Sunday, December 23, 2007
Making it worse
The more the CIA says about its decision to destroy interrogation tapes of suspected al-Qaida terrorists, the worse the government looks. CIA spokesman Mike Mansfield said on Saturday that the agency kept the tapes while the 9/11 commission was active "because it was thought the commission could ask about tapes at some point," but destroyed them afterward because they were "no longer of intelligence value," the Reuters international news agency reported. As we now know, the CIA did not tell the commission about the existence of the tapes because the panel did not specifically mention the word "tapes" when it requested all information in the government's possession while it investigated the worse terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil. This is your classic misdirection ploy, blaming the victim for your misconduct. Neither members of Congress or the American people are obligated to believe what the CIA is saying, nor should they. In fact, the two chairmen of the commission said yesterday that they believe the existence of the tapes was deliberately withheld from the panel to obstruct the investigation. So, the questions for Congress are who gained from the deception and who has the guts to find out.