CIA Chief To Drag White House Into Torture Cover-Up Storm


Sarah Baxter

THE CIA chief who ordered the destruction of secret videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of two top Al-Qaeda suspects has indicated he may seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying before the House intelligence committee.

Jose Rodriguez, former head of the CIA’s clandestine service, is determined not to become the fall guy in the controversy over the CIA’s use of torture, according to intelligence sources.

It has emerged that at least four White House staff were approached for advice about the tapes, including David Addington, a senior aide to Dick Cheney, the vice-president, but none has admitted to recommending their destruction.

Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorism at the CIA, said it was impossible for Rodriguez to have acted on his own: “If everybody was against the decision, why in the world would Jose Rodriguez – one of the most cautious men I have ever met – have gone ahead and destroyed them?”

The tapes recorded the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, two suspected Al-Qaeda leaders, over hundreds of hours while they were held in secret “ghost” prisons. According to testimony from a former CIA officer, Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding, a form of torture that simulates drowning, and “broke” after 35 seconds. He is believed to have been interrogated in Thailand. The tapes were destroyed in 2005. Both men are now held in Guantanamo Bay.

The House intelligence committee has subpoenaed Rodriguez to appear for a hearing on January 16. Last week the CIA began opening its files to congressional investigators. Silvestre Reyes, a Democrat who is chairing the committee, has said he was “not looking for scapegoats” – a hint to Rodriguez that he would like him to talk.

Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer, believes the scandal could reach deep into the White House. “The CIA and Jose Rodriguez look bad, but he’s probably the least culpable person in the process. He didn’t wake up one day and decide, ‘I’m going to destroy these tapes.’ He checked with a lot of people and eventually he is going to get his say.”

Johnson says Rodriguez got his fingers burnt during the Iran-contra scandal while working for the CIA in Latin America in the 1980s. Even then he sought authorisation from senior officials. But when summoned to the FBI for questioning, he was told Iran-contra was “political – get your own lawyer”.

He learnt his lesson and recently appointed Robert Bennett, one of Washington’s most skilled lawyers, to handle the case of the destroyed interrogation tapes. “He has been starting to get his story out and was smart to get Bennett,” said Johnson.

The Justice Department has launched its own inquiry into the destruction of the tapes. It emerged yesterday that the CIA had misled members of the 9-11 Commission by not disclosing the existence of the tapes, in potential violation of the law. President George W Bush said last week he could not recall learning about the tapes before being briefed about them on December 6 by Michael Hayden, the CIA director.

It looks increasingly as though the decision was made by the White House,” said Johnson. He believes it is “highly likely” that Bush saw one of the videos, as he was interested in Zubaydah’s case and received frequent updates on his interrogation from George Tenet, the CIA director at the time.

It has emerged that the CIA did preserve two videotapes and an audiotape of detainee interrogations conducted by a foreign government, which may have been relevant to the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the Al-Qaeda conspirator.

The CIA told a federal judge in 2003 that no such recordings existed but has now retracted that testimony. One of the tapes could show the interrogation of Ramzi Binalshibh, a September 11 conspirator, who was allegedly handed to Jordan for questioning.

The destruction of those

The destruction of those tapes is of central importance to 9/11 Truth because Zubaydah's "testimony" (which is now known to be no more than "summaries" provided by his torturers, who also destroyed the tapes) is/was central to the government story of 9/11.

Why is this important now? Though it has always been known that Zubaydah's "testimony" was dubious, that testimony had been shrouded in secrecy until now. Now we know that the "evidence" he provided is completely worthless, especially as it can no longer be examined.

So this story is important not just because it involves torture, destruction of evidence, a cover-up, a cover-up of that cover-up, and the White House. It is yet one more case where the gov't story on 9/11, upon close inspection, turns out to be based on zip.

JFK on secrecy and the press

Don't Believe Anything You See On The TV

All copies of this tape were destroyed . . . . doubtful . . . remember, the perps use disinfo to muddy the waters.

What if they video taped interrogations as a rule but didn't tape this one. That would also be damning considering the suspects purported role in 9/11.

Or . . . what it the tape shows a mentally disturbed suspect rambling on about his most recent bowel movement . . . that would be damning also.

There are many fuses lit right now that all lead back to what we affectionately call the "new world order" . . here's one of them to bookmark and follow:

Please see my comment to a

Please see my comment to a similar post of yours a few days ago.

There may indeed still be tapes or transcripts, but the story is what it is now and, as mentioned, if those transcripts or tapes ever do reappear, they will only further erode the government story on 9/11. Zubaydah was crazy and subjected to months of torture. What kind of evidence is that?

The focus right now should be on how utterly horrible Zubaydah's "evidence" is. It is ghoulish and macabre and falls so far below the supposed standards of this nation it simply must shock the conscience of anyone who pays attention to it.

See also this story:

In it, Kean, clearly states "...they were the ones who knew most about the plot of 9/11."

JFK on secrecy and the press

I Agree

There is no Al Kida Boogey Man so any confession is BS . . . .that's the bottomline . . . . we know what they're covering up . . . . they are pushing the button to release the covering cloud of smoke but it isn't working.

Alvin R - Are you saying that all of Zubaydah's testimony

should be dismissed out of hand?

When in doubt I always apply the logic of events to determine the credibility or usefulness of particular information.

In this case, the fact that shortly after Zubaydah was fooled into thinking he was being interrogated by Saudi's (most likely before he was tortured) three Saudi princes and a Pakistani air force general, all purportedly named by Zubaydah, all died under extremely suspicious circumstances. If this information were not true, would these men have lost their lives?

I think that the tight focus on torture here is an effort to divert attention away from the substance of his statements. I also think that Zubaydah was tortured to the point of insanity so that he would never again be able to make these statements, which destroy the official story, and be viewed as credible.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, are you saying that we should disregard everything that Zubaydah is claimed to have said?

I hope that you and yours are well and that you are all enjoying the holiday season.

The truth shall set us free. Love is the only way forward.

There are many levels to

There are many levels to this story, and we may never get to the bottom of it.

What we do know now, though, is what Americans did with Zubaydah and later with the videos of his "testimony."

This story is "hot." It is playing in the news right now. It is based on verifiable facts and shows very clearly that yet another major part of the government story for 9/11 rests on an extremely weak foundation, if you call that a foundation.

People interested in 9/11 Truth can and should use this story in their writing and conversation because it is fact-based and devastating to the official story of 9/11.

Mainstream news is playing this as a story about "waterboarding," "the CIA," "what the White House knew," etc. But WE should be focusing on this story mainly because of the very strong light it shines on the weakness of the official story of 9/11.

JFK on secrecy and the press

I agree, Alvin R. This is

I agree, Alvin R. This is the hottest of stories.

It shines the spotlight back to 9/11 (thousands of victims, lies, coverup, etc.) and to what our country's leadership has done in the 21st century.

Approximately 800,000 innocent Iraqis dead in an illegal invasion, use of torture, and thousands of our own dead and wounded soldiers...all based upon Bush's contrived lies of WMD's!

Definitely war crimes in this, but do not expect any convictions coming down the pike soon. However, after every new evidence of the corruption surfaces, we must keep the spotlight's heat back on 9/11, which will eventually cause this can of worms to spill into America's consciousness.

Right is right, wrong is wrong, and those who approve of torture are capable of anything, including 9/11.

The death of the Saudi Princes

and the Pakistani AF Chief may not be related to Zubaydah. He may not have said a single word about these contacts. He may have known nothing of value. Instead this may have been a cover story generated to suggest Zubaydah was an al Qaeda bigshot.

1) I don't trust Posner.

2) I don't trust Posner's anonymous souces (executive branch and CIA official).

3) Why would Zubaydah have direct access to such contacts? It comes across as highly implausible.

4) Other sources (FBI's Dan Coleman) indicate that Zubaydah's importance was overstated and may have been mentally unstable.

Is this guy taking the fall

Is this guy taking the fall for someone higher up, a tailor-made scandal to tie up loose ends or is this the beginning of something much bigger? If OBL comes out with a new 'tape' in the next 24 hours to knock this story out of the headlines, it maybe the real deal. (the scandal - not the tape)

This turn of events breaking on Monday before the Christmas is interesting.

I hope this is CIA insider 'blowback/revenge'....
Truth Revolution: The Eleventh of Every Month

MP3 Audio Clip - Kevin Barrett & Luke Rudkowski

Friday December 21, 2007
Kevin Barrett Talks With We Are Change's Luke Rudkowski About Organizational Structure, Appropriate Activist Behavior And Linkage Of 9/11 To The New World Order

* source =

More MP3 Audio Clips >

(I added this to "my blog" but thought because of the holiday season it may have been over-looked by the "committee". It is a very good interview.)

I appreciate your continual

I appreciate your continual posting of these mp3's, AJF -- very cool!


Is some correspondence between Larry Johnson and myself from a long time ago. I tried to bring him over to our "side."

Who Is? Archives

I like the point

Regarding the President being "highly likely" to have seen one of the videos of the interrogations in question.
Now with much of his recollections, is it not more likely that he is continually out of the loop, regarding real events that occur?
The next fall-guy will simply be another 'resignation' of an 'appointee', relegated, if not delegated, by the White House.
When I make mistaKes, I'll say that I'm just a big dummy, if not an outright idiot.
Oh, yeah, it might just be a fall-gal.
Good post, Jon.

Bush has Saddam's pistol as

Bush has Saddam's pistol as a trophy (after he was beheaded and taped). That's the sort of man he is, I doubt he would not want to see the tapes of these people being tortured and totally at the mercy of his minions.,9171,644112,00.html - A Saddam Souvenir
Truth Revolution: The Eleventh of Every Month

This is a distraction

This is political theater intended to divert attention from the growing awareness of who really committed the 9/11/011 terrorist attacks.

This is Hype.

Why should the media report on this CIA torture nonsense when they know they are really asking America to choose between "their Commander in Chief" and "Terrorists". In other words, they (the MSM) know that America cannot crush a sitting President even for the illegal act of torturing Al-ciaduh. This media coverage then must have as it's objective to raise Bush' approval and acceptance among the proletariat/electorate.