You have to wonder just how much longer the Bush administration and the intelligence community are going to be allowed to thumb their noses at the very laws they are supposed to uphold.
WASHINGTON - Angry congressional Democrats demanded Friday that the Justice Department investigate why the CIA destroyed videotapes of the interrogation of two terrorism suspects.
The Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, called on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to find out "whether CIA officials who destroyed these videotapes and withheld information about their existence from official proceedings violated the law."
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., accused the CIA of a cover-up. "We haven't seen anything like this since the 18 1/2-minute gap in the tapes of President Richard Nixon," he said in a Senate floor speech.
And Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., told reporters the CIA's explanation that the tapes were destroyed to protect the identify of agents 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."
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee sent letters to CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and Mukasey asking whether the Justice Department gave legal advice to the CIA on the destruction of the tapes, and whether it was planning an obstruction-of-justice investigation.
They're wondering if the CIA broke the law? Well let's take a look:
>>In November 2005 a federal judge ordered the government to disclose whether it had video or audio tapes of specific interrogations. Eleven days later, the government denied it had them.<<
Couple that with:
>>The spy agency destroyed the tapes in November 2005, at a time when human rights groups and lawyers for detainees were clamoring for information about the agency's secret detention and interrogation program, and Congress and U.S. courts were debating where "enhanced interrogation" crossed the line into torture.<<
So, in November 2005, the CIA was told by a federal judge to produce interrogation tapes then 11 days later they say they don't have any and then we learn that they had destroyed the tapes in November 2005.
Now, I don't know about you but that sounds to me like an obstruction of justice to me. Hello?? Something is certainly wrong here!!!
Christ, of course they tortured these guys! Why else would they be destroying evidence?? To protect the identity of interrogators? Well, Carl Levin shot that rationale to pieces. And they did this in case the tapes were leaked??? BY WHOM???? By someone in the CIA??? So they destroyed evidence because they don't trust their own people??? I can't believe this shit!!
>>White House press secretary Dana Perino said Friday that President Bush did not recall being told about the tapes or their destruction.<<
I don't know whether this guy should be impeached for what he knew or for what he didn't know!! It's hard to believe they destroyed evidence without White House authorization to do so. And even if Bush didn't know, it proves only that he is an unacceptably incompetent administrator. He's the man in charge--he's supposed to know. That's what they taught me in the military. No excuses, if you're the one in charge, "I didn't know" doesn't cut it.
>>But she could not rule out White House involvement in the decision to destroy the tapes, saying she had only asked the president about it, not others.<<
So Perino doesn't want to make the same mistake Scott McClellan did by insisting nobody in the White House was involved only to have to eat those words. Of course someone in the White House is involved and we know it goes up to the 2nd-in-command at least. I guess the White House is setting up a scapegoat in their ranks right now in case somebody has to take a fall to protect Bush or Cheney. Scooter II, I call him.
You know damned well the destruction of the tapes has no legal precedent or else it would have been a matter of course and everyone would have known about it up front and no one would have objected. Instead we get this:
>>Hayden said members of the congressional intelligence committees were made aware in February 2003 both of the tapes and the CIA's ultimate plan to destroy them. That claim was denied by several members of the panels, including Republican Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, who at the time was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The Senate Intelligence Committee did not learn of the tapes' destruction until November 2006, and Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said he was not told in 2003 of the plan to destroy them. The House Intelligence Committee learned of the tapes' destruction in March 2007.<<
Obviously, this is not something that happens routinely or their wouldn't be such an outcry. Obviously, it is not routine or the CIA would not be lying through its teeth that they told everybody they were going to destroy the tape two years in advance.
Unbelievable. Unacceptable. The degree to which the White House, the Pentagon and the intelligence community are stooping to break the law and obstruct justice simply to cover their own asses and destroying their credibility in the process is nothing short of staggering. This is the worst administration this country has ever seen. We need to clean out the entire government from top to bottom. These people are not the tiniest bit trustworthy. How much longer are we going to tolerate this crap?