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White House and Congress knew about the CIA tapes

The White House and Congress Knew about the CIA Interrogation Videotapes

George Washington’s Blog
December 12, 2007

According to a former “senior intelligence official”, the White House knew of the existence of the CIA interrogation tapes since 2003, at the very latest, and tacitly approved the destruction of the tapes in 2005.

Indeed, former CIA agent and State Department counterterrorism official Larry Johnson said that it was “highly likely” that President Bush himself had viewed the videotapes of the 2002 interrogations that were later destroyed. Is that why the White House has instructed its spokesperson not to answer any questions on the subject?

And according to the Director of the CIA, Congress was also informed about the existence of the tapes, and — later — of the CIA’s intention to destroy them.

Indeed, Senator Rockefeller has confirmed that the Senate Intelligence Committee knew of the existence of the videotapes in 2003. And Congresswoman Harman has confirmed that the House Intelligence Committee also learned of the existence of the videotapes in 2003. Is that why Senator Rockefeller opposes any real investigation into the destruction of the tapes, saying “I don’t think there’s a need for a special counsel, and I don’t think there’s a need for a special commission”?

The obstruction of justice regarding the tapes appears to have been orchestrated by the very highest levels of the U.S. Government.

 

Guantanamo Legal Adviser Refuses To Say Iranians Waterboarding Americans Would Be Torture

Think Progress
December 12, 2007

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Legal Rights of Guantanamo Detainees” this morning, Brigadier General Thomas W. Hartmann, the legal adviser at Guantanamo Bay, repeatedly refused to call the hypothetical waterboarding of an American pilot by the Iranian military torture. “I’m not equipped to answer that question,” said Hartmann.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who asked the hypothetical, pushed Hartmann on his answer, asking him directly if it would be a “violation of the Geneva Convention”:

GRAHAM: You mean you’re not equipped to give a legal opinion as to whether or not Iranian military waterboarding, secret security agents waterboarding downed airmen is a violation of the Geneva Convention?

HARTMANN: I am not prepared to answer that question, Senator.

After Hartmann twice refused to answer, Graham dismissed him in disgust, saying he had “no further questions.” Watch it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89cYbggdGVQ

Longer Version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jbcWzSVcco
Hartmann’s non-answer is reminiscent of State Department Legal Adviser John Bellinger’s refusal in October to condemn “the use of water boarding on an American national by a foreign intelligence service.”

But not every lawyer who’s worked for the Bush administration has been so hesitant to call waterboarding torture.

In 2004, after then-acting assistant attorney general Daniel Levin had himself waterboarded, he concluded that the interrogation technique “could be illegal torture.” For his efforts, “Levin was forced out of the Justice Department when Alberto Gonzales became Attorney General.”

Sen. Graham, a former military judge advocate, has said before that someone doesn’t “have to have a lot of knowledge about the law to understand this technique violates Geneva Convention Common Article Three.”

 

Let’s (Not) Go to the Videotape!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX_1Qsq0DTM

Related News:

Ex-CIA Larry Johnson: ‘Highly likely’ Bush saw torture tapes
http://billpressmedia.com/highlylikely.mp3

Ex-CIA agent: Waterboarding approved at top levels
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20…co/cia_videotapes

White House Was Ordered Not To Destroy Torture Evidence
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2007…eotapes_courts

CIA may have more interrogation tapes, detainee’s lawyer suggests
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/White_H…on_of_1211.html

CIA Failed To Inform Congress About Tapes
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2…ecrypt/main3611381.shtml

White House goes ‘no comment’ on CIA video case
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/W…video_c_12102007.html

Former CIA: Waterboarding Useful But Torture
http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews…0938320071211

CIA Director To Testify About Destroyed Tapes
http://www.reuters.com/articl…654798320071210?sp=true

Secretly briefed, Pelosi did not object to waterboarding in 2002
http://rawstory.com/news/200…t_to_waterboarding_1209.html

Destroyed CIA torture tapes said to implicate Pakistan and Saudi Royal Family in 9/11 attacks
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ge….destroyed-inter_b_75850.html

Photos Show UK Gitmo Detainee Was Tortured
Man Held By CIA Says He Was Tortured
McCain: No Investigation Needed
Congress Looks Into C.I.A. Obstruction As Calls for Justice Inquiry Rise
‘Well-Informed’ Source Tells CBS That Tapes Were Destroyed To Prevent Prosecution
Lee Hamilton Says the CIA Obstructed the 9/11 Commission
Inquiry into CIA interrogation tapes’ destruction begins
CIA destroyed video of ‘waterboarding’ al-Qaida detainees
C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes of Interrogations
C.I.A. Destroyed 2 Tapes Showing Interrogations
CIA admits destroying interrogation tapes

 


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