The Department of Justice is refusing to provide DoJ documents to congressional committees that might clarify any role the department had in the decision to destroy the video evidence. But the Department of Justice is not just refusing to cooperate with congressional inquiries into the destruction of videotapes by the CIA that show terrorist suspects being tortured - they are requesting that congress shelve their own inquiries into the matter.
The Justice Department request was met with anger from both Republican and Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee, who said the department was trying to interfere with their investigation. The committee had summoned two C.I.A. officials to testify at a hearing next week, a session that will now almost certainly be postponed.The DoJ and the CIA are conducting a
The inquiry by the House committee had been shaping up as the most aggressive investigation into the destruction of the tapes, and in a written statement on Friday, the two senior members of the panel said they were “stunned” by the Justice Department’s request.
The lawmakers, Representative Silvestre Reyes, Democrat of Texas, and Representative Peter Hoekstra, Republican of Michigan, threatened to issue subpoenas to get testimony and other information from the C.I.A. “There is no basis upon which the attorney general can stand in the way of our work,” they said.
The committee had demanded that the C.I.A. produce all cables, memorandums and e-mail messages related to the videotapes, as well as the legal advice given to agency officials before the tapes were destroyed. Friday’s deadline passed without the arrival of any of those C.I.A. records on Capitol Hill.
The Congressional inquiry follows the same path, but are also interested in determining if anyone in the Executive branch was involved in the decision to destroy the tapes in an effort to suppress evidence of torture.
Mukasey was busy giving the high-hat to requests from Congressional committees that oversee Justice itself, while the committee members (some of whom confirmed his ass over the strenuous objections of left-wing nut jobs like yours truly...) sent along sternly worded letters demanding that, by golly, the time was nigh to come clean.
Mukasey's response? “At my confirmation hearing, I testified that I would act independently, resist political pressure and ensure that politics plays no role in cases brought by the Department of Justice,” Mr. Mukasey wrote in one letter. Accordingly, he went on, “I will not at this time provide further information in response to your letter.”
And the more things change...the more they stay the same.