CIA Says It Cooperated With 9 / 11 Panel AP 12/22/07

http://www.nytimes. com/aponline/ us/AP-CIA- Videotapes. html_
(http://www.nytimes. com/aponline/ us/AP-CIA- Videotapes. html)

CIA Says It Cooperated With 9 / 11 Panel


Published: December 22, 2007

Filed at 12:55 p.m. ET 37 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The CIA on Saturday rebutted suggestions the spy agency
was uncooperative and hid from the Sept. 11 commission the videotaped
interrogations of two suspected terrorists, saying it waited until the panel went out
of business before destroying the material now in question.
The destruction in late 2005 of the videotapes of two al-Qaida suspects has
upset a federal judge and riled the Democratic-controll ed Congress, which has
promised an investigation. The Justice Department also is trying to find out
what happened and whether any laws were broken.
A recent memo by _Philip Zelikow_
(http://topics. top/reference/ timestopics/ people/z/ philip_d_ zelikow/index. html?inline= nyt-per) , the former
executive director of the Sept. 11 commission, suggests the CIA was less than
forthcoming when asked for documents and other information from the panel,
which investigated the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The CIA disputed that characterization and suggested the panel should have
requested interrogation videotapes specifically if it wanted them.
''The notion that the CIA wasn't cooperative or forthcoming with the 9/11
commission is just plain wrong. It is utterly without foundation,' ' spokesman
Mark Mansfield said Saturday. ''The CIA's cooperation and assistance is what
enabled the 9/11 commission to reconstruct the plot in their very
comprehensive report.''
In a statement e-mailed separately Saturday, Mansfield suggested the
commission should have been specific about wanting videotapes.
''Because it was thought the commission could ask about tapes at some point,
they were not destroyed while the commission was active,'' he said.
Mansfield, citing similar comments this month by CIA Director _Michael Hayden_
(http://topics. top/reference/ timestopics/ people/h/ michael_v_ hayden/index. h
tml?inline=nyt- per) , added that ''the tapes were destroyed only when it was
determined they were no longer of intelligence value and not relevant to any
internal, legislative, or judicial inquiries.''
Zelikow's seven-page memo, dated Dec. 13, reviews the commission's requests
for information from the CIA.
It cites a Jan. 26, 2004, meeting of commission members and administration
officials, including then-CIA Director _George Tenet_
(http://topics. top/reference/ timestopics/ people/t/ george_j_ tenet/index. html?inline= nyt-per)
, at which the government offered to present written questions to the
detainees and relay their answers back to the commission.
''None of the government officials in any of these 2004 meetings alluded to
the existence of recordings of interrogations or any further information in
the government's possession that was relevant to the commission's requests,''
Zelikow wrote.
Near the end of the commission's work, and in response to a request by the
commission to all agencies, John McLaughlin, then the deputy CIA director,
confirmed on June 29, 2004, that the CIA had ''taken and completed all
reasonable steps necessary to find the documents in its possession, custody or control
responsive'' to the commission's formal requests and ''has produced or made
available for review'' all such documents, the memo said.
The existence of Zelikow's memo was first reported by The New York Times.