Justice Dept.: Back Off On CIA Tapes

Yet again, we experience Deja Vu' with this Administration blocking efforts to investigate something with regard to 9/11. I'm reminded of Able Danger. I'm reminded of Sibel Edmonds. I'm reminded of THE ATTACKS THEMSELVES. - Jon

Source: news.yahoo.com

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer Sat Dec 15, 6:25 PM ET

WASHINGTON - The controversy over destroyed CIA interrogation tapes is shaping up as a turf battle involving the courts, Congress and the White House, with the Bush administration telling its constitutional coequals to stay out of the investigation.

The Justice Department says it needs time and the freedom to probe the destruction of hundreds of hours of recordings of two suspected terrorists. After Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused congressional demands for information Friday, the Justice Department filed late-night court documents urging a federal judge not to begin his own inquiry.

The administration argued it was not obligated to preserve the videotapes and told U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy that demanding information about them "could potentially complicate the ongoing efforts to arrive at a full factual understanding of the matter."

The documents represent the first time the government has addressed the issue in court. In the papers, acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey S. Bucholtz said Kennedy lacked jurisdiction and he expressed concern that the judge might order CIA officials to testify.

Congressional inquiries and criminal investigations frequently overlap and it is not uncommon for the Justice Department to ask lawmakers to ease off. The request for the court to stand down is more unusual. Judges take seriously even the suggestion that evidence was destroyed, but they also are reluctant to wade into political debates.

Legal experts say it will be up to Mukasey, a former judge who was only recently took over as the nation's chief law enforcer, to reassure Congress and the courts during his first high-profile test.

"We're going to find out if the trust Congress put in Attorney General Mukasey was well placed," said Pepperdine Law professor Douglas W. Kmiec, who served in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration. "It's hard to know on the surface whether this is obstruction or an advancement of a legitimate inquiry."

Kennedy ordered the administration in June 2005 to safeguard "all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay."

Five months later, the CIA destroyed the interrogation videos, which involved suspected terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri

Bucholtz argued that the tapes were not covered by Kennedy's court order because Zubaydah and al-Nashiri were not at the Guantanamo military prison in Cuba. The men were being held overseas in a network of secret CIA prisons. By the time President Bush acknowledged the existence of those prisons and the prisoners were transferred to Guantanamo, the tapes had been destroyed.

Lawmakers had reacted angrily to Mukasey's refusal Friday to give Congress details of the administration's investigation. He explained that doing so could raise questions about whether the inquiry was vulnerable to political pressure and said his department generally does not release information on pending cases.

"It's clear that there's more to this story than we have been told, and it is unfortunate that we are being prevented from learning the facts. The executive branch can't be trusted to oversee itself," according to a statement by the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, Reps. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, and Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich.

They said "parallel investigations occur all of the time, and there is no basis upon which the attorney general can stand in the way of our work." Mukasey's decision, lawmakers said, blocks congressional oversight of his department.

David Remes, a lawyer who represents a Yemeni national and other detainees, has called for a court hearing. He says the government was required to keep the tapes and he wants to be sure other evidence is not being destroyed.

Even if Kennedy agrees that the government did not violate his order, he still could schedule a hearing. He could raise questions about obstruction or spoliation, a legal term for the destruction of evidence in "pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation."

Those are serious matters, but Kennedy does not necessarily have to hold a hearing right away, said K. Lee Blalack, a Washington defense lawyer and former counsel to a Senate investigative committee.

"If the department takes six months on this and reports back, nothing prevents the judge from taking up the issue then," Blalack said.

Kmiec said much will depend on how much confidence Kennedy has in the Justice Department. The judge also might order a private hearing to protect national security, Kmiec said.

Zubaydah was the first high-value detainee taken by the CIA in 2002. He told his interrogators about alleged Sept. 11 accomplice Ramzi Binalshibh, and the two men's confessions also led to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who the U.S. government said was the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks.

Al-Nashiri is the alleged coordinator of the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, which killed 17 sailors. Like Zubaydah, he is now at Guantanamo.

Mukasey

is an old friend of Rudy and played a role in the terror cases in the nineties. As we know now that all of these are false flag terror incidents, you may guess that Mukasey is covering his own ass right now.

Judge Who Helped Award Silverstein Money

obviously the guy is part of the CFR World Gov team:

Sunday December 16, 2007
Kevin Barrett Talks With G. Edward Griffin About The Council On Foreign Relations

* source = http://www.gcnlive.com
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What will it take, when will

What will it take, when will enough people call their congresspeople or get out in the streets and say "Enough!"?
We've had a "fox guarding the hen house" scenario that keeps getting played over and over and over again. First they respond "9/11" to all inquiries, now it's a general "for reasons of national security" response as to why there's incredible secrecy over seemingly EVERY issue. Mukasey's appointment as AG is a joke, as we all knew it would be.

A democracy is supposed to be transparent, and damn it, this gives me more motivation to keep fighting this unbelievable group of thugs (I was going to say mob or Mafia, but they at least have some degree of honor . . .) that has hijacked our country . . . There really has been a subtle coup, and we all need to keep fighting for the truth.

Betsy

'If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them.'

-- Paul Wellstone

Just watch your back.

Wellstone

His death by a very suspicous plane crash plus the attack on Democratic leaders using military produced anthrax may have something to do with our representatives cowardice.

Conundrum

First I hear the CIA is investigating itself, Now I see that the JUSTICE department is against JUSTICE....

1984 anyone?

Now?

Since when has the justice dept. (sic) ever gone after the traitors in charge? Their job is concilierge. They are fundamentally the enemies of justice and always have been.

The justice dept. (sic) needs to be REMOVED fromt he executive branch and placed elsewhere. The president should not get to appoint his own investigators. It's madness.

Give the judicial branch an investigation arm to prosecute corrupt government officials and hold them to the constitution. Then sanity might be restored here.

To have an Independent Judiciary with...

...the powers to investigate and Impeach and Remove sitting Executives and Vice Executives (ahem, esp. the Vice Executives), then it is also neccesitated to have appointment of Supreme Court Judges by Popular Vote and not by Executive Fiat.

minus the pychobabble and verbal gobbledygook...you just won't get a Judicial investigation of buscheney with people like Antonin Scalia in the Supreme Court, period.

Modus Operandi

Is veiled threats, with sinister implications.
From the W.ar machine, of course.

Exactly

Back off or what?
That was a threat if I ever saw one.
The Right trying to intimidate the Left.

Refer to your school yard bully manuals to see the outcome.

Deja Vu---but we won't be fooled again!

"Yet again, we experience Deja Vu' with this Administration blocking efforts to investigate..."

Thanks Jon, this is certainly an issue with depth but we may never know how deep it goes?

I assume, this regime takes this posture out of habit to clean up loose ends and destroy evidence before they have to come clean--if they are ever forced to come clean!

It's almost a yawn! Unfortunately there's serious business involved and hopefully few are fooled by them?

I hope, at this point, ...you

...don't believe them!

Background here: