Friday, December 7, 2007

Why did the CIA destroy the torture interrogation tapes?

According to TMPmuckraker, because they were direct evidence of war crimes:

Of course, Hayden just inherited this whirlwind. His predecessors, George Tenet and Porter Goss, sowed it. And to a greater degree, it's the fault of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, John Yoo and John Rizzo, who created a blatantly illegal interrogation program for the CIA to implement. Those on the tapes torturing Abu Zubaydah and Detainee #2 were, loyally, doing what those men wanted. But Tenet must have known that what's on those tapes is evidence of criminal activity. That's a much more plausible explanation for why he stopped taping interrogations. And it's also probably why Rodriguez, with Goss' tacit or explicit consent, destroyed them. If Michael Mukasey is the same man of integrity he was before he became attorney general, he'd call that criminal conspiracy or deliberate obstruction of justice.

What will probably end up consuming the remainder of Bush's term is an inquiry into the cover-up. But it's always the crime -- torture, systematic and approved by the highest levels -- that demands focus. And it was the CIA's decision to distract whomever it could from knowing about the crime.
Add to the list of war criminals our own little torture enabler, the Catholic St Thomas University's Robert Delahunty.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand how Prof. Delahunty is in anyway related to this. You shouldn't randomly throw in his name unless you have some sort of proof that he had some connection. His memo certainly didn't advocate the destruction of evidence.

Rob Levine said...

He didn't advocate the destruction of the tapes, but he did co-author legal opinions that cleared the way for torture.

Charley Underwood said...

The discussion is about torture. John Yoo and Robert Delahunty wrote the memo in order to justify it and to spare the administration from the legal repercussions of their actions. The destruction of the tapes was a way of getting rid of evidence that crimes of torture had been committed.

To me, bringing up Delahunty is completely appropriate, even if he is currently hiding respectably behind the shield of a supposedly Catholic university.

Who would Jesus torture, anyway?