The Knuckleheads of the Day award
Today's winners ar the Central Intelligence Agency aka The CIA and J Porter Goss. They get the award for the following.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 — The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A’s secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.Read the article in its entirety. James Joyner at OTB sums up what probably happened and why the CIA shouldn't be let off the hook.
The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said.
The C.I.A. said today that the decision to destroy the tapes had been made “within the C.I.A. itself,” and they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. The agency was headed at the time by Porter J. Goss. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Goss declined this afternoon to comment on the destruction of the tapes.
The existence and subsequent destruction of the tapes are likely to reignite the debate over the use of severe interrogation techniques on terror suspects, and their destruction raises questions about whether C.I.A. officials withheld information about aspects of the program from the courts and from the Sept. 11 commission appointed by President Bush and Congress. It was not clear who within the C.I.A. authorized the destruction of the tapes, but current and former government officials said it had been approved at the highest levels of the agency.
There were tapes. The tapes were subpoenaed, their existence was denied, and they were subsequently destroyed. It’s unclear what “questions” remain to be asked on that front.Goss and his agency destroyed tapes that congress was requesting. Who gave the unelected Goss that authority? The agency felt itself above checks and balances, which are vital for a democratic government.The last time I checked, this country was a democracy(or a republic)
The CIA’s entirely plausible explanation is that they destroyed the tapes for security reasons rather than to subvert the legal process. That doesn’t, of course, mean that they didn’t subvert the legal process in so doing; indeed, it’s rather obvious that they did.
For overstepping their duties and defying Congress, The CIA and Porter Goss are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.
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