MadDog is right. This AP article provides a slew of interesting details on the torture tapes, including a list of Administration lawyers who objected to the destruction of the tapes. The article adds Alberto Gonzales and John Bellinger to the list of White House lawyers who–along with Harriet Miers–objected to the destruction of the tapes.

But no David Addington. Funny. Who would have thought that Addington would be the one lawyer who–at least thus far–doesn’t appear in records as having objected to the destruction of the tapes?

But there are a few more details I’d like to focus on. First, the AP offers a list of who Reyes plans to invite to testify to HPSCI, and it includes the CIA lawyers who wrote the opinion used–however fraudulently–to justify the destruction of the tapes.

Reyes also wants the CIA to make available CIA attorneys Steve Hermes, Robert Eatinger, Elizabeth Vogt and John McPherson to testify before the committee. Former CIA directors Porter Goss and George Tenet, former deputy director of operations James L. Pavitt and former general counsel Scott Muller are also on the list.

No mention of Negroponte, who apparently advised strongly against the destruction in 2005, when he was DNI (and presumably should have had significant sway over the decision). Hey Silvestre Reyes! Didn’t you get Isioff’s telegram?

For now, though, I’d like to return to the issue of timing, because it looks like somebody is fudging the true nature of the discussion by playing with the dates of discussions on the destruction of the tapes. John Bellinger is out there saying that in 2003, at least, the White House "consensus" objected to the tapes’ destruction.

Another of the administration attorneys, John Bellinger, then a lawyer at the National Security Council, has told colleagues that administration lawyers came to a consensus that the tapes should not be destroyed, said a senior official familiar with Bellinger’s account of the 2003 White House discussion. Bellinger could not be reached for comment.

But Scott Muller, then CIA Counsel, says he didn’t consult with the White House in 2003–the CIA decided what they would do within the agency.

Muller did not seek White House input in 2003 because he believed the issue had been decided within the agency, the officials said.

This is pretty odd, considering that 1) the CIA claims to have briefed Congress on the tapes in 2003, and 2) NYT says they White House was involved in the discussion in 2003.

But then there’s this briefing in 2004–of which there is a paper record.

Among the documents the House Intelligence Committee could see is a May 2004 memo Muller wrote recording details of a meeting with White House officials that occurred as the Bush administration was scrambling to deal with the unfolding Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. According to these officials, the White House raised the issue in that meeting and recommended the tapes be retained intact.

This appears to be the same briefing that Michael Hayden already discussed with the SSCI.

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden told lawmakers privately last week that three White House lawyers were briefed in 2004 about the existence of videotapes showing the interrogation of two al-Qaeda figures, and they urged the agency to be "cautious" about destroying the tapes, according to sources familiar with his classified testimony.

The three White House officials present at the briefing were David S. Addington, then Vice President Cheney’s chief counsel; Alberto R. Gonzales, then White House counsel; and John B. Bellinger III, then the top lawyer at the National Security Council, according to Hayden’s closed-door testimony before the Senate intelligence committee.

So this suggests the Administration, in a panic after the Abu Ghraib images came out on April 28, revisited the question of the torture tapes. But that’s a full nineteen months before the tapes were destroyed. What happened in between those two dates?

Note: I’m finally going on my delayed roadtrip to the East Coast. Will be driving most of the day, so I’m leaving you in the very capable hands of bmaz.

53 replies
  1. radiofreewill says:

    I think Addington had Rodriguez Compartmentalized, and then fed him some ‘cooked’ Legal Opinions (how Bradbury-esque?) from Toadies, Hermes and Eatinger.

    Then, using the Screen of Compartmentalization, Bush authorized Cheney to send Libby on a Secret Mission to give Rodriguez the Secret Order to Destroy the Tapes.

  2. emptywheel says:

    One thing that may–but is probably not–related. In his book, Jack Goldsmith said there was only one time, in his experience in the Administration, where Gonzales disagreed with Addington on an issue, but that in that case, Bush overrode Gonzales and went with Addington. Since we know there was a substantive discussion in May 2004, when Goldsmith was still in DOJ (for another month), it is remotely possible that Goldsmith was involved in the discussions.

    Then of course, it would mean that Bush was either lying through his teeth or parsing wildly when he says he doesn’t recall an earlier discussion.

    Perhaps they just didn’t tell Bush they had done the deed, but did have discussions wiht him beforehand about doing it in the future?

  3. Neil says:

    EW, have a great trip. Neil waves at the extended Emptywheel Family and says, “Season’s Greetings! Best wishes in the New Year.”

    • looseheadprop says:

      More reasons than you can shake a stick at. I don’t actually believe they are destroyed. They are in sombody’s pearl harbor file somewhere.

      They are potentially worth a lot of money.

  4. radiofreewill says:

    EW – It just seems that with the cast of characters already known to have been discussing the Destruction/Preservation of the Tapes – Gonzo, Addington, Bellinger, Miers, plus many, many more – it just seems virtually impossible that Bush and Cheney weren’t in the loop about it from early on.

    If this ‘collusion’ of lawyers to prevent Bush and Cheney from hearing about Torture is true, then the DoJ Investigation into whether lawyers like Yoo and Addington gave honest and lawful advice as Officers of the Court to Cheney and Bush would likely show ‘criminal’ misconduct by the most Senior Legal Advisors in Our Government, right?

    I cannot believe that the Legal Counsellors to the President and Vice-President of the United States of America neglected to advise their clients of so great an exposure as Charges of Destruction of Evidence – in a potential Torture issue, at that.

    Have a safe trip!

  5. BayStateLibrul says:

    Drive safely…
    Hope you’re thinking of a sequel to your blockbuster book…
    Bush & Cheney are going down.
    Rain is predicted for the Miami v Pats hulabaloo..

  6. Jeff says:

    A related note: I just heard a report on NPR focusing on the non-destroyed tapes that were recently at issue in the Moussaoui proceedings, which contained two interesting pieces of information: 1. Apparently the unique circumstances under which the CIA came into possession of them, at least according to the report, were that the CIA did not make them, the country in which the interrogations took place did; 2. triangulating on the information we have, it is pretty probable that at least one of the detainees whose tape was at issue was Ramzi bin al Shibh.

  7. emptywheel says:


    Why is that? It would be pretty stunning if they had bin al-Shibh tapes and didn’t turn them over–he was the first person Moussaoui asked to interview. It’s clear from the DOJ letter to Brinkema that one of the detainees was one whom Moussaoui asked about, so it’s definitely possible.

    And anyone want to make a list of countries we’d allow to take videos of us torturing detainees? Israel? Anyone else?

    • WilliamOckham says:

      I heard that NPR report on my way to work this morning. The implication was that we rendered him to Jordan and they taped their own interrogation and gave it to us.

    • Jeff says:

      1. The report arrived at that suggestion by triangulating on a)the relatively small number of detainees in custody for interrogation in May 2003 (no idea how they know this); and b)the people we know Moussaoui was asking for.

      2. I’m not entirely sure it necessarily had to be us doing the interrogating in these Moussaoui-related videos. Maybe it was the host country?

      • Mr.Cbl says:

        It also sounded to me like there was an admission by the prosecutor that they had withheld evidence. Unknowingly? Is that possible? Does it matter if the prosecution is tainted? Is that grounds for retrial?

        • Jeff says:

          I don’t think the suggestion is that there was deliberate withholding of evidence, though presumably it remains to be seen. There was certainly no such admission by the prosecutors. In fact, the suggestion was that it was not a knowingly false declaration to the court; the suggestion was that the part of the CIA responsible for making the declaration was unaware of what another part of the CIA possessed.

  8. Rayne says:

    Pakistan? There’s a nuclear gun to our head in that case…

    Perhaps Italy, during Berlusconi’s tenure, since Berlusconi was pretty tight with the Bush junta. Maybe Prodi, who is rumored to be Putin’s “boy”, decided to lay down the next card in the silent global energy war between the US, Russia and China.

    And maybe the tapes weren’t “allowed”, but were secretly taken as insurance?

    Oh, you forgot Poland. No, just kidding. But maybe one of the black sites in a country with tenuous loyalties might have taken them surreptitiously for insurance?

    [Have a nice drive, EW; here’s something for when you arrive at your destination. NO PEEKING before then. bmaz can do that for you.]

  9. JamesJoyce says:

    FOOTNOTE (5) Pgs. 4-5 Justice Kennedy’s Decision

    NSA has designated these declarations as being subject to an exceedingly high level of secrecy under the Executive’s classification policies. See Def.’s Ex. G ¶¶ 11–12 (Decl. ofRowan). “Without expressing approval or disapproval of DOJ’s use of these ex parte declarations and without opining regarding whether the declaration redactions are legitimately classified (beyond a measure of skepticism as to some portions thereof) — the court does express substantial frustration with one aspect of the Executive’s approach to this information: In part for purposes of this case, this judicial officer had his law clerk cleared through an extensive, high-level background investigation so that the clerk would have access to classified information, and specifically to the documents lodged in this case. Notwithstanding the clearance obtained, it has become apparent that the Executive will not grant the clerk access to the classified declarations filed here, at least not in the absence of vociferous resistance from this judicial officer. This stance is baffling and has been significantly disruptive to the court’s review of this matter.” 5

    SPEAKING OF CHECKS AND BALANCES!!!! Something is this footnote is disturbing. Is the “executive” using national security and executive privilege as a facade to stonewall and hide the breath and scope of potential crimes from America and the world. Are their sufficient facts ammassed to have “probable cause” to make this assertion? Inquiring minds might like to know???


  10. LS says:

    This is the weirdest quote:

    “CIA Director Michael V. Hayden told lawmakers privately last week that three White House lawyers were briefed in 2004 about the existence of videotapes showing the interrogation of two al-Qaeda figures, and they urged the agency to be “cautious” about destroying the tapes, according to sources familiar with his classified testimony.”

    To me, that sounds like they were briefed and urged the agency to be careful about destroying the tapes. In other words, destroy them, but be really careful how you do it. JMHO

  11. ralphbon says:

    One cannot overstate the likelihood of the wink-wink factor in all of this.

    Not even Gonzo and Harriet would be stupid enough to “advocate” for anything other than keeping the tapes intact, sitting in a room where a guy was taking notes.

    It would be spectacularly naive to trust the sincerity of such advocacy, given all we know about the characters involved. Every one of these players, in my estimation, wanted those tapes gone, so long as their own asses could remain sufficiently covered. And according to the received narrative, they’re succeeding. T’was either mid-level bad apples or mid-level over-compartmentalized functionaries kilt the tapes.

    Also, given the pathologic fluidity to which Gonzo and friends subject the definition of “torture,” I wouldn’t be surprised if their definition of “intact” simply means not discarding the tapes’ ashes.

  12. looseheadprop says:

    Not really OT.

    I watched the rebrodcast of the HJC hearing onthe torture tapes destruction last night.

    Firt off, kudos to the Committee!

    This was one of the best organized and productive sesions I have seen from HJC in a while.

    MAd props in particular to Chaiman Conyers and to Jarry Nadler–amazing staff work went into those questions.

    Hell, you guys even had the shill from the reagan Administration agreeing with you more times than not.

    For those who didn’t see it, ther (almost) consensus from the panel was:
    1) that there was no way Mukasey could avoid conflict of interest because he had signed the material witness warrant for Jose Padilla that was based, in part, on information gained during interrogations that were depicted on the missing tapes;
    2) a special prosecutor is needed to replace Mukasey who should recuse himslef;
    3) as long as Congress doesn’t immunize anybody, there is no reason for Congress to wait on its own investigation;
    4) CIA investigating itself is just batshit crazy

    The Regan Admin guy thought that Congress should wait a couple weeks to give Mukasey a chance to do the right thing and recuse himself, because if they acted swiftly it would embarras Mukasey and imply that DOJ is still broken. (he didn’t say that exactly, but it’s what he meant)

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Thanks for the update.
      One thing I can’t understand… Mukasey is a bright, well-educated
      lawyer… how come he couldn’t determine to recuse himself? Seems like
      a first-year law student could figure that out..

      • looseheadprop says:

        B/C he may not trust his deputy to do a good job (does he even have an actual confirmed DAG at this point?–I’ve lost track)

        And the feild of candidates from which to chose a Special Prosecutor that both Capital Hill and the American people would have faith in, is pretty bare.

        WHo’s he gonna pick?

      • TheraP says:

        Seems like the answer to your (and every) question these days is “compartmentalization.”

        It’s a hallmark of character disorders. Different defenses can be operating, but it’s all the same result.

        I think we should start noticing those who seem NOT to use compartmentalization. And giving them Kudos!

        The Reality Based Community – where compartmentalization does not operate.

          • TheraP says:

            You know, I’m not sure they’re treatable!

            And please don’t send them to me!

            One of the lessons I’ve had to learn over the years is who is treatable or not. If people don’t really want to “see reality” and they just want to find better ways of keeping themselves from seeing the truth, then I call that a “false therapy” and I believe that to engage in that is unethical. I basically “call” them on it.

            In my book it all seems to hinge on whether or not people have empathy and thus a conscience. People who lack empathy seem to compartmentalize a lot.

            So I’d say I’m better at diagnosing this kind of thing… and I can’t “treat” if they won’t look at themselves honestly.

            Thanks for your question. I prefer to “work” with the “good guys.”

            • BayStateLibrul says:

              Is John Dean, an example of a person that found the switch.
              He’s one of my “good guys” and KO.

              • TheraP says:

                I think he must have.

                This is such an important consideration. Sociopaths lack empathy. NO concern for the welfare of others. No conscience.

                We can all stray into behavior we feel ashamed of. But shame is the issue. Some people, instead of experiencing shame, experience anger at anyone who exposes them. Think bush! And many others.

                But the people who lack a conscience can’t even fathom what having one means. Thus, we find people who imagine that Dodd and Feingold, for example, are just concerned about the Constitution for purposes of self-interest, self-aggrandizement and so forth.

                I think people seek others with “like” values. Thus bush. Thus people here at this blog and others.


                • BayStateLibrul says:

                  That’s why I thought Bush’s response to Putin’s Man of the Year was so
                  He HAD to say “at the next alumni meeting of the Man of the Year” to show others, and especially the Press, that he was once Man of the Year, that he is somewhat relevant; Putin was not to upstage him…
                  Bush IS so dangerous…

                  • TheraP says:

                    True about bush. dangerous.

                    I think he is also very jealous. You can see how jealous he is of Gore for that Nobel. Maybe that’s why he’s sometimes done stupid things at meetings of world leaders. Must be hard not to be the center of attention….

                    I also think that’s why he’s lately become concerned about his “legacy.” Did you hear him recently talking about that’s what he does in his presidency, go around the world spreading freedom etc.? He’s trying to “talk himself up.” Once he talked up “I’m a war president.” Now he’s trying to talk up “I’m a freedom and democracy president.” Bit of contradiction there! So I actually find it fascinating to see how he acts as a pr person on behalf of propagandizing himself. The guy is a “study” in psychopathology!! (not treatable though)

                    Dangerous. Should have been stopped – in childhood!

    • LS says:

      It really was good! Did you catch the Human Rights lawyer’s listing of how many have died in US custody? I think she said 100, and she was on CSPAN this morning and said that 8 detainees have died directly as a result of torture. That’s pretty incriminating.

      • looseheadprop says:

        My favorite was the law professor with re funny mustach who said that the torture memo was the worst research most poorly reasoned thing he had ever read.

        Yet, john Yoo is still allowed to teach you minds? I tell you the value of a Stanford LAw degree must be decreasing by the minute

      • MarkH says:

        … the Human Rights lawyer’s listing of how many have died in US custody? I think she said 100, and she was on CSPAN this morning and said that 8 detainees have died directly as a result of torture. …

        As I recall there is a record of deaths at Abu Ghraib, so deaths at Guantanamo or at other sites to which prisoners were rendered (taken) isn’t so surprising. But, it is clearly scandalous and calls for an investigation and probably the removal of the entire Bush administration (preliminary to lashing them in public).

  13. MarieRoget says:

    Have a safe trip, emptywheel, & wishing happy times to you & yours during the holidays. Leaving shortly for LAX myself & a flight to the snowy north to visit friends.

    OT- I posted this over on Scarecrow’s thread this a.m. The links are especially for bmaz, who was as pissed off as I was over the USA firings, Charlton’s in AZ in particular:

    OT- It seems we may start to hear quite a bit more detail from the fired US Attorneys who @ this time last year were mulling over their DOJ Christmas presents of forced resignations:

    “Brian Roehrkasse, Please Leave the Building”– Bud Cummins writes in 12/07 issue of Washington Monthly

    “Train Wreck at the Justice Department: An Eyewitness Account”– John McKay (this link takes you to a download of the 31 page article in 1/08 Seattle University Law Review)

  14. MadDog says:

    Given that Fredo was involved as WH Counsel in the 2003 meeting discussing the destruction of the tapes, he cannot escape this ”knowledge” of the existence of these tapes when he became AG.

    So tell me my legal eagles, having knowledge of the existence of the tapes as AG, how does Fredo square said knowledge with Judge Brinkema’s clear and unambiguous marching orders to the US Attorneys prosecuting Moussaoui to answer whether such tapes existed?

    Somehow Fredo’s excuse of ”I don’t recall” will likely strain Judge Brinkema’s belief far more than it ever did even with the incredulous Senators at Fredos many non-responsive hearings.

    Methinks Fredo is going to need a Scooter from Junya.

    • looseheadprop says:

      I cannot wait for Brinkema to have at him. She is supposed to be very sharp.

      I hope she Ginsu’s him.

      Oh, and the George Mitchell idea? Inspired!

      • MadDog says:

        Oh, and the George Mitchell idea? Inspired!

        Though I too admire much about George Mitchell, in the end he is a politician with a politcian’s preferences for compromise and comity.

        I say we put Patrick Fitzgerald back in harness as Special Counsel with the same plenary powers and purview, and have Fitz kick some ass.

        • looseheadprop says:

          I don’t know if it’s possible to go to that well time after time.

          Pat agreed to do the Libby thing, b/c his best friend asked him to. And besides, he’s trying t plan a wedding

          • MadDog says:

            I don’t know if it’s possible to go to that well time after time.

            Pat agreed to do the Libby thing, b/c his best friend asked him to. And besides, he’s trying t plan a wedding

            What better wedding present could one have than convicting Fredo on Obstruction of Justice?

            And we’d throw in a Honeymoon two-fer gift of Criminally Stupid!

  15. LS says:

    During the hearings yesterday, it seemed pretty clear to me that the concern was keeping evidence that showed that the Geneva Conventions were violated, because their “destruction” occurred right at the time SCOTUS ruled that the US was bound by GC, and the worry about war crimes. This falls in line with Goldsmith’s comments in his book, and comments he made when interviewed where he said the Administration was “really afraid” of being charged with war crimes. Also, there are rumors of more tapes or “other” tapes still around.

  16. LS says:

    Here’s something I’m tossing around…Rodriguez was head of Clandestine operations and was Grenier’s boss. Grenier got fired by Rodriguez for “not being strong enough on interrogation” (or so they say)…Grenier had interaction with Libby re: Plame and testified in that trial…Did Plame work under Rodriguez too? Why did they want to out Plame really…I don’t buy that it was solely because of Joe Wilson…

    I’m just wondering if there are some dots there in all of this.

  17. wavpeac says:

    Bush reminds me so much of those “unrecovered” addicts. It actually makes me sad, because I have been honored to witness many of these folks move from that self centered narcissism to a more valid sense of self by working a 12 step program and working a DBT program.

    In my agency we work with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and domestic violence. We also work with men and women who are violent. Lots of the same characteristics…as Bush. All of these issues seem to lead to at least a percentage of them developing substance abuse issues, or some form of violent behavior. All of them exhibiting the internalization of minimize, deny and blame in the way they interact with and see the world. That one HUGE distortion lending itself to so many behaviors of damage to the world. This being an invariant in drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual addiction, self harming behavior, parasuicidal behavior, munchausen’s, food addiction. Once we learn that one behavior (minimize,deny and blame)…we are “set up” for using compulsion to regulate discomfort. This inability to regulate shame effectively creating a river of problem behaviors.

    Our culture is blind to the real causes of violence. And so round and round we go.

    I don’t think Bush was abused, but my guess is that he was raised with a great deal of power and control, and invalidation. (power and control meaning that punishment and shaming were the primary tools of shaping as opposed to truth, consequences and positive reinforcement).

    The wealthiest often suffer greatly at the hands of invalidation. I have many clients who never learned that they could master making a bed, or that they could regulate emotions in response to being told “no”, or that they had any value besides the gifts they could give. If you learned how to get your way by using power and control, and if you have internalized minimize, deny and blame as a way to cope with shame, then the path is clear to becoming a perpetrator to self or others. The abused, the exceedingly beautiful, the exceedingly rich are all powerful soil for growing personality disorders…and violence.

    This was such a controversy in my agency for many years. Back in the seventies we only wanted to work with the “true” victims. But we had such a hard time weeding out the “untrue” ones. Pretty soon we realized that there were some common patterns in abuse that lent themselves to the very same behaviors as “bad” folks we didn’t want to treat. A true dilemma for those in my field.

    I am not sure what is says about me, but I love working with personality disorders and that very intractable form of denial that Bushco as well as so many other disorders that exhibit denial as the foundation of their insight about the world. This episode of politics under bushco has fascinated me as much for what it says about bushco as what is says about america and it’s culture. Good stuff to learn here.

    • Rayne says:

      You’ve just hit on the motherload: invalidation.

      Imagine what it does to a child’s psyche to see their parents take a sibling away and then go about their lives, playing golf, driking cocktails — while the sibling never comes home and there’s no explanation to the child.

      Complete and utter invalidation of children, that. Babs and Poppy both were completely f*cked up to not take the time to explain to George that his sister was ill and died; can you imagine the rage and frustration bottled up because he was so massively invalidated? Can you imagine the hijinx he thinks he’s had to pull to be validated?

      “I am the Deciderer!” is the cry of that little boy who was powerless to stop his parents and his feelings of worthlessness.

      Ugh. I’d almost feel sorry for the guy if he wasn’t an adult and consciously responsible for his own actions and reactions.

  18. obsessed says:

    Mitchell completely stonewalled the debacle over ABC’s bogus fictionalized 9/11 documentary. I think he’s a crook.

  19. sailmaker says:

    My guess as to which countries they were taping in: damn near all of the places we know about. They supposedly didn’t know how to torture, a conclusion that they reached when they got shitty info. So they studied the masters (Stalin, Nazis, Chinese, Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, etc), taped, and tried again. How much time in a stress position, etc. Naomi Klein’s ‘Shock Doctrine’ has more specifics about the torture. Apparently the death squad type torture (drills through the hands, legs, or feet) from the days of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and now Iraq do not get good info, they are only good for terror.

    My guess is that a large number of tapes, which according to NPR still exist (radio this morning), were made in Poland. Poland got a major influx of our cash for helping the wah on terra, was to be granted a ‘missile defense shield’, and Cheney visited a lot. There is speculation out there that only a few of the tapes were destroyed was because the tapes had Deadeye (or some other biggie) watching torture on them.

    Also, Thailand keeps coming up…..44_pf.html

  20. wavpeac says:

    I just have to say that without a doubt the cure for invalidation is accountability. So while I cry for him, while my passion is to teach this concept whereever I go, it does not and should not get people off the hook. Being accountable, is the cure.

    There are some folks who might think that if I exhibit compassion for g.w then I am making an excuse…(not you Rayne…but others). There are of course explanations for everything on earth, but having compassion does not mean that we don’t hold others accountable. It was through my understanding of an invalidating environment that I understood that robbing accountability robs people from developing mastery over shame, over all kinds of skills. Today, I can validate the pain, and gently hold someone accountable for their choices, because of my faith in humanity. (despite this administration) Because a lack of faith, is a belief in evil.

    I know evil exists, and that blind faith is evil, but the dialectic really requires that we see the value, and the disadvantages of both evil and faith.

  21. TheConfidenceMan says:

    I think it’s quite clear what precipitated the change in Admin lawyers’ thinking regarding the destruction of the tapes: Scooter Libby was indicted in October 2005, the tapes were apparently destroyed in November 2005.

    Cheney/Addington/Libby were afraid that Fitzgerald would discover the tapes.…..ution.html

  22. JohnLopresti says:

    I had the impression one strategy for secret sites to tortcha prisoners was in facilities already equipped for the practice, although somewhat mouldering with lack of maintenance, in the newlyIndependent states. Each such country had its own internal modern politics and agenda. The WClinton era addressed problems in some of those lands by employing various permutations of classic US armed cleanup methods. But both the EU and NATO have been morphing in recent times, and on November 28, 2006 was another pow-wow among leadership, that event constituted by nato in a venue in Latvia. There is lots more available than that link by designing a searchstring; the speech hyperlinked is by VikeFreiberga the President of Latvia. The other materials available online include Bush travelogs, some of which contain interesting remarks as he travelled the Baltic states during the summit days in the region. I would expect attaches glad to affirm during that event to their counterparts in the Baltic and NatoNIS of the former CCCP that Gitmo or some other nonNato entities would be managing the tortcha in the future. This is one year after the dates of interest in the tapes’ ostensible ‘erasure’, which recycle I take for fable, though we will see what congress hearings elicit in that regard, as well. Also the European parliament had a commission investigating secret tortcha and jail sites, publishing at various intervals several multiple hundreds of pages length reports on how the US agencies and branches of govt involved arranged and executed those POWabusive incentives, as did the CANs; the EuroParliament issued reports in both November and December 2006, but the discovery leading to the reports’ publication was longstanding. While “tapes” may not have been erased in all replicated redundant copies, the likeliest discoverable physical or eLibraries of them certainly must have interested the political planners in the US administration as the countervailing pressures in the public and congress kept the administration looking for escapes, seeing the GenevaConventions argumentation approaching in reHamdan at Scotus, and witnessing judgeLuttig’s disinterested exodus after initial parsing sufficient to move the PadillaChecker to a different court system at the last juncture to avoid judicial scrutiny; and with the evident need to get congress to remake DTA late in 2005 and again MCA in 2006. Some interesting materials may yet come from defense of Hamdan in the recent diversion of his classification to now POW status, though the government may try to ask DC court to squelch that extrusion from the tight forum without much evidentiary integrity as it has existed in Gitmo since early in the tapes sequestration and even to today.

  23. Jeff says:

    A late update on one of the issues that came up here. In tomorrow’s NYT story, which is really quite interesting and mostly focused on the possibility that the CIA, and specifically McLaughlin and Tenet, criminally misled the 9/11 Commission with respect to the tapes, there is a bit at the end reporting that sources are telling the Times that the taped interrogations at issue in the Moussaoui case were done by foreign intelligence services, not the CIA:

    Government officials have said that the videos destroyed in 2005 were the only recordings of interrogations made by C.I.A. operatives, although in September government lawyers notified a federal judge in Virginia that the agency had recently found three audio and video recordings of detainees.

    Intelligence officials have said that those tapes were not made by the C.I.A., but by foreign intelligence services.

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