Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Obstruction of Justice

What an impressive first solid news day of 2008!

Here's what started it all off. An op-ed at the New York Times by bi-partisan chairmen of the 9/11 commision, Messrs. Kean and Hamilton.

Heralding what might be a sea change, a tide, breaking upon The Villagers shores, that has the potential to bring much needed change to our beloved country, Kean and Hamilton summarize what they asked for, and what the response was:

So, in October 2003, we sent another wave of questions to the C.I.A.’s general counsel. One set posed dozens of specific questions about the reports, including those about Abu Zubaydah. A second set, even more important in our view, asked for details about the translation process in the interrogations; the background of the interrogators; the way the interrogators handled inconsistencies in the detainees’ stories; the particular questions that had been asked to elicit reported information; the way interrogators had followed up on certain lines of questioning; the context of the interrogations so we could assess the credibility and demeanor of the detainees when they made the reported statements; and the views or assessments of the interrogators themselves.

The general counsel responded in writing with non-specific replies. The agency did not disclose that any interrogations had ever been recorded or that it had held any further relevant information, in any form. Not satisfied with this response, we decided that we needed to question the detainees directly, including Abu Zubaydah and a few other key captives.

In a lunch meeting on Dec. 23, 2003, George Tenet, the C.I.A. director, told us point blank that we would have no such access. During the meeting, we emphasized to him that the C.I.A. should provide any documents responsive to our requests, even if the commission had not specifically asked for them. Mr. Tenet replied by alluding to several documents he thought would be helpful to us, but neither he, nor anyone else in the meeting, mentioned videotapes.
Basically, Kean and Hamilton got what we all KNOW we've been getting - short shrift. Glenzilla, Marcy and looseheadprop all have more, and most excellent writing about today's events, culminating in Mukasey appointing a special prosecutor. John Conyers is a little unhappy with that, since he, like us, wants a REAL independent prosecutor.

I can hardly amplify what those above mentioned and esteemed bloggers have to say. What I can do is take us into a little view of how this all really got started, by Mr. John Kiriakou. He was the "former" CIA agent who told us all about Abu Zubayed and his waterboarding and that it was all wrong in retrospect:

Part 2 of that interview is here and I encourage you to watch it.

The point of all this is that:
A - The CIA's agents are by no means angels in this matter
B - The CIA is not going to be burned by this president
C - The wheels of justice are in motion
D - These "wheels" are less likely to come "off the track" as the maladministration's power only wanes.
Frankly, I find it fitting that it is torture that will undo these malfeasants. The twisted decisions, torturous and heinous behaviours are finally coming home to roost. I hope. I'm betting there will be a little back-and-forth since Conyers has expressed misgivings about the true independence of such counsel, and mirabile dictu may Congress seize upon this moment.

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