The Usual Suspects

They knew.  As the NYT reports today, a handful of senior White House Lawyers were in on the talks to destroy the now infamous CIA tapes depicting the use of torture on al Qaeda operatives, and among them we find the usual suspects.

Somehow I’m not shocked, only mildly disgusted (I think I’m becoming desensitized) to find that David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, and Harriet Miers were all in on the decision making when it came to destroying those tapes.  Their role, however, is murky though while some say they advised against the destruction, there are reports that at least some of them advocating the termination of evidence.

The significance is hard to miss, as this is yet another bit of evidence that all roads lead to the White House.

The revelation that the CIA had destroyed documentation of torture brings up questions of legality.  First is the debate we are all well accustomed to regarding what exactly is defined as torture, and whether the techniques we employ fall under that umbrella.  But outside of that, there is another question as to whether the destruction of the tapes alone is illegal.

This based on a prior ruling which mandated that all documented evidence of interrogations must be maintained and not destroyed.

Meanwhile, as we learn more about the incidents that surround the destruction of evidence, it seems that the core of the decision circles around post Abu Ghraib sentiment.  Unfortunately, we didn’t learn our lesson very well.  What we should have learned is that we need to stand by a strict set of standards in detainee treatment.

Instead, all we seemed to have learned was to try to cover our tracks better, and even at that we apparently failed.

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