The CIA withheld evidence from the 9/11 Commission, and then destroyed it.
In interviews this week, the two chairmen of the commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, said their reading of the report had convinced them that the agency had made a conscious decision to impede the Sept. 11 commission’s inquiry.What? The? Fuck???
Mr. Kean said the panel would provide the memorandum to the federal prosecutors and congressional investigators who are trying to determine whether the destruction of the tapes or withholding them from the courts and the commission was improper.
A C.I.A. spokesman said that the agency had been prepared to give the Sept. 11 commission the interrogation videotapes, but that commission staff members never specifically asked for interrogation videos.
The review by Mr. Zelikow does not assert that the commission specifically asked for videotapes, but it quotes from formal requests by the commission to the C.I.A. that sought “documents,” “reports” and “information” related to the interrogations.
Mr. Kean, a Republican and a former governor of New Jersey, said of the agency’s decision not to disclose the existence of the videotapes, “I don’t know whether that’s illegal or not, but it’s certainly wrong.” Mr. Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, said that the C.I.A. “clearly obstructed” the commission’s investigation.
I'm not the only one mad as hell about the obstruction of justice - Kean and Hamilton - whose authority to investigate the events of September 11 was granted by both the White House and Congress - are pissed off, too.
And so is Pat Leahy.
On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to AG Mukasey and DNI McConnell, specifically instructing them to "preserve and produce to the committee all remaining video and audio recordings of 'enhanced interrogations' of detainees in American custody." The letter was signed by Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Specter, and requested an extensive search of the White House, CIA facilities and other intelligence agencies to determine whether or not other recordings exist that might show interrogation techniques “including but not limited to waterboarding.”
Officials speaking for the government have steadfastly maintained that the evidence destroyed in 2005 were the only recordings made by employees of the CIA, but the lie was put to this claim in September when attorneys who represent the government informed a federal judge in Virginia that three more recordings of detainee interrogations had been discovered.
As easy as it is to believe the absolute worst about this craven cabal, I keep reminding myself that at their very core, they are a bunch of Mayberry Machiavellis, and they are completely out of their depth. If they weren't incompetent, we would really be screwed.