Bush Won't Judge Destruction of CIA Tapes-OF COURSE NOT-HE KNEW ABOUT ITSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Bush Won't Judge Destruction of CIA Tapes-OF COURSE NOT-HE KNEW ABOUT IT
 


20 December 2007 at 11:53:34 AM
salon

Sheesh. Another example of governmental waffling to make it look like the people saying this stuff are just interested bystanders. What baloney! Probably frustrated after he couldn't obstruct the hearing to investigate the tapes that occurs tomorrow.

President Bush said Thursday he will reserve judgment on his administration's destruction of CIA interrogation tapes until several inquiries are finished. "Let's wait and see what the facts are," Bush said.

The destruction in late 2005 of the tapes, showing harsh treatment of two terrorism suspects, is being investigated by the Justice Department, the CIA itself and by several congressional panels.

Bush stuck to the White House line that he personally did not know about either the existence of the tapes or their destruction until he was briefed earlier this month by CIA Director Michael Hayden.

"Sounds pretty clear to me when I say I have - the first recollection is when Mike Hayden briefed me. That's pretty clear," Bush said.

But

CIA Director Michael Hayden told lawmakers privately last week that three White House lawyers were briefed in 2004 about the existence of videotapes showing the interrogation of two al-Qaeda figures, and that they urged the agency to be "cautious" about destroying the tapes, according to sources familiar with his classified testimony.
The three White House officials at the briefing were David Addington, then Vice President Cheney's chief counsel; Alberto R. Gonzales, then White House counsel; and John B. Bellinger III, then the top lawyer at the National Security Council, according to Hayden's closed-door testimony before the Senate intelligence committee. 

When told that some high-ranking CIA officials were demanding that the tapes be destroyed, the White House lawyers "consistently counseled caution," said one U.S. official familiar with Hayden's testimony. Another source said Harriet Miers followed up with a similar recommendation in 2005, making her the fourth White House lawyer "urging caution" on the action.

The ambiguity in the phrasing of Hayden's account left unresolved key questions about the White House's role. While Hayden's account suggests a somewhat ambivalent White House view toward the tapes, other sources indicated that administration officials, particularly Miers, clearly advised against destroying the videos.

Also unexplained was why the issue was discussed at the White House without apparent resolution for more than a year.

and...

Administration officials refuse to shed light on whether White House lawyers talked to the CIA about whether to destroy interrogation videotapes of two terrorism suspects but bristle at questions into the affair and complain about news coverage. That puts the White House in an awkward position. The very vision of White House officials sitting around a table talking about such an inflammatory course of action evokes echoes of Nixon and Watergate. ...

White House press secretary Dana Perino says President Bush "has no recollection" of hearing about either the CIA tapes' existence or their destruction before being briefed about it last Thursday by CIA Director Michael Hayden. She won't say whether other White House officials played a role, citing an investigation under way by the Justice Department and the CIA.


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