Shorter DiFi: The Torture Report Started in Response to Michael Hayden’s Lie

I gotta hand it to Dianne Feinstein: the closest she comes to calling Michael Hayden a shriveled impotent old man in response to his suggestions she’s a hysterical female is when (at 6 minutes) she says calling women emotional is “an old male fallback position.”

Far more interesting, though, is the description she offers for the genesis of the report. It arose in response to Hayden’s damage control after CIA’s destruction of the torture tapes became public.

In December [2007]–the 11th–Director Hayden appeared before our committee and said he would allow members and/or staff to review operational cables which he said were just as good.

[snip]

The genesis of the report was back with the videotape and back under then Chairman Rockefeller, who assigned staff, staff studied the operational cables, came back, reported to us, we took a look at that and said — both sides — we should move ahead and do a full study.

And while she doesn’t say it, she makes clear that Hayden lied in this damage control, when he said the “operational cables were just as good” as the torture tapes.

He can’t know that.

The backup to the CIA IG Report, after all, is that the even by the time CIA’s Office of General Counsel decided to destroy the tapes, they had been damaged.

[Redacted] for many of the tapes one 1/2 or 3/4 of the tape “there was nothing.” [Redacted] on some tapes it was apparent that the VCR had been turned off and then turned back on right away. [Redacted] on other tapes the video quality was poor and on others the tape had been reused (taped over) or not recorded at all. [Redacted] The label on some tapes read “interrogation session,” but when viewed there was just snow. [Redaction] did not make note of this in [redaction] report. [Redaction] estimated that “half a dozen” videotapes had been taped over or were “snowy.”

And at least one torture session, including waterboarding, was not captured on the tapes at all.

OIG compared the videotapes to logs and cables and identified a 21-hour period of time” which included two waterboard sessions” that was not captured on the videotapes.

That’s important because the IG also found that the waterboarding depicted in the videos that remained undamaged didn’t comply with the guidelines laid out by DOJ. In other words, there’s very good reason to believe that the tapes got destroyed, in part, because they showed CIA exceeding the legal limits laid out by DOJ.

To make things worse, Rockefeller had requested the torture tapes in the weeks before they got destroyed.

So I can imagine how Hayden’s bullshit line about the cables being just as good as the torture tapes withheld from Rockefeller might launch an investigation.

Michael Hayden has only himself to blame for this report.

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15 Responses to Shorter DiFi: The Torture Report Started in Response to Michael Hayden’s Lie

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel This is stage of speech where every line should be finished w/"like Israel" in same way all fortune cookie fortunes end "between the sheets"
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emptywheel Shorter Bibi: Imagine if a Middle Eastern country were hiding nuke facilities?!?!? That would be HORRIBLE. Such countries cannot be trusted!
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bmaz @Popehat @ggreenwald @jamesrbuk @blakehounshell He's also sought ability to use a whistleblower justification defense, but no path for that.
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emptywheel @AllThingsHLS No no no. That's Petraeus' hand slap, surely.
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emptywheel @AliWatkins As I said, poetry.
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emptywheel I'd find this speech more convincing if Bibi had brought his Wile E Coyote graphics.
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emptywheel Petraeus plea deal is a lot like bank deals. A hand slap. I wonder if he, too, will find a way to profit off it, like a bank?
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bmaz RT @adamsteinbaugh: Curt Schilling shames creeps who tweeted about his daughter: cool. Gets one suspended from public school: not cool. ht…
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emptywheel Shorter Bibi: Greatest danger in world is marriage of militant Islam w/nukes (except in the case of Pakistan, but no biggie).
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emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV I'm just shocked I havent' started drinking yet.
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bmaz @randiego2 It is unclear, but accounts were taken down.
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emptywheel As Bibi suggests he has problems w/militant Islam, remember Israel partnered w/Jabhat al Nusra in Syria.
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