Tuesday, March 03, 2009

CIA Admits to Number of Tapes Destroyed

We learned in late 2007 that the CIA destroyed in 2005 hundreds of hours of tapes documenting the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, recordings that documented the use of torture during the interrogations. Yesterday the CIA revealed that they destroyed a total of 92 tapes, though they argue that many of the tapes were simply of the detainees sitting in their cells. Although a special prosecutor was appointed in January 2008 to determine if the destruction was criminal in nature, it is appearing unlikely that anyone will be charged and prosecuted:

Federal prosecutor John "Durham appears unlikely to secure criminal indictments against Rodriguez and other agency operations personnel involved in the conduct," three sources told the Post. "In recent months, the prosecutor has focused special attention on CIA legal advisers who reviewed court directives and on agency lawyers who told Rodriguez that getting rid of the recordings was sloppy and unwise but that it did not amount to a clear violation of the law, the sources said.

In the Bush administration then it would appear that so long as you could get an attorney to tell you it was okay, you're in the clear. This is only further evidence that attorneys working for the government apparently believe that their job is to give legal cover to what their bosses already want to do. In fact,  a fair comparision can be made between government attorneys and attorneys working for another large, criminal organization.

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