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4-15-10 Goss approved destruction of CIA interrogation tapes PDF Print E-mail
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By Laura Rozen

From Politico | Original Article

Then CIA Director Porter Goss approved of the destruction of CIA waterboarding videotapes, according to an internal CIA document, the New York Times reports:

Porter J. Goss, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in 2005 approved of the decision by one of his top aides to destroy dozens of videotapes documenting the brutal interrogation of two detainees, according to an internal C.I.A. document released Thursday.

Shortly after the tapes were destroyed at the order of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, Mr. Goss told Mr. Rodriguez that he “agreed” with the decision, according to the document. He even joked after Mr. Rodriguez offered to “take the heat” for destroying the tapes.

“PG laughed and said that actually, it would be he, PG, who would take the heat,” according to one document, an internal C.I.A. e-mail message.

According to current and former intelligence officials, Mr. Goss did not approve the destruction before it happened, and was displeased that Mr. Rodriguez did not consult him or the C.I.A.’s top lawyer before giving the order for the tapes to be destroyed. ....

The documents detailing those deliberations, including two e-mail messages from a C.I.A. official whose name has been excised, were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The e-mail messages also reveal that top White House officials were angry that the C.I.A. had not notified them before the tapes were destroyed. The e-mail messages mention a conversation between Harriet E. Miers, the White House counsel, and John A. Rizzo, the C.I.A.’s top lawyer, in which Ms. Miers was “livid” about being told after the fact.

“Rizzo is clearly upset, because he was on the hook to notify Harriet Miers of the status of the tapes because it was she who had asked to be advised before any action was taken,” according to one of the e-mail messages. ....

According to one of the e-mail messages released Thursday, Mr. Rodriguez told Mr. Goss that the tapes, taken out of context, would make the C.I.A. “look terrible; it would be devastating to us.” ....

A spokesman for Mr. Goss declined to comment on Thursday evening. ....

In a telephone interview on Thursday, Mr. Rizzo said he was not at the meeting recounted in the e-mail messages, but said “Porter never once indicated to me that he agreed with the decision.”

“I thought he was as upset as I was for not being told,” he said....

 
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