Tuesday, December 11, 2007

White House "Wall Of Silence" On CIA Tapes

By Cernig

"Tape-Gate" continues apace today as news of possible surviving tapes and photographs emerges, as well as revelations that point to an organisational (rather than one individual) decision to destroy hundreds of hours of tape that may well have contained incriminatory evidence of torture.

Now, though, the White House has stopped answering questions on the subject.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino was uncharacteristically silent this morning after lawyers advised her not to answer any specific questions about the CIA's decision to destroy tapes that showed interrogators questioning suspected members of al-Qaeda.

After saying the she agrees with the counsel's advice, Perino responded to a reporter's query about whether there's a "wall of silence" descending over the White House with regard to the controversy.

"I can see where that cynicism that usually drifts from this room could come up in this regard," she says. "What I can tell you is I try my best to get you as much information as I can."

Perino told reporters last week that President Bush has "no recollection" of being told about the tapes, which are thought to show some of the intelligence agency's harsh methods, or their destruction.

It has since been reported that Harriet Miers, a former Bush aide, knew about the tapes and told the agency not to destroy them.
Now, if the Counsel to the President advised that the tapes not be destroyed, you might ask, why was there no directive from the White House ordering their preservation?

You can ask, but the current White House lawyers have said you won't get an answer.

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