Several US senators and congressmen are demanding a criminal investigation into the CIA’s obstruction of justice by destroying videotapes depicting the use of torture on prisoners. The digital recordings apparently show a team of CIA agents subjecting Abu Zubayadh, the agency’s first detainee, and another person to abusive interrogation. Seantor Edward Kennedy commented, “we haven’t seen anything like this since the 18 minute gap on the tapes of Richard Nixon.” He called on newly installed Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate the situation. Congresswoman Jan Haman said that in early 2003 she had warned the CIA not to destroy any videotapes dealing with interrogation practices. Senator John Rockefeller, head of the “Senate Intelligence Committee wants a review of “the full history and chronology of the tapes, how they were used, and the reasons for destroying them.”
Mason Nance, who advises Homeland Security on terrorism, says the interrogation using waterboarding techniques would have been conducted in Jordan or Egypt, but there would have been a video link to the CIA’s directorate of operations in Langley, Virginia. It would have been observed by the director of the CIA, along with a team of interrogation experts, including a psychologist and doctor. According to Nance, “they start by slapping the prisoner around, putting him in stress positions and finally strapping him on the waterboard where he is bound down and has water poured into his lungs. It’s very hard to watch people going through this form of torture.” Nance believes an individual subjected to such torture will “get hysterical and whatever they say is of no value anyway.”
The White House has no comment on the destruction of videotapes or the lame excuse they had to be done in order to protect the identify of the torturers. It would be a simple task to hide the identity of those doing the interrogation as is so commonly done when television covers up the face of someone who is talking. Perhaps, it is time for concerned American congressmen to consider the possibility of impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney, two men who have done worse than destroy video tapes, they have destroyed the reputation of this nation.