impunity. Their world has been deeply shaken ever since January of this year when the Democrats took over Congress, and provided the much-needed oversight.

Exposing the corruption and lies of the current Republican leadership is a necessary step towards a long-term solution. Have ANY of the current Republican candidates denounced the Bush administration? Nope, not a one. Voters need to understand that electing another Republican to the White House will yield more of the same.

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Comments (2)


I must agree with Larkin. If Bush had any hand in the destruction of those tapes it is clearly an impeachable offense. No doubt about it that it is obstruction of justice. On the other hand for Lee to end his post by writing that the Republicans were "shaken" by the loss of majority control of Congress, well, I would suggest that the Democrats legislative success since attaining majority status has not been impressive (and I'm being kind). Also whether electing another Republican to the White House will yield more of the same is also clearly as doubtful. McCain - don't think so; Romney - probably not; Hillary - same level of hubris as the Bush administration, just different issues.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

There's a lot of dissatisfaction with Congress among us progressives as well, Dave, but there has been a shake up since 2006. Alberto Gonzales never would have been run out of town and moderate like Mukasey chosen as his replacement without a Dem majority in Congress. Likewise for the State department shakeup with the Blackwater investigations and Krongard's resignation.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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