Ex-CIA Officer Defends Destruction of Torture Videos
Friday, April 27, 2012
In his memoir coming out this month, the Central Intelligence Agency officer who ordered the destruction of the CIA’s torture tapes defends his actions, saying he was erasing “some ugly visuals.”
Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., the former director of the CIA’s secretive interrogation and detention program during the George W. Bush administration, had 92 tapes destroyed in 2005 after the media exposed the controversial program targeting al-Qaeda and other suspected terrorists.
“I wasn’t going to sit around another three years waiting for people to get up the courage,” Rodriguez wrote in his book, Hard Measures.
He adds that he was “just getting rid of some ugly visuals.” Rodriguez was concerned with protecting the identities of the agents who could be seen in the videos and with the negative effect on the reputation of the CIA if the truth came out. He continues to seem clueless about the intent of the United States Constitution.
He even went so far as to write that “I cannot tell you how disgusted my former colleagues and I felt to hear ourselves labeled ‘torturers’ by the president of the United States.” The irony of torturers being upset at being called torturers seems to have escaped Rodriguez.
Made at a secret CIA prison in Thailand, the tapes showed the waterboarding of terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri.
President Barack Obama ordered an investigation of the program and the tapes. But the U.S. Department of Justice decided to not pursue charges against Rodriguez or any other CIA agent.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Former CIA Spy Boss Made an Unhesitating Call To Destroy Interrogation Tapes (by Dana Priest, Washington Post)
Ex-Spy: Destroying CIA Tapes Purged ‘Ugly Visuals’ (by Adam Goldman, Associated Press)
CIA Escapes Prosecution for Criminal Destruction of Torture Tapes (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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