“It Smells Like a Cover-Up”

So sayeth one of Pincus and Warrick’s two sources describing the content of John Rizzo’s testimony. Mind you, that source remains anonymous, because "those in attendance were pledged to secrecy about the session." Of course, that didn’t prevent Crazy Pete Hoekstra from blabbing to the NYT and others about it, but he’s never believed that laws on secrecy should apply to him as well as staffers. Though, since I beat up Pincus yesterday for helping Bennett tamper with this investigation, let me just say that he offers, by far, the most interesting tidbit about Rizzo’s testimony.

Two of those at the hearing said that Rizzo said that after the tapes were made in 2002, lawyers at the CIA discussed the possibility that the FBI and the 9/11 Commission might want to see them.

If Rizzo has testified that lawyers at the CIA knew the 9/11 Commission might want to see the terror tapes, it strongly reinforces Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton’s claim that,

There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the C.I.A. — or the White House — of the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations.

In fact, lawyers at the CIA knew that the 9/11 Commission would want to see these specific tapes. Which I guess is why George Tenet has lawyered up.

Meanwhile, the battle between Rodriguez, Rizzo, and Goss seems to be heating up. Bob Bennett specifically named Rizzo and Goss to the NYT as those who should have told Rodriguez to retain the tapes.

“Nobody, to our knowledge, ever instructed him not to destroy the tapes,” Mr. Bennett said. “Had the director or deputy director or general counsel told him not to destroy the tapes, they would not have been destroyed.”

Though, as the NYT points out, Rodriguez didn’t seek their permission specifically.

Mr. Bennett acknowledged that Mr. Rodriguez did not seek permission from Mr. Rizzo, Porter J. Goss, then the C.I.A. director, or from any other C.I.A. official before giving the destruction order.

I suspect this is where we get back into questions of timing–including Pincus’ love letter to Bennett, which neglected to date the request from the Thai Station Chief to destroy the tapes. That’s because, for some reason, Porter Goss was discussing the torture tapes with John Negroponte in summer 2005, and Negroponte told Goss, in apparently clear terms, that he should not destroy those tapes. Was that conversation related to the Thai Station Chief’s request? Rodriguez and Goss appear to be banking that they’ll be able to prove an interrupted chain of command between them, yet then why was Goss discussing the torture tapes with Negroponte in the first place?

It sure seems like we ought to be hearing about Porter Goss being asked to testify to Congress. But strangely, for all Crazy Pete’s blabbing, he doesn’t seem to be talking about getting Goss to testify.

One more point about timing. I noted yesterday that Warrick and Pincus’ sources, at least, appear to be obscuring a meeting involving Harriet Miers regarding the tapes, a meeting that almost certainly took place in 2005 when she was White House Counsel. Which is why this comment is so curious.

One of the two sources present said that White House officials did not seem as involved "as they might have or should have been" in 2005 decision making about the tapes.

How is it that folks are determining the involvement of the White House in 2005? Because there seems to be some fudging of facts about it, and I have a suspicion that there is White House involvement in 2005 that we’re not hearing about.

67 replies
  1. BlueStateRedHead says:

    EW, this is headspinning and your keeping track of it even more spinning-ey, spinissimo…
    IMHO, the TT are calling out for one of EW’s famous homegrown timelines.

    Something to do during the talkfest that precedes the liveblogging of the ….whoops almost went OT there.

      • skdadl says:

        Amazing. Just read through the whole thing, although now I have to go through a bunch of the links.

        May I just say of the Pincus tidbit up there …

        Two of those at the hearing said that Rizzo said that after the tapes were made in 2002, lawyers at the CIA discussed the possibility that the FBI and the 9/11 Commission might want to see them.

        … that I find this disingenuous — not Pincus himself, but the report on what Rizzo said. I mean, isn’t that what lawyers are supposed to do, what they are assumed to be doing all the time, thinking ahead over the whole lay of the land pertaining to them? How could that ever have been in doubt, and why should the people be nudged into believing that it has to be proved now?

        Sometimes I wish people would just start standing up and shouting “We don’t believe you. We don’t believe you.”

      • BlueStateRedHead says:

        re TTapes timeline.
        I missed it, obviously. Says something about the speed with which I hit the there’s more button.
        But my comment was an elegant way to get in a reference to the fact that Thursday is the day before Friday which is the much awaited day when OT is On Topic without mentioning the topic which will be on.

        Back to work.

  2. al75 says:

    This leads back to Goss/Cheney. All this went down during the heady days of ‘hookergate’ when you got money for nothing & chicks for free. This is a story that “went away” – I suspect because powerful congressmen in both parties were getting it on in those hospitality suites:

    From Harpers 5/9/06 http://www.harpers.org/archive…..2308948203

    Goss has no direct role in the Cunningham affair, at least nothing that has been definitively reported, but several key people close to him do. They include Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, whom Goss had picked to fill the number-three slot at the CIA and who resigned yesterday, and Brant Bassett (nickname “Nine Fingers”), previously a CIA official and senior staffer on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence when Goss was chairman.

    Foggo is closely tied to Brent Wilkes, the San Diego defense contractor who is alleged to have bribed Cunningham and provided him with prostitutes. Foggo has admitted he was at some of Wilkes’s now-infamous parties at Washington hotels—though he denies any knowledge of the prostitutes—and the CIA and law enforcement authorities are carefully examining his relationship with the defense contractor. Newsweek has reported that Foggo, Cunningham, and Bassett/“Nine Fingers” attended a Wilkes poker party at the Westin Grand Hotel.

    I’ve learned that Bassett’s role in the broader story may be more involved than that. Two former CIA officers told me that Foggo, Bassett, and a third man—a CIA official close to Goss, whose name I learned but am withholding because he remains undercover—have been friends for years and worked together overseas. According to these two sources, Bassett and the undercover officer (whom Goss brought up to the 7th Floor at Langley when he took over the CIA) positioned Foggo to be picked by Goss for the number-three slot.

    From TPM 5/10/06 http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000606.php

    Time: Nine Fingers Was a Tour Guide
    By Paul Kiel – May 10, 2006, 1:20PM
    More on Nine Fingers.

    Yesterday, we reported that Brent Wilkes had paid Brant “Nine Fingers” Bassett $5,000 while Bassett was a staffer with the House Intelligence Committee under Porter Goss.

    Well, now we know what it was for. Bassett had been Wilkes’ tour guide:
    The $5,000 Bassett accepted from Wilkes was for helping him with a business trip to a part of Europe where Bassett knew “the lay of the land from before” — presumably a reference to Bassett’s earlier work for the CIA, said the person speaking for Bassett. Bassett “was not an employee of [ADCS]. It was a one-off consulting deal” this person said on Bassett’s behalf. Wilkes’ Washington attorney, Nancy Luque, said Wilkes has done nothing wrong and that Bassett was hired as a consultant “for his knowledge of the area they were working in and facility with the languages spoken there.”

    And there is another choice detail. Bassett didn’t just work under Goss at the House Intelligence Committee. When Goss rose to CIA director, he tapped Bassett for “a second stint at the agency as a consultant in the directorate of operations.” Brent Wilkes did indeed have some friends there.

    One of them, his close acquaintance Kyle “Dusty” Foggo is finally communicating with the media, albeit through his lawyer:
    Bill Hundley, an attorney for Foggo, who told colleagues this week that he will step down from the agency’s number three position as Goss leaves, says Foggo denies wrongdoing and is “really more of a victim here.” Hundley added that he has not had any inquiries from either the Justice Department or the CIA inspector general, who is investigating whether Wilkes’ business received any special treatment from Foggo.

    “To him this guy was his friend and he obviously knew he was in the defense contracting business,” Hundley says of the relationship between Wilkes and Foggo. But Foggo “is just shocked, really, that he would — if he did — have given that amount of money to Cunningham.” Hundley added that Foggo may have attended widely reported poker parties that Wilkes threw in a hospitality suite in Washington, “but there was no hanky panky” at these events, he said.

  3. BayStateLibrul says:

    I know this is very unkind, but why don’t we fucking kill all the
    lawyers, hit men, journalists and liars?

    • bobschacht says:

      “I know this is very unkind, but why don’t we fucking kill all the
      lawyers, hit men, journalists and liars?”

      It would be not merely unkind, but also stupid. Do you really want to do that to Christy Hardin Smith, Looseheadprop, Glenn Greenwald, and maybe a third of the commenters on this list?

      I hear your frustration, but your solution is way off, even as a joke.
      It is no joke.

      Bob in HI

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        You are right… After seven years of this administration, I have
        gone over the edge…

        To rephrase my thought….

        From 2001-2007, it has been a great American Tragedy
        I’ve tried to use comedy as a backdrop, but many times jokes don’t
        I apologize

    • BlueStateRedHead says:

      the taxonomy of liars reminds me of a great line in a review in the Times Literary Supplement of the Oxford I think Dictionary of Liars. The reviewer, Eric Korn, taxed the editors for omitting a whole bunch of people, including (this is +/- 25 years ago, so inexact), all people who fish for pleasure, the entire cast of the movie The Players and here’s the killer, everyone who owns an answering machine.

  4. radiofreewill says:

    First, I think Bush ‘Militarized,’ in Secret, Our response to 911. It’s the Only Plausible Umbrella Explanation for all the blatant disregard for the Rule of Law, without concern for consequences – these Cowboys think they are in hot-pursuit of some Bandoleros and ‘anything goes’ – and Bush is literally ‘crazed’ about it.

    Which would essentially make him analagous to Musharraf in Pakistan – a Military Dictator – except Bush has done it all in Secret. This would mean that Bush has been operating, all along, through the National Command Authority as the Unitary Executive, and only ‘figuratively’ as the Contitutional President. Congress and the Judiciary do not apply to him as the UE – they are simply ’set aside’ while the Fate of the Nation rests solely in Bush’s Commander-in-Chief hands in this time of ‘extraordinary’ National Emergency.

    Which would further mean that the Military would likely establish an ‘Over-watch’ position on All Domestic Civil Affairs. So, when Bush tells Nacchio to Open a Gateway to All Live Traffic, and Look the Other Way – that Info is getting piped away to the Military Over-watch Position, ostensibly for analysis in the GWOT – but under Rumsfeld, who knows? Of course, personally, I think Bush would have directed spying on anyone he considered a potential ‘enemy’ – basically, everyone – personal, political, business, media, etc.

    I still say Addington Compartmentalized Col. Rodriguez, inside the CIA – right under Goss’ and Rizzo’s noses – for Maximum Control of the Information coming from the 911 Suspects. If Col. Rodriguez made Reports to Goss or Rizzo, I’d bet those ‘reports’ were run up a Separate, Militarized, Chain of Command to Cheney and Bush, first.

    Bush appears to have ‘housed’ his Torture Program administratively inside the CIA, where he could Secretly Co-opt their Logistical Support Infrastructure – all in the name of National Security – but, I’d bet he ran it out of the White House through the Pentagon.

    Sidenote: How else do you get a ‘one of a kind’ DIA Memo to say Wilson’s CIA-sponsored Niger Trip ’supported’ the Niger Uranium Claim, unless you ‘order’ the Memo to be written?

    The White House ‘wants’ Rodriguez to fall on his sword here as the Lone Destroyer, because That’s The Only Option Left that doesn’t indicate that Col. Rodriguez reported through a Separate Chain of Command. Goss and Rizzo have categorically taken away the CIA as being the Authorizer.

    Unless Col. Rodriguez was truly a Rogue Operator, all (Secret) roads – and secret orders to destroy the Tapes – lead through the Military to Bush. No ‘real’ punishments for Abu Ghraib? – connect the dots – If Rummy was nominally running both Col. Rodriguez’ Program and Abu Ghraib, then the steps to Bush are clear – it’s Hitler’s Nuremburg Defense, all over again.

    But, that’s just my humble opinion based on what I see – and I ’see’ an intimidated Congress (with Bush’s Republican Bully Boys still running it, even from the ‘minority’ position) and a cowed Judiciary – just like in a Military Dictatorship.

    • behindthefall says:


      “Plan B” on steroids. How could Cheney’s gang NOT have done it that way? Why else would there be so much to shred? When have they EVER operated through the existing and publicly evident structure?

      There’s a document somewhere spelling this out, for the slow learners.

      • behindthefall says:

        (where’s ‘edit’ when you need it?)

        Parallel chain of command, big-time: fits psychologically, doesn’t it? Cheney is actually a fourth Branch of Government hidden in plain sight — or he would like to be. Cheney lurking in the bushes at WH presser. The still curious case of the nuclear warheads that got loaded onto a B-52 that just happened to fly into Minot and had mounting points on the wings that did not fit the standard weapon carrier. Cheney’s penchant for hiding in ‘undisclosed locations’, sometimes at the underground Alternate WH, or whatever they call it.

    • Neil says:

      i’m buying it. good metaphor for explaining the model BushCo (Cheney) employed to subvert normal government proceedure. They call it “unitary executive” but operate like it’s a military coup with the Commander-in-Chief Cheney making the orders.

        • BlueStateRedHead says:

          Re black helicopter in yard. Early December, the cover of the NYer had a heavily armed Black copter making a landing carrying Santa in it. Black humor for our dark days.

          now really truly back to work.

        • Neil says:

          I frequently send my congressman and senators letters via congress.org, sometimes daily. The last one I sent was pretty critical of BushCo’s disregard for the rule of law on many different and specific fronts. Usually, after one sends a letter via congress.org, you receive a copy by email within minutes and and another email from congress.org thanking you for using congress.org. This email letter showed up 12 days late in my inbox. On congress.org, I see that my congressman and senators received letters via congress.org in the interim. I’m wondering what caused the holdup on my missive.

    • behindthefall says:

      We’re getting EPU’ed, here. Please keep this idea in front of our noses. I would like to see it brought up again. It is a horrid concept that could be mocked as paranoia and conspiracy-hunting — but it should be examined, supported, attacked: whatever you would do to an important hypothesis.

      (You gonna write a book?)

      • brendanx says:

        I’m also impressed by radiofreewill’s synopsis.

        I can hardly be the only one to whom the phrase “unitary executive” doesn’t even sound like a euphemistic pseudo-legalism. What else could it mean but “dictatorship”? It’s hiding in plain sight: Bush, Cheney, Addington understand their regime to be a dictatorship and act accordingly, and assertions of power as the “unitary executive” are the most desultory kind of cover for their extra-Constitutional lawlessness, just like that DOJ memo Whitehouse read from.

    • RodUnderleaf says:

      The “Nation At War” rational to absolve all crimes is dependent upon the original pre-”war” criminal acts of 9/11. The events of that day occurred before the post 9/11 absolute military/CIA rule.

      The torture tapes point to this date as the last identifiable day on which regular law could be said to exist. Prosecution of any crimes committed on this day would stand the best chance of success.

  5. phred says:

    White House officials did not seem as involved “as they might have or should have been” in 2005

    In other words they were involved. So now someone is trying hard to diminish that involvement before Addington finds his head “in the meat grinder”.

  6. Neil says:

    The problem is not the law and those that were sworn to uphold it but those who seek to take away our freedoms and liberties for whom laws and lawyers are an obstacle. For a rebelion to succeed, they must first get rid of those who know and enforce our system of laws.

    Your joke, clearly born out of frustration and a sense of powerlessness against the BuchCo presidential coup from within the White House, is exactly what BushCo is trying to do, render the law and lawyers powerless. IMHO

  7. MadDog says:

    To cheer up BayStateLibrul:

    A Priest a Minister and a Rabbi all walk into a bar, each carrying a duck under their arm. (How’s that for a start?)

    They leave the ducks on the bar and go in the back to shoot some pool.

    The bartender goes up to the first duck and says, “How are you today?” and the duck says, “Hi! My name’s Huey and I’m doing great! I’ve been in and out of puddles all day!”

    The bartender says that’s nice and goes up to the second duck and asks him how he’s doing. The second duck says, “Hi! My name’s Dewey and I’m doing great! I’ve been in and out of puddles all day!”

    The bartender says that’s nice and goes up to the third duck and says, “And I’ll bet your name is Louie.” And the duck says, “No, I’m Puddles.”

  8. Neil says:

    We leave no one behind here on emptywheel… unless shit stain jodi should happen to fall…

    Nah, I bet a few of us would even fall back to help him/her/it keep up.

    • BlueStateRedHead says:

      RE Jodidog

      …or them, though he/she was delighted to have received a treadmill for Xmas, which suggests either that the conspirators the capacity for constructing a personality for their manifestation or that he/she is an individual.

      • Neil says:

        I think she’s a she too, mid 20’s. I wish the resident troll had more to offer than “Oh, No he didn’t!” and “I’ll tell you again, ‘No he didn’t.”

      • JodiDog says:

        Hey, please leave my treadmill out of this.

        It doesn’t need any political hacking. It is becoming the love of my life. I spend so much time on it. I can watch TV on it, listen to music, and see the terrain going by as I plod on incessantly.

        • Neil says:

          Hey, please leave my treadmill out of this.
          It doesn’t need any political hacking.
          It is becoming the love of my life.

          Freud said we can fall in love with inanimate objects but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy, Jodidog. Use the treadmill for exercising, fall in love with someone who loves you back.

  9. radiofreewill says:

    BSL – Your body of work speaks for itself – very well, I might add. I got the joke, but the aire seems thicke with frustration of late, particulary with that Law-thingy not working.

    Bush and his Henchpeople have Lost Two Wars, want Badly to Lose a Third, and have Crippled the long-term Health of Our Country – and There Appears to Be Nothing We can do about it.

    We may have to be patient. If so, let’s be patient together – we’ll eventually find our senses of humor again!

  10. MadDog says:

    Marty Lederman has a post up on “The Real CIA Tapes Scandal That Everyone is Ignoring” over at Balkinizatio blog, and just like EW, Marty accidently substitutes Fredo’s name for that of Jose Rodriguez:

    …Did Hermes and Eatinger tell Rizzo of their advice to Gonzales? If not, what’s the possible explanation for the failure to do so?…

    Other than that, Marty’s post is a worthwhile read on the topic of making videotaping of all interrogations the law.

  11. masaccio says:

    How about this from the LA Times

    A senior House Republican said information gathered by the House Intelligence Committee indicated that a high-ranking CIA official ordered the destruction of videotapes depicting agency interrogation sessions even though he was directed not to do so.
    The remark by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) contradicts previous accounts that suggested that Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., the CIA official who ordered the tapes destroyed, was never instructed to preserve them. Hoekstra’s statement was quickly challenged by Rodriguez’s lawyer.

    This is quoted in the Progress Report from the Center for American Progress.

    • bmaz says:

      Greenwald is an excellent writer; but, despite his quality discussion, I don’t think he gets it with regards to FISA/immunity. It simply IS NOT and NEVER HAS BEEN about the freaking telcoms. Where is the push by the telcoms? Where? There isn’t one; the push is by the Administration. Oh, every now and then, just for effect, the administration will trot out some in the pocket telco shill to mouth the words; but the big push is, and always has been, by the Administration. If anyone wants more discussion, read anything I have written on this for the last year, whether here or at TNH. Crikey, Greenwald’s own article proves my point. Despite the title talking about the telcos, read the body of Glenn’s article. It is all about what “Bush wants”, not one word about the telcos clamoring for immunity. There is a reason for that; they already have immunity/protection/exemption/indemnification.

        • bmaz says:

          Without going into a dissertation, telcos and other communication providers, operating under both FISA and traditional criminal wiretapping provisions have statutory protection under said statutes for all lawful activity undertaken at the government’s behest. Furthermore, I can positively guarantee you that the telcos obtained additional assurances as to “legality” and “necessity” from the Administration on any requested activities not seen as within the traditional statutory framework, and maintain evidence of the same, and have a crystal clear claim for indemnification from the government for any liability arising therefrom. There is an excellent chance they even have that provision in writing.

          Let me make it butt naked simple: If the telcos didn’t break the law, they don’t need immunity; if they did, they don’t deserve it. Irrespective of that statement of propriety and morality, they are covered fully, even if they did violate the law. No one should cry for the fucking telcos; they are fine.

            • bmaz says:

              If you read closely, I think you will find that reference was only in relation to the one certification countersigned by Gonzales the WH Counsel instead of the AG/DOJ as all the others were, and were supposed to be. That one cert may be an exception to my rule, but I wouldn’t bank on it as my guess is they actually have other support; you just don’t know about it. Here is part of a comment I made in that thread:

              As kind of an explanation, this section and the historical interaction of all levels of law enforcement with telcos pursuant to it and it’s predecessor, are exactly why I have been saying for a very long time that the telcos are not stupid and have a LOT of experience in this type of thing that most people seem to think is all new fangled from the post 9/11 Administration snooping program. They have been working this issue since the dawn of the communications era, and are VERY experienced and good at it; and I can relate a good portion of that from personal experience from criminal cases (and civil rights cases after a criminal case was completed). When the telcos have certification documents in their hand that are presumptively regular on their face, and they almost always do, when the action is validly challenged as to propriety, the telcos simply point the finger back at the governmental entity and demand indemnification and/or assumption of defense on the matter by the government. They have that same ability here; thus there is NO need for the immunity provisions being driven down our throats. This is complete BS and serves no purpose but to shield BushCo when they least deserve it.

              • JohnJ says:

                A little background; hopefully without being disappeared:

                In 1981 (PCs birthday) I was working on technology for the NSA that allowed them to read DIGITAL communications on wires from a distance. This was before the IBM PC was even released! (We had one apart 6 months before their release). I was working on protecting OUR equipment from being read the same way.

                “Up to the ‘Z’ in Alzheimer’s” Ronny pissed the NSA off by releasing a copy of a Telex intercepted from the Libyan embassy as a justification for bombing Libya. It seems the only way that could have bee intercepted is using our technology. TEMPEST is the unclassified acronym (yes it stands for something that is still classified). I just talked to a guy a few months ago that told me he watched it being used recently in Iraq, that’s why I am parsing.


                • bmaz says:

                  Don’t doubt any of that one bit. And my point is that telcos, and just as importantly, if not more so, their legal departments, have been working on these issues with every law enforcement agency in the world, from the NSA down to the local constable since they started business with soup cans and a string. 9/11 and Bush were not their first time to the rodeo. They are protected, are not in any financial peril to speak of (and if they are they deserve it) and the well being of the telcos has nothing to do with the immunity push. It is about cover for Bush and the Administration. Period.

      • JohnJ says:

        I agree, the Telcoms already had access to that information if they wanted it, (they supplied it). I can’t see large corporations knowingly committing such a potentially visible crime if they didn’t already know they were immune. No large corporation can possibly think they are going keep secret a crime while laying off most of their US labor force to send the work to china (it’s called “disgruntled ex-employees”).

        It just doesn’t make sense they would only now be asking for immunity.

  12. JohnJ says:

    Slightly OT, but I talked to a guy a few days ago who witnessed what was most likely a rendition. He said that a guy pulled up in a pickup in front of a Publix, before he could get out, 5 vehicles with darkened windows surrounded his pickup and 7 or 8 guys jumped out, pulled the guy from his vehicle and pushed him into one of the other vehicles. He was too shocked to remember if he saw any guns (understandable). He did say he saw no badges, no warnings, no frisking, no identification on the kidnappers, not a work was said; this was NOT (if true) the police. One of the kidnappers jumped into the pickup and the whole bunch sped away. It took literally less than a minute and was done in broad daylight in front of, he said, at least 30 people. He said he looked in the paper and local on line and TV news and never found anything about it. He called the St.Pete Times and they heard nothing about it.

    The weird thing is the guy who told me that, hadn’t heard of renditions.

    He was pretty shaken when he talked about it.

    Needless to say, no one went to any authorities about it (would you really after seeing that done?)

    Don’t get me wrong; this is not proof, just hearsay and could be a total fabrication, but the guy who told me is an admitted gooper! His visible fear when he talked about it was pretty convincing.

    • bmaz says:

      JJ – That is kind of spooky. Where in Florida did this happen? You may be right about it being a rendition, but I have sad news, traditional law enforcement does do these snatch and grab jobs every now and then; and it is my understanding that ICE has taken to doing them fairly frequently lately. Did the subject appear to be a foreigner? I had a client taken by a joint state/federal task force group of about eight men dressed in completely unmarked black ninja outfits, complete with full cover black hood/ski masks way back in 1993. You would be shocked as to what goes on in the dark underbelly of your country’s law enforcement.

      • JohnJ says:

        Sleepy little (snark) St.Petersburg Florida about 6 months ago.

        He said that the guy did not appear to be a foreigner, but it happened so fast that everyone was too stunned to notice all the details.

        I was warned by a retired NYC police officer when I first moved here NOT to trust the local “law enforcement”. Basically, you call, and you may be the one arrested. I have seen it more than once personally. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was low level “law enforcement”.

        A little digression but an (off duty) Narc (yes saw the badge) here that was liaison to the DEA for a while said he asked to reassigned. It seems the DEA guys would only turn in less than 10% of the money and drugs after a big bust, and they were all in on it. He said he could have handled a little bit of that, but the amounts they were pocketing scared the shit out of him.

        THAT’S why I refer to this place as the “third world state” of FL.

  13. masaccio says:

    That’ll teach me not to click through: the NYT has the same language.

    Representative Peter Hoekstra, Republican of Michigan, said Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service at the time, had not “gotten authority from anyone” to destroy the tapes.
    “Matter of fact, it appears that he got direction to make sure the tapes were not destroyed,” he said.

  14. radiofreewill says:

    brendanx and behindthefall – I want to be careful with speculation regarding the participation of the Military in Bush’s Extra-Constitutional Activities, because I think even associating the two together means it is a de facto Military Dictatorship.

    That being said, it’s also the only way I can explain Bush the Torturer/Wiretapper/Spy Out-er/Justice Subverter being Untouchable by Congress and the Courts – They are AFRAID of him because he has the Myers-Pace-Petraeus Goon Military behind him (not the Professional Military, like Sanchez, et al).

  15. JohnJ says:

    oops I hit enter before the last sentence.


  16. Jeff says:

    Some forward motion on one of the fronts, ACLU’s effort to get info on the tapes. Basically, the judge is not going for the operational v. investigative files nonsense. Key bit:

    Judge Hellerstein said the mere fact that the tapes had been watched as part of the internal review meant that they were part of an investigation and, thus, subject to a freedom of information request.

    And this is good:

    In fact the judge had stern words for a government lawyer, Peter M. Skinner, who argued that because the C.I.A had searched the investigative files, even though officials found nothing related to the tapes, it had fulfilled its obligations to the A.C.L.U.

    Judge Hellerstein raised the possibility that C.I.A. officials had intentionally not placed the tapes in the investigative files so as to avoid a freedom of information request.

    “It seems to me that you were gulled,” he told Mr. Skinner, “and that the court was gulled.”

  17. Jeff says:

    Also, more from AP, Bennett is indeed hitting back on behalf of Rodriguez, specifically against Goss. So far it looks mostly like competing non-denial denials, but the sheer fact that Bennett is drawing attention to Goss’ role should mean that it will be less easy for Goss’ team to continue feeding the press a very favorable series of lines on Goss’ behalf anonymously – or at least it has seemed that’s what’s happening. They try and succeed again in the AP story, but if Bennett pushes the line that Goss was complicit, it will be increasingly difficult, presumably, for “former intelligence officials familiar with Goss’ view” or whatever to simply say whatever they want and get it in the paper uncontested.

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