December 06, 2007

Data Retention and Drowning: CIA Taped Torture Sessions -- Then Destroyed the Tapes

Greetings. Washington is hot to trot on the concept of forcing massive invasive data retention by ISPs, telephone companies, and all manner of other services, in the interests we're told of fighting terrorism and crime.

But what's demanded of ordinary citizens obviously doesn't count for the powers-that-be, even when it comes to matters of great import.

First, we learned that the White House mysteriously lost vast numbers of e-mails that were mandated to be retained by law. Penalty so far? Zip.

Now comes word that CIA videotaped some of their torture sessions, and then -- apparently after a few chuckles reviewing the vids -- destroyed them. CIA claims that the tapes were liquidated (but one wonders, are all copies really gone?) to avoid retaliation by adversaries who might identify the torturers if the tapes leaked.

That's the party line. But the real reason for the purported elimination was obviously to help avoid the risk of successful criminal prosecutions for using interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, which have long been illegal under international agreements and U.S. military law.

This isn't rocket science. These guys aren't idiots -- far from it. The only conceivable reason that such key evidence would be destroyed would be concerns about personally ending up in orange jumpsuits.

Congress will probably end up giving the administration a pass on this, just as they have for pretty much everything else from the Bush gang. But as far as I'm concerned, a crook is a crook, whether they operate out of a back alley in the red light district, or from an office in Langley.



Posted by Lauren at December 6, 2007 04:20 PM | Permalink
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