Former CIA Director Porter Goss Approved Of Destroying Torture Tapes
Porter Goss, the former Florida Republican congressman who headed the CIA during part of the Bush administration, approved a decision in 2005 to destroy tapes that documented brutal interrogation of two detainees. New documents were released in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.
Days after the tapes were destroyed at the order of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., the former head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, Mr. Goss told Mr. Rodriguez that he “agreed” with the decision, according to the documents. He even joked after Mr. Rodriguez offered to “take the heat” for destroying the tapes.
“PG laughed and said that actually, it would be he, PG, who would take the heat,” according to one of the documents, an internal C.I.A. e-mail message.
In 2002, C.I.A. operatives in Thailand videotaped the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, two Qaeda suspects whom the C.I.A. was holding in secret in that country. More than a hundred tapes were made, and kept in a safe in the C.I.A. station in Bangkok. According to former C.I.A. officials, Mr. Rodriguez ordered the tapes destroyed in November 2005 because he feared that if the tapes were to become public it would put undercover C.I.A. officers in legal and physical jeopardy.
According to one of the e-mail messages released Thursday, Mr. Rodriguez told Mr. Goss that the tapes, taken out of context, would make the C.I.A “look terrible; it would be devastating to us.”
In context doesn’t look to good, either.Click here for reuse options!
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