What Sully Says

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

We live in a banana republic:

What defines such a republic? How about an executive that ignores the rule of law, commits war-crimes and then destroys the actual evidence? Today’s bombshell is that the CIA has done just that with respect to tapes  made recording the torture of enemy combatants. Read the whole story. We live in a country where the government can detain indefinitely, torture in secret, and then secretly destroy the tapes of torture sessions to protect its own staff:

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in CIA custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said. The CIA said today that the decision to destroy the tapes had been made "within the CIA itself," and they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. The agency was headed at the time by Porter J. Goss. Through a spokeswoman, Goss declined this afternoon to comment on the destruction of the tapes.

My italics. This was a deliberate act to destroy evidence of war-crimes and to protect war criminals from facing the rule of law. The Congress needs to find out who authorized the destruction of those tapes. I should add that this is not the first time that videotapes of alleged torture sessions have been "lost."

Let me make this as crystal clear as possible: destroying evidence when you know there are investigations sourrounding that evidence, is a crime.  Period.

What everybody seems to forget is that merely 4 years ago, we were using the fact of Saddam’s terrible evil torture as a causa belli.  So where’s the moral compass here?

UPDATE:  Michelle Malkin is a howl today about this subject.  The basic gist of her post?  The CIA destroyed evidence of torture . . . and it’s the Democrat’s fault. 

She begins by taking the New York Times to task for publishing articles about how our government has concealed its torture program. She then criticizes Democrats who want to explicitly torture practices such as water boarding. Then she flips the entire argument around and blames the Democrats in Congress for not doing enough to hold the CIA accountable for destroying evidence of torture, despite the fact that when the destruction of the tapes occurred, it was a Republican majority.  Wow.

CLARIFICATION:  Not that there’s no reason to be upset with Dems.  Apparently some were aware of the obstruction of justice a while back and said/did nothing.  But of course, Malkin being outraged at Dems failing to oversee the CIA’s torture program — a program she thinks doesn’t require overseeing because it is perfectly legal — stains credulity.