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Did Bush Watch the Torture Tapes?


By Scott Horton, Harper's

The Times (London) Washington correspondent, Sarah Baxter, reporting with a summary of the developments in the case involving the CIA’s destruction of recordings of the treatment of Abu Zabaydah, points to the growing belief in Washington that President Bush viewed the torture tapes. Baxter reports:

It emerged yesterday that the CIA had misled members of the 9-11 Commission by not disclosing the existence of the tapes, in potential violation of the law. President George W Bush said last week he could not recall learning about the tapes before being briefed about them on December 6 by Michael Hayden, the CIA director. “It looks increasingly as though the decision was made by the White House,” said Johnson. He believes it is “highly likely” that Bush saw one of the videos, as he was interested in Zubaydah’s case and received frequent updates on his interrogation from George Tenet, the CIA director at the time.

It has emerged that the CIA did preserve two videotapes and an audiotape of detainee interrogations conducted by a foreign government, which may have been relevant to the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the Al-Qaeda conspirator. The CIA told a federal judge in 2003 that no such recordings existed but has now retracted that testimony. One of the tapes could show the interrogation of Ramzi Binalshibh, a September 11 conspirator, who was allegedly handed to Jordan for questioning.

In this regards, the sequence of statements out of the White House is extremely revealing. It started with firm denials, then went silent and then pulled back rather sharply to a “President Bush has no present recollection of having seen the tapes.” This is a formulation frequently used to avoid perjury charges, a sort of way of saying “no” without really saying “no.” In between these statements, two more things unfolded that have a bearing on the question.

The New York Times squarely placed four White House lawyers in the middle of the decision about whether to destroy the tapes—Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, John Bellinger and Harriet Miers. It also reported that at least one of them was strongly advocating destruction. Suspicion immediately fell on the principle mover in support of torture, David Addington.

Second, John Kiriakou clarified his statements about the purpose for which the tapes were made. It was to brief higher ups about the process of the interrogation. Reports persist that one “higher-up” in particular had a special strong interest in knowing the details of the Abu Zubaydah case. His name is George W. Bush.

Are Bush’s denials that he has seen the torture tapes really credible? I don’t think so. And having seen them, the interest in their destruction would be equally fierce, which helps account for the involvement of the White House’s four most senior lawyers in the process. No doubt about it. The White House desperately wants to scapegoat some CIA people over this. (Laura Rozen’s article “Operation Stop Talking” is the best treatment so far of this phenomenon, which finds its best current expression in the effort to “get” John Kiriakou). But the trail leads to the White House, and that is clearly where the decision was taken. It will be interesting to see the techniques used by the Justice Department to obscure all of this. At this point, no one who’s tracked Justice Department antics over the past six years is anticipating anything but a crude cover-up.

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Now let's see. We all see two large buildings explode before our very eyes, and we also see another building implode into its footprint. We are then told that all three buildings collapsed because of fire, and we believe it. How crude do they need to be?

He would not fly on commercial airlines.

Are Americans just getting around to mention this fact. It has been said that a group of Israel citizens were trying to document the event of 911, just how long did they know of this event.
Rice was informed of an event and I believed it mention "airplanes" months before it happen.
Also stated that an intelligent agent keep trying to get an appointment with Bush with information on an attack and when he finally was able to meet, he handed Bush the information at Bush's ranch, Bush then told him, you have now done you job,,, go...
If is also said that Bush and Cheney attacked our intelligent agencies to place the plame on them, for Bush and Cheney lack of concern about what was about to happen.
It looks like most of the elite and government leaders knew in advance of a coming attack and did nothing to stop it.
Bush started his spying program a month after he and his boss Cheney stole office in 2001 and as usual lied about starting he illegal data mining on the citizens of U.S. and if our democrats pass he policies they have also become the keepers of criminal activity.
Republicans have destroyed any attempts to work with democrats in the last 16 years and yet the democrats keep talking about getting together to pass good legistration. They only legistration that the repblicans are for or going to passing is "their truely""''

"President Bush has no present recollection of having seen the tapes.” This is a formulation frequently used to avoid perjury charges, a sort of way of saying “no” without really saying “no.”

What more is left? We know and GW knows he is a liar! Every Senator knows he is dodging perjury. Every Senator knows we know. What's the point in playing this silly game?

He had no plans to invade Iraq on his desk. They were in his filing cabinet. That's how this game is played.

reynaldo i trevino Yes they all did it and they all must pay for all they done.? I wloud love to see them Deheaded in from of the fucking whitehouse.How about (WE}[an.......no good that what they are.Nothing but fuckin pigs.

you bet he watched the torture tapes. the same sick bastard that tortured animals when he was a kid, and showed sadism signs thru the rest of his fratboy life, and you're asking; "did bush watch the torture tapes?"

give me a break. He and Cheney jerked their puds with that butt boyfriend of theirs, Guckert.

why not ask; "how many times he jerked his pud to those tapes?" and that'd be a much more sickening, much more relevant 'question' about the depths of depravity this murderous son of a bitch can sink to..

Who in the h... cares anymore about what Bush and Cheney say??? Why are these criminals doing still in office,,, stealing our taxes and resources while they totally destroy our country and sell it off to foreign countries.
Americans don't own much of this country anymore, Bush has sold it off to foreign country and private corporations.
What is the congress going to do, even if Bush and Cheney confess to their criminal crimes, and Cheney makes his crude statement telling them to go .... themselves and go to h... , attack Bush and Cheney with a verbal assault, they are afraid to even do that, because Bush's go to person, Pelosi will make them apologize for their statement.
Most of the elected officials must be in agreement with Bush's policies,,, or Bush has data mined some very bad information on them.
Bush is selling our land, resources, government jobs, roads, manufacturing jobs to foreign countries and private corporations and you mean to tell me there is not a d... thing our democrats or Republican can do or say to stop them.
This is illegal and again our congress is trying to make it legal by passing new legistration.
When in the hell are Americans going to rise up and stop this destruction to our country. Our forefathers must have turned over in the grave 10 times a day with this criminal activity going on.
When Bush is thourgh, American will have no land, resources, farms, roads, government and our jobs will be overseas and what is left will be held by cheap illegal immigrant workers.
They will be no social programs, jobs, health system except the elite, and Americans will be at the mercy of global corporations which Bush and Cheney have given all of our wealth and power.
Where would Cheney be now if not for the "free" health program given to him... Digging up dirt......

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