Criminal investigation of CIA video destruction "ongoing"

The destruction by Central Intelligence Agency officials of videotapes showing the interrogation of suspected terrorists is the subject of “an ongoing criminal investigation” that is expected to conclude in the near future, according to a prosecution official.

“Investigators are now in the process of scheduling interviews with the remaining witnesses to be interviewed in this investigation,” wrote John H. Durham, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in an affidavit (pdf) late last month. “Based on the investigative accomplishments to date, we anticipate that by mid-February 2009, and no later than February 28, 2009, we will have completed the interviews.”

His remarks came in the course of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the James Madison Project for documents pertaining to the CIA videotape destruction. The government asked for a stay of the FOIA proceedings until witness interviews are completed. At a hearing on January 6, the request for a stay until February 28, 2009 was granted by the court, said attorney Mark S. Zaid, director of the James Madison Project.

Key details of the pending criminal investigation have been redacted from Mr. Durham’s affidavit, including the number of witnesses interviewed and the volume of documents examined to date. But the affidavit does provide a sense of the level of activity involved, indicating that “a considerable portion of the work to be done in connection with the investigation has already been completed.”

Mr. Durham noted that “in many instances,” delays have resulted from witness requests for legal representation and the need to get witness attorneys cleared. In some cases, the government officials involved have retired and have been “read out” of the highly compartmented intelligence programs in question, and it has taken additional time to have their credentials reinstated, he said.

A copy of the December 31, 2008 CIA motion for a stay, with Mr. Durham’s affidavit, is here. The destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes, which occurred in 2005, was reported in the New York Times on December 7, 2007.

Thanks for posting this.

Thanks for posting this.

The fact of the destruction of the videotapes was essentially erased from existence on wikipedia through several techniques. They use sheer volume of words to make it impossible to research anything properly, as well as dozens of subsections sent off to other pages with almost meaningless headings, and openly fraudulent editing to hide things they don't want seen.

Today, as ever, no mention of this momentous event in the agency's history exists on the main CIA wikipedia page.

An essay that explores some of this is here.


"But on the day that the destruction of the tapes has come out in the press, with most news headlines screaming about it, I find no text reference at all on the page. Wouldn't you know it? I think to myself. How predictable was that? Only a single link at the bottom of the page references the event, nested amongst a list of other unrelated links.

And where the event should have been mentioned, in a section on "Controversies," I find that the CIA page, like the pages of most high-level politician's pages on Wikipedia, has had all criticism of it removed and posted to another page entirely, again, with only a single link on which to find it. Moving the juicy information onto other pages is a subtle but effective means to control it on Wikipedia, and unless you have an army of helpers, you can't really change anything.

But, so be it, this is how they play the game and I know one needs to play it at least little bit. I follow the link over to a page about "controversies," and as I post my little expose, I wonder if anyone will notice this little except about the destruction of films over on this other isolated page about torture and renditions, but at least now someone has said something. I move on, and go about my day. One small thing is done.

But little do I know, I have just posted this to a fake page, likely created expressly for the purpose of catching any efforts to post criticisms onto the main page during this important event in the history of the agency. When I post to the page, it has the correct title, but later, the title is altered and misspelled, to read, "Central Intellegence Agency." The joke is on us. "