What has happened to even one of the BushCo gang that will prevent them from doing it again, for the next Republican president? Yeah, there’s an ongoing investigation – but what are the odds that the results won’t be covered up?
WASHINGTON — 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.
It was previously known that Mr. Goss had been told by his aides in November 2005 that the tapes had been destroyed. But a number of documents released Thursday provide the most detailed glimpse yet of the deliberations inside the C.I.A. surrounding the destroyed tapes, and of the concern among officials at the spy agency that the decision might put the C.I.A. in legal jeopardy.
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.