Friday, January 4, 2008


On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said that the Justice Department was elevating its inquiry into the destruction of Central Intelligence Agency interrogation videotapes to a formal criminal investigation headed by a career federal prosecutor.

Overshadowed by the Iowa Caucuses frenzy, the announcement hasn’t caused many ripples…yet. It is “the first indication that investigators have concluded on a preliminary basis that C.I.A. officers, possibly along with other government officials, may have committed criminal acts in their handling of the tapes, which recorded the interrogations in 2002 of two operatives with
Al Qaeda and were destroyed in 2005… The tapes were never provided to the courts or to the Sept. 11 commission, which had requested all C.I.A. documents related to Qaeda prisoners. The question of whether to destroy the tapes was for nearly three years the subject of deliberations among lawyers at the highest levels of the Bush administration.”

The new Attorney General has assigned John H. Durham, a veteran federal prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the criminal inquiry along with the FBI. Durham was not appointed as a special counsel, a step sought by some Congressional Democrats, and will have less authority than a special counsel. But the genie may be out of the bottle now. The chair and vice chair of the September 11 commission have said they believe the tapes were deliberately withheld from the commission. “Those who knew about those videotapes—and did not tell us about them—obstructed our investigation.”

LOOKING BACK: Remember the photos from
Abu Ghraib, incarcerations at Guantanamo Bay and secret prisons with the denial of habeas corpus, and more recently the secret Department of Justice memos countenancing torture. Remember that President says, “This government does not torture people.” Remember that the Administration’s term for their techniques is “enhanced interrogation,” for which the translation in German is “Verschärfte Vernehmung,” the exact term used by the Gestapo to describe what came to be known as the “third degree.” You don’t remember? Check out the hyper-links. Mr. Mukasey and Mr. Durham have an opportunity to take the first steps back toward the rule of law. Watch them carefully.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

High ranking state and federal Republican officials in Alabama are above the law; Bush has instructed his new Attorney General appointee not to investigate corruption in Alabama.

The GOP is deeply involved in the Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon scandal. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff who was a major GOP campaign fund raiser has almost 400 recorded visits to the White House. The documented prison confessions by these two along with these White House records have recently been declared secret by Bush and is being withheld by the White House. Abramoff and Lobbyist Scanlon con over sixty million dollars from the six Indian tribes that ran gambling Casinos. Abramoff also arranged secret meetings for foreign businesses and governments with the White House where Bush granted government and military favors in exchange for major campaign contributions to Bush supporters.

Now the GOP in Alabama has to depend on T. Roth and W. Canary to deal with the Choctaw Indians directly. The Choctaws aren’t the only ones that they are using scare tactics on. The GOP depends on contributions from large businesses in return for political favors. They also depend on kickbacks from military/government contractors. Some contractors in Alabama are charging tax payers as much as 80% over costs.