Torturous Logic

I agree with Jeff. Given the news that the torture tapes never entered the US, given Porter Goss’ apparent command not to destroy the torture tapes "in Washington," and given the terms of the Federal Records Act

Mansfield did not explain why the CIA didn’t find the destroyed videotapes to be "records" as defined under the law. But agency officials could be relying on another provision of the records law that permits an agency, during wartime, to destroy records outside the continental United States that are judged to be "prejudicial to the interests of the United States."

I think the CIA and the Administration stretched logic with each and every request for the torture tapes so as to claim they never were required to hand over the tapes.

We’ve already seen such tortured logic in the Administration response to Judge Kennedy’s alarm that they had destroyed tapes that may have been responsive to an order he gave them.

Kennedy ordered the administration in June 2005 to safeguard "all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay."

Five months later, the CIA destroyed the interrogation videos. The recordings involved suspected terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri

Government lawyers told Kennedy the tapes were not covered by his court order because Zubaydah and al-Nashiri were not at the Guantanamo military prison in Cuba. The men were being held overseas in a network of secret CIA prisons. By the time President Bush acknowledged the existence of those prisons and the prisoners were transferred to Guantanamo, the tapes had been destroyed.

And whoever pointed Isikoff to the loophole in the Records Act that tapes overseas can be destroyed would presumably believe that negated the ACLU FOIA request for records on detainees held in US custody overseas. Read more