The Great Unraveling: CIA Destroyed NINETY TWO Torture Tapes

Now that the Bush Administration is out of power and can no longer protect itself, evidence of the many crimes it committed is starting to pour forth, and the concealment and cover-up of their criminal conspiracy to commit torture is starting to unravel.

Back in December of 2007, it was revealed that the CIA had destroyed two long videotapes….of the CIA torturing ‘terror suspects.’ The CIA initially denied the tapes existed, and then was forced to admit that it had destroyed them. At the time there was quite a stir…considering that Bush was still in power and the press was still in thrall to him…about this wanton destruction of evidence.

Today, due to the vigilance of the ACLU, it was revealed that the number was actually not two…but 92.

Via Raw Story…

According to the letter, which can be viewed here, (pdf) the CIA is now gathering information in response to the Court’s order to provide a list identifying and describing each of the destroyed records, as well as transcripts or summaries from any of the destroyed records and the names of any witnesses who may have viewed the videotapes before their destruction. The CIA requested that it be given until March 6 to provide the court with a timeline for its response to the requested information.

In December 2007, the ACLU filed a motion to hold the CIA in contempt for its destruction of videotapes in violation of a court order requiring the agency to produce or identify all the requested records. That motion is still pending, according to a release from the ACLU.

From the NYT story linked above, we get some info on what the tapes contained and the rationale for destroying them…

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terrorism suspects – including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody – to severe interrogation techniques. The tapes were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that video showing harsh interrogation methods could expose agency officials to legal risks, several officials said.

In a statement to employees on Thursday, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director, said that the decision to destroy the tapes was made “within the C.I.A.” and that they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value.

The destruction of the tapes raises questions about whether agency officials withheld information from Congress, the courts and the Sept. 11 commission about aspects of the program.

Back to Raw Story for the ACLU response…

Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU and counsel on the case said to Raw Story, “The large number of video tapes destroyed confirms that this was a systemic attempt to evade court orders.”

Singh added, “It’s about time, now that the court knows 92 tapes have been destroyed, that it hold the CIA accountable for the destruction of the tapes.”

We cannot at this point be sure whether the shocking number of destroyed tapes….destroyed evidence… represented coverage of already known torture sessions, or whether they represent 92 separate instances of torture against 92 different subjects. As is likely. But as more and more evidence emerges from under the cloud of the Bush Administrations cover-up efforts, we hope to find out.

This (still, even now) shocking revelation of conspiracy to torture and conspiracy to cover up torture comes just as The Senate Intelligence Committee is about to hold …secret….hearings on the actions of the CIA and the legality of the authorization it used to torture. To torture apparently vast numbers of suspects. SUSPECTS, who have of course never been convicted of a single crime. Suspects who now cannot ever be justly tried due to the fact that they were tortured. Suspects who by any civilized standards of The Rule Of Law, were innocent. Since they never were, and now never can be, proven guilty.

How many innocent people…men, women and children…did the CIA, private contractors and the military torture? With the the explicit and admitted authorizations of George Bush and Dick Cheney, and under orders from SecDef Donald Rumsfeld.

More Unraveling on the British complicity in the illegal invasion of Iraq below the fold.

Also via Raw Story…

The British government has refused to release minutes of a cabinet meeting held by Prime Minister Tony Blair in the lead-up to the Iraq war, which a former cabinet member says is being done because there was “no discussion” on the merits of invading Iraq.


Short says the reason that government isn’t publishing minutes of the meetings is not about confidentiality but instead to hide a “scandalous” decision not to discuss the war in the first place. She says that when the Iraq war decision was brought up, then-Prime Minister Blair said, “That’s it.”

“The bitter irony is that what they are doing is concealing the fact there was no robust decision-making,” Short added. “The minutes will reveal there was no real Cabinet discussion about the Iraq War. That is the real scandal.”

In other words, Bush sadi JUMP….and Blair and his cabinet jumped.

Jumped to kill up to one million Iraqis, in an illegal and immoral invasion, based on lies.


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  1. Photobucket

    (With apologies to the BoSox!)

    • Edger on March 2, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    There was a time, I guess, some long time ago, when I would have said “Unbelievable!” to news like this.

    Unfortunately it’s all too believable that it’s probably many more than 92.

    Expected, even…

    And people are expected to “move forward” why?

    So they don’t have to look this in the face?

    It’s still a government OF the people. A government that can only do what “the people” will put up with.

    We don’t need any “reconciliation” and there is nothing in the people who ordered torture to “restore”.

    They need to be prosecuted. Convicted. Sentenced. And in prison.

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  2. they document their obscenities, tape them for God’s sake and now scramble to destroy the ‘evidence’. The evidence is more then tapes of torture, it exists in witnesses and in the people and places where this occurred. What a shame to have a Truth and Reconciliation Committee with no victims allowed to testify, no written testimony because it is redacted, no court trails because of state secret and executive privilege. The KGB, the Gestapo, the all the historic sicko’s who are secret and called ‘intelligence’ operate in the dark. They are not invisible as humans, we all know what they do to our fellow humans. The evidence is right in front of us, in the form of battered and dead fellow humans. Civilians, mothers children people who they decide are enemy combatants. disgusting that we even have to fight with our own government to investigate these atrocities.

    Secret hearings? Legality to torture! If the real scandal is that they destroyed the tapes or concealed their discussions about these atrocities then God help us. Like saying that the German’s crime was hiding the documentation not implementing their atrocities. They hid it in plain site and the government legalized it, while the American people hid their heads in the sand or watched 24 and cheered them on.              

  3. Boy, oh, boy, there must have been some very damaging evidence to have destroyed that many tapes.  They were probably destroyed after Bush, Cheney, et al. had viewed them for their Sat. night porn videos.

    We have to keep pushing for a Special Prosecutor.  

    Also, you can sign up individually, here, as well, and could sign up as a group GROUPS REQUEST SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FOR BUSH, CHENEY, et alia.

    And, on another note and a good one:

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler Is Drafting a Letter to Eric Holder Asking for a Special Prosecutor

    Submitted by davidswanson

    on Mon, 2009-03-02 05:06.

    Nadler Says We Have No Choice, We Must Prosecute Bush

    By Bob Fertik,

    I attended Rep. Jerry Nadler’s event at the Tribeca Cinema last night which featured a lively discussion about progressive issues.

    Moderator Joel Silverman asked about Senator Leahy’s proposed Truth Commission.

    Baratunde Thurston of Jack & Jill Politics said it’s not about vengeance, it’s about setting standards.

    Nadler said “we have no choice, we must prosecute.” And of course Nadler is in a position to do something about it, since he chairs the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

    Nadler announced he is preparing a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling for a Special Prosecutor. The letter will resemble those he sent to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who simply ignored Nadler’s letter, and then to former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who replied but dodged all of Nadler’s issues.

    Nadler pointed out that Holder declared waterboarding is torture, and that Dick Cheney said on TV that he authorized waterboarding. Nadler said the Convention Against Torture, which was signed by Ronald Reagan, obligates the United States to investigate and prosecute torturers.

    Nadler’s argument is identical to that made by Jonathan Turley, Glenn Greenwald, and many others.

  4. and allow me to be my incoherent self and ask the Satanic question.  Is the focus on the resolution of the issue of torture and rendition a marketing compromise,a WMD, word of mass diversion from elephant-room, the event which started it all, that bane of my existence “in the post 911 world” take your shoes off at the airport because I might be able to make C4 from water in ten seconds in the bathroom of an airplane but wait there is more.  In the very same “emergency emergency please to get from street” passage of the Satanic Patriot Act the hallowed savior of all mankind invokes the very same “emergency emergency please to get from street” meme in the passage of porkulus and the bailout to keep the caviar and corporate jet set alive.

    Been there and done that, call me if you need to rewire stuff to twelve volts.  I am not starting the generator so you can watch movies or play video games and entering my camp means the battery does come out of your cell phone.

  5. of what went down. I was glad to see this today. Good work Budhy. I feel I have been playing obstructionist lately and I thank you for your sanity.…  

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