Glaring Omission On Memo Ordering Destruction Of CIA Terror Tapes

July 27th, 2010 - 7:18 pm ICT by Pen Men At Work  

cia July 27, 2010 (Pen Men at Work): The infamous video tape on the waterboarding of detainees by the US troops in Thailand has been broken open now. The discovery of an omission in the CIA terror tape can now implicate the concerned officer handling this case. The memo by agent Jose Rodriguez which contained instructions for destroying the video tape might lead to more trouble for the agency.

The CIA had been violating the normal procedure when it videotaped the waterboarding of two Al Qaida prisoners housed in a Thailand jail. The videos posed a high risk but the CIA could not find a way to destroy them, legally. This occurred in 2002. The White House was informed about it in 2004 and pressure was put on the agency to have the tapes destroyed. An agent going by the name of John, to protect his identity, sent a mail to the media in which he described the difficult situation that they were in.

Jose, who had given the instructions for destroying the evidence, said that the problems that they would be facing due to the destruction of the videos could not be compared to the hue and cry that would have been raised had the tapes been made public.

The CIA station chief based in Thailand was due to retire in 2005 and wanted the tapes destroyed before he left office. Jose Rodriguez then spoke with each of the two legal representatives that the station had. Both of them assured Jose that he could eliminate the tapes without going against the law. He is then said to have sent the memo to the erstwhile chief, Winograd and the tapes were destroyed within hours.

However, the lawyers Hermes and Eatinger were not copied on the memo which was sent to the station chief. This glaring omission could land Jose into trouble. It is a violation of the standard practice and the lawyers did not get any opportunity to veto the order thereby saving the agency from indulging in an illegal action. Both the lawyers have said that they had been unaware of the action taken on basis of their advice.

Jose is not with the CIA anymore and his legal representative, Robert Bennett, has stated that he had acted in the best interest of the US and his agency, completely confident that whatever he was doing was legal. Other employees at the agency consider Rodriguez to be a hero as he has saved the CIA from a scandal.

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