Sunday, May 03, 2009

That would be in the butt Bob...

Since we've been getting into the torture issue, I recommend you go over to Laura Rozen's blog and read her latest several posts about the Harman story and how it is becoming a distinct possibility that the recent revival of that story is a battle in the larger war over who is going to get the blame for participating in the creation of the torture state. She goes into some depth on the Harman story and the ascension of Porter Goss and the Gosslings at CIA and their penchant for using classified information against their political enemies. But this point stood out to me since it relates to the torture issue and possible prosecution:

The destroyed torture tapes. As the chairman and ranking of the House Intelligence committee, Goss and Harman were both notified of the existence of CIA videotapes recording the CIA harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects in February 2003 (H/T Marcy Wheeler). Those tapes were destroyed under Goss's tenure as CIA director, we now know. Was Harman notified? Was she not notified? How did that play into Goss Harman tensions and Gosslings' concern about her possible ascent to chairman of HPSCI? Goss has said he did not approve the destruction of the tapes. That is not what other people at CIA are saying. Former deputy director of operations John Sano has told others that Goss told him and the director of operations to "take care of this." According to what Sano has told others, Goss told Sano to call the CIA station in Thailand to order the tapes be destroyed, and ordered then director of operations Jose Rodriguez to notify the committees. But it's not clear that Rodriguez, who was still under cover, actually did notify the committees. Goss has denied that he approved of the destruction of the tapes, and that he was consistent in expressing his opposition to it. Special prosecutor John Durham has been investigating the episode. Dusty Foggo's prison sentence was delayed a week so he could testify to Durham about what he knew of the matter a few weeks ago. There's surely more to be coming out on this that is of first order concern including potentially legally for some of the actors involved.

Please excuse the long quote,but I think it bears on this discussion we are having becuase it points out that the release of the memos and the Senate Report has many people in DC feeling the possibility of prosecution is far more likely than it was few weeks ago, and a war of leaks and misinformation is being waged in the press to divert and/or direct attention. I think it provides another dimension to the idea that wheels are turning that might develop into some form of accountability for not just torture, but the effort directed from the White House to utilize intelligence against political opponents. Which puts the Bush White House hardon for domestic survellance in a new far more frightening if unsurprising light.

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