Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bush Admin Told CIA Not to Destroy Tapes

Update: The actual videotapes are no longer necessary. Leftist shill Kevin Drum has been able to psychically reconstruct the tapes in his mind:
So here's what the tapes would have shown: not just that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative, but that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative who was (a) unimportant and low-ranking, (b) mentally unstable...
Amazing. For his next trick, Drum will use his mental powers to ascertain the true identity of Jack the Ripper.

Interesting. The New York Times is now reporting that CIA officials were advised not to destroy videotapes of terrorist interrogations:
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 — White House and Justice Department officials, along with senior members of Congress, advised the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 against a plan to destroy hundreds of hours of videotapes showing the interrogations of two operatives of Al Qaeda, government officials said Friday.

The chief of the agency’s clandestine service [Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.] nevertheless ordered their destruction in November 2005, taking the step without notifying even the C.I.A.’s own top lawyer, John A. Rizzo, who was angry at the decision, the officials said.
There appear to have been valid operational reasons to destroy these tapes, not the least of which was to prevent al Qaeda and other terrorist leaders from viewing details of CIA interrogation techniques, and protecting the identities of the interrogators. No one could seriously doubt that the videos would have eventually made their way to YouTube.

Unfortunately, operational security must take a back seat to congressional witch-hunts these days. That means the motivations for destroying the tapes are muddled. Was Rodriguez practicing some CYA, or were the operational security considerations foremost in his mind?

We'll never know, though we'll undoubtedly be subjected to the spectacle of congressional investigations whose sole purpose is to promote the political stock of the investigators.