Wednesday, December 19, 2007
So, now it looks as if White House lawyers were all over the CIA decision to destroy videotapes of its interrogations of suspected al-Qaida operatives in 2005. The New York Times reported today that at least four top Bush administration attorneys, including former White House counsels Alberto Gonzales — the former attorney general — and Harriet Miers, discussed the issue with the CIA beginning in 2003. The decision to destroy the tapes, which are said to show the use of harsh interrogation techniques, apparently was made with the full knowledge of the White House. If true, this would seem to contradict assertions by President Bush that he did not know about the existence of the tapes or plans to destroy them. Maybe the truth will come out Friday at a hearing ordered by a federal judge to find out if there is reason to believe the government destroyed the tapes in violation of a subpoena he issued in a lawsuit brought by 16 prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility.