will the interrogation tapes’ destruction ultimately lead to the end of dick cheney’s reign as the shadow-emperor?

i don’t yet know. . .

but i do know that a full five days
after the iran NIE concluded that
country had stopped its nuke program,
dick cheney is still
saying “they
are enriching
uranium in iran
” [see
the third-to-last
paragraph at the
bottom of his white-
hosted speech, de-
livered in kansas
city, today]. that is simply pearl
harbor anniversary pandering,
of the very worst sort. what an asshat
that guy is — here’s the quote:

“. . .In the case of Iran, we’re
dealing with a country that is still
enriching uranium and remains a leading
state sponsor of terrorism . . .”

— dick cheney 12.07.07

the NIE opined, with a moderate degree
of confidence, that iran might technically
be able to enrich uranium — in the
2010 to 2015 time-frame — not
that iran was actively doing so

s h i t. see, what cheney refers to,
is by all accounts, civilian research,
which the NIE has indicated would be of
almost no use to a military application.

quoth the NIE on this topic:

. . .A growing amount of intelligence
indicates Iran was engaged in
covert uranium conversion and
uranium enrichment activity, but
we judge that these efforts
probably were halted in response
to the fall 2003 halt
, and that
these efforts probably had not been
restarted through at least mid-2007
. . .

the new york times specifically pointed
out dick cheney’s prior “errors” on this
, on wednesday — but cheney is
still telling what can now only now be
called a LIE — here on friday.

okay — what else?

rep. conyers, and practically half
of the rest of the house and senate, are
calling for mukasey
[pdf] to open a criminal
file labeled “obstruction of justice” re the c.i.a.’s
disclosure that it destroyed tapes it said,
under oath, and in writing, did not exist.

as many point out — this is the typical true
criminal’s calculus, at play: it is thought
to be easier to serve a sentence for obstruction
of justice
than to serve a sentence for. . .

uhm. . . war crimes. which may well be
what these tapes documented.

what else — oh, yeah! — cookie
krongard is back to looking for work. . .

gee — that’s surprising, given the
stellar job he did as state inspector. not.

full rep. conyers letter
to attorney general michael
mukasey follows immediately


December 7, 2007

The Honorable Michael Mukasey
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

We are writing with serious concern about published reports in the New York Times and elsewhere, largely confirmed by CIA Director Michael Hayden, that the CIA destroyed in 2005 at least two videotapes documenting “severe interrogation techniques” used in 2002 against terrorism suspects who had been in the agency’s custody. According to the Times article, this destruction occurred “in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny” about the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Indeed, the former director and general counsel of the September 11 Commission explained that they had requested such materials but were never even told about the tapes, and that such withholding of evidence sought in fact-finding or criminal investigations could amount to obstruction of justice. Serious questions have similarly been raised about whether the tapes were improperly withheld from the federal court hearing the Zacarias Moussaoui case, which had requested evidence taken from interrogations of CIA prisoners.

These troubling revelations relate directly to our Committee’s continuing investigation into the use of torture and severe interrogation methods by our government and the role of the Department of Justice with respect to such activities. Accordingly, we ask that you promptly respond to the following questions:

1. Prior to the CIA’s statement to employees concerning the destruction of the videotapes this week, was anyone in the Department of Justice aware of the previous existence, plans to destroy, or destruction of the videotapes? Please explain.

2. Did the CIA notify the Department of Justice of its intention to destroy the tapes and if so, when? Did the CIA receive a legal opinion from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, or any other entity, relating to the destruction of the tapes? Please provide copies of any such written materials.

3. When the CIA provided information to Department of Justice lawyers in 2003 and 2005 with respect to the request of the court in the Moussaoui case for evidence taken from interrogations of CIA prisoners, as stated in the Times article, what information concerning the tapes was provided to Department lawyers? To the extent that any such information was provided, please explain what information was and was not provided to the Moussaoui court, state why the Department decided to provide or not provide such information, and provide copies of any relevant materials, including but not limited to submissions to the court.

4. In light of the concerns about possible obstruction of justice relating to the destruction of the tapes, is the Department planning to investigate this matter?

Please provide the requested information and direct any questions to the Judiciary Committee office, 2138 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (tel: 202-225-3951; fax: 202-225-7680). We look forward to receiving your answers to these important questions by December 17, 2007. Thank you for your cooperation.



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