Who Watched the Torture Tapes?

As a number of you have pointed out, DOJ just informed the ACLU and Judge Alvin Hellerstein that CIA destroyed 92 tapes showing torture.

In the meantime, the CIA can now identify the number of videotapes that were destroyed, which is information implicated by [Hellerstein’s order that ACLU gets information responsive to its FOIA request]. Ninety-two videotapes were destroyed. 

Once McCaffrey the MilleniaLab and I go for a walk, I’m going to follow-up to see whether those 92 tapes all came from Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri’s torture (remember–original reports said there had been thousands of hours of videotape) or whether the torture tapes of different detainees were included.

Just as interesting (particularly in light of the goings on in the al-Haramain case), is the list of information that the ACLU will shortly be getting (the CIA wants this week to put together a schedule for turning over the information). That includes:

  • A copy of the CIA Office of Inspector General’s Special Review Report–a redacted copy of which had previously been supplied to the ACLU–with the details regarding the torture tapes un-redacted.
  • A list identifying and describing each of the destroyed records.
  • A list of any summaries or transcripts describing the destroyed records’ content.
  • Identification of any witnesses who may have viewed the videotapes or retained custody before their destruction.

Note, they are warning that they will protect CIA identities wrt that last bullet. But we may get the names of other people (I’m curious whether Cheney, David Addington, or John Yoo might be among them) who had viewed the torture tapes.

And this is perhaps the most interesting bit:

The CIA intends to produce all of the information requested to the Court and to produce as much information as possible on the public record to the plaintiffs.

Watch out below, because I think this dam may well break.

100 replies
  1. JimWhite says:

    Would there be records if anyone in gummint was watching live and possibly calling for individual acts of torture? Could that information turn up in this disclosure?

    • acquarius74 says:

      orgies while viewing? Wouldn’t put it past ‘em.

      So many reports, hearings, etc..can’t remember where I heard it, but it was said that the detainee that was supposed to be the 20th bomber was waterboarded 100 times in one week.

  2. Peterr says:

    The CIA intends to produce all of the information requested to the Court and to produce as much information as possible on the public record to the plaintiffs.

    My. A “thank you” to Leon Panetta might be in order, should this actually take place as promised.

  3. Mary says:

    I’m wondering about still pictures too – you know, the “program” involved lots of stripping men and having women photograph them, but in Binyam Mohamed’s case (and likely several others) the stripped bodies showed eveidence of the crimes committed against the detainees.

    Anyone accouting for those docs?

    s 92 tapes, all covering just 3 instances of waterboarding? Must have been a lot of camera angles /s

    You know, prior to the Padilla presser, Comey supposedly had a team that investigated and coordinated all the intel involving Padilla – I’d have to think that someone on his “team” had to know about and/or have watched or seen or seen info on etc. the videos and/or still pics and/or other info (since a lot of his info in the presser was about how Zubaydah and Mohamed were corroborating sources and how credible all the info was )

  4. FrankProbst says:

    Note, they are warning that they will protect CIA identities wrt that last bullet. But we may get the names of other people (I’m curious whether Cheney, David Addington, or John Yoo might be among them) who had viewed the torture tapes.

    I suspect that this will make it quite clear who gave the order to destroy evidence. And good luck arguing that videos of interrogations don’t qualify as “evidence”.

    • kspena says:

      I have to add the former prez’ name to the list; after all he was the one who kept a deck of cards in his desk so he could x-off faces of the captured and who killed small animals as a kid to watch them suffer.

  5. scribe says:

    The image that keeps popping into my mind is that James Spader movie “Crash” (the one set in Toronto, not the one in L.A. about race relations), in which he is one of a group of people who get sexual thrills from car crashes and their injuries in them. There’s a scene in the movie where, prior to going out and crashing their cars into each other, the group is sitting in a room watching crash-test movies like ordinary other people might watch porn. Right down to their fixated gazes and obvious arousal.

    I can see this going on in the Bush White House with the crew that was in charge watching the torture tapes. Probably by a remote link, so the actual tape didn’t have to come into the country.

    One has to wonder what the housekeeping staff had to clean up… and what stories they could tell.

    • JThomason says:

      There is an entitlement associated with being privy to images of human degradation that are not normally considered to fall with the confines of decency. Its a tasting of a forbidden fruit. There is historically a daemonic elevation into an incorporeal non-existent world.

      The consequent dehumanization and desensitization of the observer probably has not been anticipated by the initiates who only are fixated on the impulse of some dark Oedipal compensation.

      Someone suggested a line from a series on the Cuban Missile Crisis the other day attributed to JFK in the face of a possible war with Russia. He allowed that a war would be won or lost in the temples of a nation before the first shot was fired or blow struck. This information does not bode well in that context.

      • scribe says:

        Someone’s been studying their comparative religion, philosophy, semiotics and semantics again.

        One wonders what the principle Kennedy enunciated would (will) yield vis-a-vis Bush’s wars. I think we all know the answer.

          • JThomason says:

            This is true. I had to stop drinking all together once I had had enough of the Carlsbad Elephant Malt Liquor (a gateway drug to Hee Haw deconstructionist thinking.)

              • JThomason says:

                Back in my beer drinking days the best beer I ever had was this syrupy brew never moved more than a few meters from the chilly basement brewery to the restaurant in an old town Munich tavern. The citizen of Munich I was with recommended it to accompany a lunch of grilled beef heart and sauerkraut. It was only after the fact that I discovered actually just how bad the Carlsbad Elephant Malt Liquor was. And as I said I am otherwise disqualified from this discussion.

      • brendanx says:

        I wasn’t kidding. (What else are we going to talk about to break the awkward silence?) — and I was asking with the Sands piece in mind, and because from what I recall Rumsfeld “supervised” the torture of one of the Guantanamo prisonsers, I don’t remember the name.

        • skdadl says:

          No, I know you aren’t kidding, and I wouldn’t have the courage to do what you did, although I’d sure like to.

          You could ask him what he thought of Senator Levin’s report, and the marathon hearing on so-called reverse engineering of SERE techniques that preceded it. That was a fascinating eight hours, I thought, even when we were hearing some things we already knew in bits and pieces. Having the whole process put together from the bottom up, rising to the anti-climax of Haynes, was inspired, I thought. Rumsfeld must have watched it.

          • brendanx says:

            See this Spencer Ackerman post, linked to by emptywheel on that testimony live blog:

            Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) asked a good question. If the Pentagon was, as Shiffrin testified, so frustrated over not having an off-the-shelf interrogation capability for the war on terror, why go to SERE and not the FBI? The bureau has “probably the most extensive experience in interrogating hostile detainees of anyone in the federal government.” True indeed.

            Shiffrin’s answer? Because Donald Rumsfeld, despite being the oldest secretary of defense in history, is a giant baby. “In my limited dealings with the secretary,” Shiffrin said, “the secretary was very jealous other agencies, specifically with respect to DOD’s inherent capabilities. One incident [I recall]: the CIA’s ability to get things done in Afghanistan, the secretary was quite upset that the CIA was more effective in Afghanistan than we were at the onset of hostilities… It would have been unthinkable to say to him, ‘The people who are really good at this are law enforcement…’ I don’t think he would have accepted that answer.”

            Can you make a citizen’s arrest for war crimes charges?

            • skdadl says:

              Och, Shiffrin. No tie, collar open, lolling about in his chair, and he was scratching himself as he testified! That man is so fixed in my memory.

              Sorry — the personal stuff may be irrelevant, except the testimony you’ve quoted there suggests that even though Shiffrin was sharp enough to see what was wrong, he was perfectly willing to go on working for someone who “would [not] have accepted that answer” — ie, the truth, or the right thing. That’s the psychology that permits the big criminals to get away with what they do. I believe we call that the banality of evil.

            • scribe says:

              Let’s all remember the example of the 1989 Monday deomnstrations which broke the back of the East German regime and led, ultimately, to the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of communism. (Here’s a German-language page which has more detail….)

              Their watchwords were “WE are the people” and “No violence”.

              We need to remember, too, that the demonstrations were not suppressed in large part because of the efforts of one man, Roland Jahn (no English-language page). He is one of the more prominent human-rights activists in Germany. He had been expelled from an East German university in the late 70s or early 80s for protesting, then jailed for protesting, then exiled to West Germany for protesting after finishing his jail term. He moved to West Berlin and got a media job.

              Now as a West German citizen, he was able to travel to and from the East.

              He used that opportunity to build a network of reporters, photographers, videographers*, and couriers who would carry reports and, more importantly, images from East Germany to West Berlin, whence they would get onto West German TV. Since most of East Germany could get West German TV, those images then could be seen in the DDR and put the lie to the pronouncements of the official East German media that the demonstrations were tiny, violent, non-existent or whatever. When half the population (about 320k or 750k) of Leipzig turned out to demonstrate, that was about the final push over the edge. But that result was a result of progressively doubling the number of people who would turn out every week. And that doubling took place because (a) no violence and (b) the average people who would not ordinarily take the risk could see the truth on West TV.

              Jahn also noted that “the true journalist is always in the Opposition”.

              Truth and exposure go a long, long way.

              Not surprising, then, that it’s hard to find anything English-language about him or the 1989 revolutions and you ahve to read German-language or listen to German radio to find out about him.
              * And secret hiding places for the cameramen to hide in, take pictures, and not be observed by the Stasi.

              • brendanx says:

                This is interesting — it reminds me of my recent experiences with FDL, and, by contrast, the Washington Post.

                • scribe says:

                  Yeah. MDR (German radio out of Leipzig) had Jahn and one of his cameramen on for an extended interview show a couple Sundays ago. They call it their “Leser-cafe” (Reader’s Cafe). Think a radio interview/talk show with a knowledgeable host, a couple guests, a live audience, and a cool-jazz combo for the occasional break in the program. No shouting, but a lot of deep talk.

                  This being 2009, 20 years after what they call the Peaceful Revolution or more simply “Die Wende” (”The Turn”, in the sense of a turn being a change), they’ll be doing a lot of programming about it.

                  A lot of it is hard to follow because the language gets quite complex, but it is a good exercise for building language comprehension skills.

                  I ripped the Jahn show and intend to transcribe it when I get a chance.

        • phred says:

          You know I wouldn’t be surprised if the SOB admitted it, if you asked him. Rumsfeld always reminded me of the Jack Nicholson character A Few Good Men. I think Rumsfeld would like to brag about what he’s done, given half a chance.

          By the way, bravo on reaming him the other day. Keep up the good work : )

          • scribe says:

            Don’t forget – the Tom Cruise character in that flick was modeled on Iglesias (former N.M. US Atty, fired for not being complaisant enough to Rove and Domenici).

            Irony abounds.

            • phred says:

              Yep : ) I can’t help fantasizing about Iglesias someday having an opportunity to cross-examine G. W. Bush. Wouldn’t that be something to see…

  6. emptywheel says:


    According to the description, the tapes were 24/7 recordings of Abu Zubaydah’s cell (and presumably the same from al-Nashiri). There’s never been a claim that they only recorded waterboarding, which is why there were thousands of hours of it.

    • OnTheBus says:

      According to the description, the tapes were 24/7 recordings of Abu Zubaydah’s cell (and presumably the same from al-Nashiri).

      I created an account here just to ask where you got this info? What description are you referring to? I’ve been Googling around trying to find it and all I’m seeing are the news reports of 92 Interrogation tapes. Thanks in advance…

      • bluebutterfly says:

        ” In December 2007, the CIA acknowledged that interrogation videotapes of two al Qaeda detainees who had been waterboarded had been destroyed.

        According to officials, former CIA official Jose Rodriguez, the former chief of the National Clandestine Service, ordered the destruction of the tapes in 2005. Rodriguez’s lawyer told The Associated Press last year that then-CIA director Porter Goss was “well aware of the situation,” and that he did not object to the action. Goss has not commented publicly on the matter. “


      • emptywheel says:

        The early reporting on what was destroyed, going back to December 2007, described thousands of hours of tapes.

        THe logic behind the zubaydah taping, at least, was that they wanted to record that they were taking care of him, with his wounds.

        So not recent, but December 2007 to February 2008 coverage should have details.

    • cinnamonape says:

      Of course the 92 tapes are not those tapes. These specifically deal with “interrogations”…not the surveillance of the suspect under detention. These were items directly relevant to the DOJ’s investigation of criminal destruction of evidence.

      Just want to clarify this.

      In addition, there are 101 ways to “conceal the identities” of CIA agents involved in an interview without destroying a tape. Just as one can redact classified material from a written document, it’s now easy to remove a face (even destroying an opportunity to digitally reconstruct it) by copying video footage.The only point of doing this is to delete evidence of torture (either acts or references to it), or to conceal context about statements used to convict or imprison these individuals.

      If it actually supported the prosecution case then it would be clearly viewed as “destruction of evidence” that might botch a conviction. So why is such destruction not Criminal Conspiracy and Obstruction when there may have been evuidence of exoneration?

  7. Mary says:

    10 – which is why I had the s/ (which I usually don’t bother with)- I knew it was chain yanking

    I do think a lot of the Zubaydah footage would not just show torture, but would also prove Coleman to be absolutely correct in his assessment of Zubaydah’s mental state, depth of info and reliability/credibility.

  8. slide says:

    I have always wondered who had access to view the tapes and if there are copies out there that some sick CIA individual had kept. By the way it would not surprise me if Bush had viewed at least some of the tapes. He is a sadist and would have gotten off on the torture.

    • bluebutterfly says:

      It is not clear whether Hersh actually saw tapes. This is from July 2004. If he did see tapes, there might be some still out there in private, not government hands.

      ” Hersh gave a speech last week to the ACLU making the charge that children were sodomized in front of women in the prison, and the Pentagon has tape of it.

      ” Notes from a similar speech Hersh gave in Chicago in June were posted on Brad DeLong’s blog. Rick Pearlstein, who watched the speech, wrote: “[Hersh] said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, ‘You haven’t begun to see evil…’ then trailed off. He said, ‘horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.’ He looked frightened.” “


      • pmorlan says:

        I keep checking the New Yorker to see if Hersh has a new piece out. So far, nothing but he’s about due for one.

        • bluebutterfly says:

          Waiting for some whistle blower protection to get passed before he releases any information he has?

      • emptywheel says:

        Those were vids taken by soldiers or contractors at Abu Ghraib, I think, which Hersh was working with actively after breaking the story on April 28 or so.

        So not CIA, if I’m right about the reference.

        • bluebutterfly says:

          The FBI was gathering war crimes documentation at Guantanamo until the DOD ordered them to stop. I wonder if any missing ‘tapes’ are in their possession?

  9. oldtree says:

    I don’t see Bush that way, I think he is a coward that wouldn’t want to see anything that would make his sphincter pucker. He was absent from all his duties as pres, go figure. Not because it would make him cringe, as he seems to exhibit little care about those he destroys. But the shooter, yoo, addington, libby, abu, etc… these guys probably did. We will find out when someone with integrity (if that is possible) is asked about them and opens their mouth.

    • emptywheel says:

      I had Bush listed when I first posted this–but I took it out because of the reported David Addington quote about “not bringing this stuff” in the White House. They went to some lengths to insulate him from the torture, even though he undoubtedly would get some kicks out of it.

      So to be somewhat measured, I just named people who I think would believe it their duty to assess the torture.

      That said, I couldn’t decide whether to include AGAG in the list. He SHOULD have reviewed them, since he was ostensibly, if not in fact, the guy leading this for the WH.

      But he’s the guy who I suspect would be too cowardly to view his own handiwork.

  10. FrankProbst says:

    What they don’t show is relevant and critical information being obtained from the torture.

    But…but…but…it always works when Jack Bauer does it! ALWAYS!

  11. brendanx says:

    Who Watched the Torture Tapes?

    Who do you have in mind as possibilities? What about Rumsfeld and Haynes? Do you want me to ask?

  12. SmileySam says:

    We know Rumfeld watched something take place since it’s been said he personally when to Gitmo to ” review ” the “enhanced procedures” as they took place. Haynes is probably a good bet also.
    Since the CIA plans to redact the names of any classified CIA agents we may never know who all had private viewings. Since the DOJ is already threatening Judge Walker with not turning over any info he has ordered because ” he doesn’t have the authority to order the release of secret doc.s”, we may end up knowing even less. http://washingtonindependent.c…..eral-judge

    • emptywheel says:

      That’s actually a really really terrible description of what is going on.

      Yes, they’re continuing to try to keep the info on the wiretapping program out of the hands of hte plaintiffs. But that is not “continued defiance.” It is a still unresolved argument about what it means for a judge to have control over information in his court room.

    • scribe says:

      You do not get to be a federal judge in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan, Bronx and Westchester) without being a tough son-of-a-bitch.

      Most of them were partners in the big corporate firms (with correspondingly large egos and skills) before giving up the million or so a year they drew there to ride herd on the big issues and the big egos of their peers. And many, if not most, were at one time in the US Attorney’s office and/or Morgenthau’s DA office.

      The story goes that, when Gerry Spence was representing Imelda Marcos in a case in the S.D.N.Y., the judge told him to get his cowboy hat out of his courtroom and wear a real suit, not those cowboy clothes. This is Noo Yawk.

      Spence (no small ego, there) complied.

      The S.D.N.Y. is not a place where fucking around is tolerated long or gladly.

      And, if you want some confirmation on that, ask looseheadprop the next time she’s in.

  13. Slothrop says:

    The CIA is always losing the important tapes in the most crucial national security cases:

    What else is new? A yahoo like me might begin to think that some kind of shadow government lurks in places like Dick Cheney’s man-sized safe?

    Obviously, I’m a nutcase.

    • JTMinIA says:

      “Obviously, I’m a nutcase.”

      Could be worse. You could be trying to decide which is better: naming your dog after a car or after a chick with a crossbow. Given that I once named a car for a cat, I’m hoping for the former.

  14. ibfreenow says:

    Dick watched them. One hand on the rewind button, the other on his…
    Well, you get the idea!

  15. nahant says:

    Let the Trials begin now that the evidence ofv Tourture is out! Lets start with bush and Cheney and then work down the line to those who actually did the dirty work.
    To the Hague I say to the Hague! War Crimes have been committed! Bring them to Justice!

    • dosido says:

      I’m with you, Nahant!

      Where did I read about the Nazi process of desensitizing the German people to one atrocity after another, each one just ever so slightly worse than the next?

  16. RonD says:

    We probably shouldn’t repeat or believe that they were really destroyed.

    Ding! It sounds to me like a limited hang-out, where you tell a little truth to conceal a larger one. In this case, that means something like yes, we destroyed the tapes-without mentioning that there were DVD copies made before they were destroyed.

      • quake says:


        In this day and age it’s hard to imagine that “videotaopes” (as opposed to digital media) were used. If the media were digital innumerable copies would be retained in various secret servers as they were transmitted along the govt’s secret web. Not to mention on people hard disks and flash memory drives.

        The CIA says (through DOJ)

        In the meantime, the CIA can now identify the number of videotapes that were destroyed, which is information implicated by [Hellerstein’s order that ACLU gets information responsive to its FOIA request]. Ninety-two videotapes were destroyed.

        But I wish the members of this blog wouldn’t swallow this uncritically by using the word “videotape” to describe the records of the interrogation.

        • Blub says:

          yep. “destroyed” means no one has the authority to mandate the raids and subsequent electronic forensics necessary to find and recover that which was “lost.”

          • quake says:

            I don’t see why the court doesn’t have the authority. Whether the court has the will to use this authority is a separate question of course…..

  17. NorskeFlamethrower says:


    Citizen emptywheel and the Firepup Freedom Fighters:

    “Watch out below because I think this dam may just well break.”

    Please explain what you mean by the “dam breaking”…does that mean we will get confirmation of what we have known for going on 5 years now only with enhanced details but without legal and political consequences? Does it mean that the current Department of Justice will be forced to establish and fund a special prosecutor’s operation into both war crimes and illegal surveillance? Just where is the flood from the broken dam gunna end up and do you really think that the corrupted mass of toxic waste which passes for justice in this country will not simply poison the truth and kill the messengers of that truth?

    So far what has been reported are only details of what we all have know since almost the very beginning and there is no indication that the truth of these crimes will ever effect an act of justice.


  18. Minnesotachuck says:

    Pertinent comments from Scott Horton:

    But in what legal system is it proper for the target of an investigation to destroy evidence of crimes? Torture is a criminal act, and the tapes most likely captured evidence of crimes. This evidence would also have been critical for purposes of assessing the reliability of confessions or other information secured from persons who were tortured. The evidence was sought in the New York FOIA litigation and in other court cases, and it would have been essential for any prosecution of the persons covered. But more importantly, it would serve as essential evidence in the forthcoming prosecutions of the Bush Administration torture conspirators.

    . . .

    This news makes the case for an independent commission of inquiry still more compelling. It also builds the case for a special prosecutor to look into matters surrounding torture. The new prosecutor must be a person of stature and gravity on a par with the attorney general himself, must be seen as above the political fray, and must be given the resources and manpower to fully investigate the affair–including the increasingly obvious role played by the Justice Department.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A la Deepthroat, either follow the money or follow the penalty: Obstruction of justice carries a fraction of the prison time as do war crimes and crimes against humanity.

  20. brendanx says:

    bluebutterfly @64:

    There was more news last week, I believe, about using anal rape as a coercive technique. Do you or anyone have a link to that?

    • bluebutterfly says:

      Sorry, I am not sure what you are referring to in regards to last week. I obviously missed something.

  21. OnTheBus says:

    oh OK – so I take it that emptywheel was referring to the description of the original 2 tapes? And not the 90+ new ones. Sorry for my confusion.

      • Twain says:

        Welcome. And don’t shut up – if we all shut when we were new there wouldn’t be anyone here.

    • emptywheel says:

      Unless you’re assuming that you can fit thousands of hours of video on one tape (which you couldn’t even on DVD or even computer storage tapes), then we don’t yet have any reason to believe that the 92 tapes were from different detainees.

      We know that more than two of those tapes belonged to al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah. What we don’t know (and have no evidence for) is whether those tapes also included other detainees.

      • OnTheBus says:

        Thanks for answering – I was trying to respond earlier but this page was throwing errors with Internet Explorer and the reply function wouldn’t work. Had to wait till I got home to login with Firefox. A lot of the blogs I was reading this morning were implying this meant there were over 90 individuals subjected to torture. It makes more sense that these are multiple tapes of the same detainees – and not necessarily of interrogations. I guess we won’t really know until the witnesses to the tapes fess up.

  22. reader says:

    at that SERE hearing the testimony of the primary GitMo whistleblower there was … paraphrased: it’s been said there were only 3 occasions of waterboarding .. that’s an epic lie, there were many more waterboarding sessions.

    sorry, I can’t remember any names right now, but it sure stuck in my memory.

  23. Blub says:

    thousands of hours of torture tapes??? There are only 8760 hours a year.. I suppose all of these are available for torture since our torturers don’t actually allow their victims to get any sleep, but stil….

  24. joanneleon says:

    Where is Addington these days? Does anyone know if he’s still in DC or if he is at some firm or think tank?

  25. acquarius74 says:

    Thanks for your comments at the DIGG, kp998, eurekaspringsar, and Nahanter! That will inspire those who DIGG to come from all over the net to read what our fine diarists have exposed now.

  26. goldpearl says:

    wonder how john yoo feels to know that hundreds, (thousands?) of dfh are now pouring over his work.

    as well as those pinko liberal lawyer types.


    you must have known this day was going to come john.

  27. jussumbody says:

    What a loaded question (forgive the pun). I’d guess Lynn Cheney used the safeword one time too many.

  28. freepatriot says:

    I wanted to watch the torture tapes, but the Simpsons was on at the same time …


    you didn’t mean it like that

    never mind …

    I love that bit


  29. KayInMaine says:

    I still think George Bush had a live feed of Saddam Hussein’s hanging, because this is a man who loves watching others be tortured or killed.

  30. Meremark says:

    [n.b. cross-posted comment at ThinkProgress .ORG ]
    Listen up, and let’s think this thing through together.

    First, consider the logistics of making the video. It is not that some CIA agent stands there with a camera, watching. For one thing, blatant camera recording got scrubbed and buried after Abu Ghraib. But mostly, CIA propers remain invisible, behind the scene managing (’handling’) intermediary ‘cut-outs’ who then sub-contract non-government ‘deniability’ mercenaries to do compartmentalized ‘actions.’ Even so, it is not that some local private eye peeps in on The Show with a telephoto lens from some surveillance distance.

    So if it is not done as one imagines video taping a brutal custody murder through a one-way mirror on the wall, then how do you do it?

    Explaining how it’s done involves referring to means and resources of associated apparatus and organization. That is, the video taping is one isolated dot, with no context, but the operational logistics is conducted in connection with other dots, (which are details in the explanation), all coordinated in a Big Picture context, (which is where the explanation begins). The CIA personnel actually only oversee that the job gets done and the product is delivered, outside of ‘official’ (accountable) channels, and — most important: control who knows about it; (and what is known, and when).

    That is all the indictment that is necessary to condemn the CIA wholesale, nevermind who did what, just that somewhere in a Big Picture, The Company (so-called) knew about the crimes, harbored the criminals, and withheld the information and evidence. And for that — and it has been that for 60 years! — the CIA should be and can be abolished. (Non-violently, with one simple line item veto. Skritch. No more CIA.)

    To get a job done, the CIA does not go out (or send a hired cut-out) and hire someone ‘off the street,’ (ignorant of CIA set-up), an unknown passer-by to do the deed. If so, they would have to kill him, (to control the spread of knowledge after the operation), although that has been done, simple backstabbing — dead men don’t tell secrets. Instead, the active person is often ‘on retainer’ as a way to think of it, a known quantity developed over time, and assignments, through successive stages of familiarity, control testing, reliability, and ‘insider’ information. (Sometimes those ‘regulars’ are killed, too, when the person is ‘used up,’ or strayed outside of the ‘control zone.’) In a sort of ‘ideal design’ for delivering information, (in this case video/audio; and in every case it’s labeled ‘intelligence’), the source knows what was gathered but doesn’t know who it’s going to, and the end user receives it but doesn’t know who it came from. And between source and end user is no man’s land, spanned by an information bridge of invisible custodians … invisible or dead, that is.

    There’s a skimpy sense of context, but maybe enough to get a frame of mind. Beyond it are many more connecting dot details — more than fit in a comment. Other dots and a Big Picture of some sort, seems necessary to evaluate the credence of the following investigative report, from Wayne Madsen, about how the videos were made and who watched them.

    [A side note about Wayne. Millions more internet browsers and bloggers should see his work, which is prodigious, and daily. Documenting the criminals — by name, dates, dollars, and deaths — who ‘worked their way up’ to be today’s celebrity globalist gangsters, I mean, politicians. You know them already; we elected them … rather, Supreme Kangaroo Court and rigged voting machines ‘elected’ them. They belong in shamed exile or prison. Or both. Madsen’s perfection exemplifies the work that puts them there — think Woodward & Bernstein on Nixon, times 100. (Turns out, a recent book reveals Woodward was a CIA ‘cut-out’ infiltrated in the WashPost and secretly supplied some ‘amazing’ intelligence, to take down Nixon. Such garden-variety federal power corruption is cut-throat. That’s the ‘context’ I was explaining … oh, nevermind. Madsen’s website tagline is: ‘From deep inside the Washington beltway‘ — that’s wry funny.) The corrupt and complicit MSM won’t touch Madsen’s potent journalism … the comparison disgraces their millionaires’ fakery and blowdried charade. (Today, Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan blog called him “a conspiracy theorist.” Madsen riposte: “For Sullivan it’s mind over matter. I don’t mind and he don’t matter.” Obama can use that line on Limbaugh’s drug-damaged ditto dumbs.) Madsen is ex-NSA (bio at website) and seems to be (but it’s hard to see what’s invisible) the premier media outlet for ‘intelligence business’ insider whistleblowers — powerful factual dirt on the dirtiest and deadliest of democracy’s enemies; (hint: Hitler wannabe’s). If he ever gets a fact wrong he’s going to get sued into oblivion; there have been hit contracts on him; his website is constantly swarm-attacked; he’s a Constitutional-certified Free Press hero, the first Pulitzer-worthy ‘blogger.’ Bonafide brilliant and worldclass legend … and you maybe never heard of him.

    You gotta pay subscription to read his work — cancel your cable TV, send Madsen thirty bucks, save the rest, and in a year you’ll know and understand more (context?) than television’ll tell you in your whole lifetime. Wayne Madsen Report .COM (a k a WMR) Here’s a taste of the best:

    December 22-23, 2008 — Connell’s high-tech network active against Gore in 2000

    WMR has learned from knowledgeable Republican Party sources that Mike Connell, the GOP’s information technology maestro who was killed in a suspicious plane crash last Friday night while flying from the Washington, DC area back to Akron, Ohio, was involved in a high-tech operation targeting Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore in 2000.

    Although Connell, whose Richfield, Ohio-based GovTech Solutions LLC is accused of helping to steer Ohio’s 20 electoral votes to the George W. Bush column in 2004, is identified with alleged vote fraud in 2000 and was reportedly prepared to testify about it before being threatened by former Bush aide Karl Rove, our sources have claimed Connell’s network goes back to 2000 and is linked to malfeasance directed against Gore.

    GovTech Solutions and Connell’s other firm New Media Communications were closely linked to the Ohio election fraud. GovTech Solutions was hired by then-GOP Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell as a consultant to the Secretary of State for the election. New Media Communications set up hundreds of Republican web sites, including gwb43.com, which was used by Bush White House staffers to send politically-connected emails in violation of government policies on mixing official duties with political work.

    Blackwell also contracted out backup servers to Smartech of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Stephen Spoonamore, a computer security expert and IT adviser to the Bush 2004 and John McCain 2008 presidential campaigns, revealed that Smartech was able to intercept 2004 Ohio election returns before they were made available on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.

    Connell’s colleague Jeff Averbeck was reportedly brought by the GOP to Chattanooga from Texas to head up the efforts targeting Gore in Gore’s home state. SmarTech’s servers were placed in the basement of the old Pioneer Bank Building in downtown Chattanooga. The parent company for SmartTech is Airnet, also headed by Averbeck. Averbeck was, according to our sources, the actual technical brains behind the entire SmartTech-GovTech Solutions-Media Communications operation that resulted in the election tampering in 2004. …

    According to our sources, Averbeck’s SmarTech was tasked with high-tech spying on Al Gore’s Nashville presidential campaign headquarters. …

    Averbeck is also considered a technical expert on Internet live stream technology. WMR previously reported that Connell had contracts for web site development for the CIA and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. We have now learned that Connell and Averbeck may have been behind the installation of live streaming black boxes in the White House and the Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building used to stream live video of torture sessions in Guantanamo, Cuba and Abu Ghraib to the Old Executive Office Building office of Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief Counsel David Addington and into the White House, itself.

    Media reports of torture sessions being taped may have been planted by the White House to deter investigators away from looking at live streaming capabilities in the offices of Cheney and President Bush.

    The fire that broke out in an “electrical closet” in the Old Executive Office Building on December 19, 2007, near Cheney’s ceremonial office likely contained the live streaming boxes used to stream torture sessions from Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, according to our sources who added that SmartTech and Airnet have been in the live streaming video business since 2002. …

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