I haven't had the time to crawl into the CIA videotapes erasure brouhaha, and I won't be making assessments and proclamations on all aspects of it at this late date. I'll just say that the CIA would have been better off keeping them and defending the interrogation methods used against non-Geneva Convention illegal combatant terrorists than destroying them and opening themselves to new charges of a cover-up and going beyond that which has been admitted.
WASHINGTON - 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 twosuspects has upset a federal judge and riled the Democratic-controlled 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, 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.
WASHINGTON — Former President Clinton's national security adviser is under criminal investigation for taking highly classified terrorism documents that should have been turned over to the independent commission probing the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, FOX News has confirmed.
Sandy Berger is under scrutiny by the Justice Department following the disappearance of documents he was reviewing at the National Archives.
At the time Mr. Berger had this to say:
"I deeply regret the sloppiness involved, but I had no intention of withholding documents from the commission, and to the contrary, to my knowledge, every document requested by the commission from the Clinton administration was produced."
We'll probably never know exactly what was on those videotapes; we'll probably never know exactly what was in the classified documents Sandy Berger stole and destroyed. However, since the 9/11 Commission was primarily charged with investigating the lead-up to 9/11, and secondarily the things being done to correct the problems, it's not entirely clear that interrogation videotapes were vital to their effort. Mr. Berger's missing material was.
Doctor's who alter the medical record to cover mistakes are treated much more harshly than others who leave the record intact, and they should be. Sandy Berger got off easy. CYA works in Washington, apparently.