Criminal Probe Opened Over CIA TapesIs the administration looking for a fall guy. Someone who can take the wrap and the heat. A sacrificial lamb or a scapegoat to be turned out into the wilderness?
By MATT APUZZO, AP
Wed Jan 2, 4:32 PM EST
Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed an outside prosecutor Wednesday to lead a criminal investigation into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes.
The CIA acknowledged last month that it destroyed videos of officers using tough interrogation methods while questioning two al-Qaida suspects. The acknowledgment sparked a congressional inquiry and a preliminary investigation by Justice.
"The Department's National Security Division has recommended, and I have concluded, that there is a basis for initiating a criminal investigation of this matter, and I have taken steps to begin that investigation," Mukasey said in a statement released Wednesday.
Mukasey named John Durham, a federal prosecutor in Connecticut, to oversee the case. Durham has a reputation as one of the nation's most relentless prosecutors. He served as an outside prosecutor overseeing an investigation into the FBI's use of mob informants in Boston and helped send several Connecticut public officials to prison.
"The CIA will of course cooperate fully with this investigation as it has with the others into this matter," agency spokesman Mark Mansfield said.
CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson, who worked with the Justice Department on the preliminary inquiry, has recused himself from the investigation. Prosecutors from the Eastern District of Virginia, which includes the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Va., are also recused.
Mukasey named Durham the acting U.S. attorney on the case, a designation the Justice Department frequently makes when top prosecutors are recused. He will not serve as a special prosecutor such as Patrick Fitzgerald, who operated autonomously while investigating the 2003 leak of a CIA operative's identity.
The CIA has already agreed to open its files to congressional investigators, who have begun reviewing documents at the agency's Virginia headquarters. The House Intelligence Committee has ordered Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA official who directed the tapes be destroyed, to appear at a hearing Jan. 16.
Rodriguez's attorney, Robert S. Bennett, had no comment.-----------------------------
“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Who's the Goat?
Posted by Anonymous at 1/02/2008 06:12:00 PM