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CIA Scrambles to Explain Destruction of Torture Tapes. FOX Fails to Report Disturbing Possibility That Victim Was Mentally Ill

Reported by Marie Therese - December 12, 2007 -

Yesterday (12-11-07), during Special Report, Catherine Herridge filed a report about the Democrats' push for investigations into possible obstruction of justice charges against the CIA for destroying tapes of the enhanced interrogation torture of alleged terrorist masterminds Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheik Muhammad. Later in the show, the All-Star Panel - Juan WIlliams, Nina Easton and Charles Krauthammer - discussed the same topic. The latest wrinkle in this ongoing saga is the entrance on the scene of former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who admits that what was done to the two men constituted torture. However, he also argues that it was necessary in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Contrary to early reports, agent Kiriakou did not personally witness or participate in any interrogations. With video.

Throughout their entire coverage, FOX News has neglected to mention that there is evidence that Abu Zubayah was and is a schizophrenic, a piece of critical information reported by Ron Suskind in his book "The One Percent Doctrine."

From The Carpetbagger Report, 12-11-07

Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be. CIA and FBI analysts, poring over a diary he kept for more than a decade, found entries “in the voice of three people: Hani 1, Hani 2, and Hani 3″ — a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego. All three recorded in numbing detail “what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said.” Dan Coleman, then the FBI’s top al-Qaeda analyst, told a senior bureau official, “This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality.”

Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda’s go-to guy for minor logistics — travel for wives and children and the like. That judgment was “echoed at the top of CIA and was, of course, briefed to the President and Vice President,” Suskind writes. And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as “one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.” And over the months to come, under White House and Justice Department direction, the CIA would make him its first test subject for harsh interrogation techniques. […]

“I said he was important,” Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. “You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?” “No sir, Mr. President,” Tenet replied. Bush “was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth,” Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, “Do some of these harsh methods really work?” Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety — against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, “thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each … target.” And so, Suskind writes, “the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.” (End excerpt.)

All the posturing and defensive rhetoric in the world won't help, if indeed this country authorized the torture of a mentally deranged person. It is a crime against humanity and there are international laws against such behavior.

During the panel discussion, FOX News contributor and medical doctor, Charles Krauthammer, oozed out an apologia for torture as he defended the destruction of evidence. It was one of the most revolting monologues I've ever heard on FOX News and that's saying something after four years of watching this dismal excuse for a news channel!

Dr. Krauthammer, a right-to-lifer who routinely rises to the defense of clusters of indistinguishable cells in a woman's womb, said:

"In this country capital punishment is legal and considered the right thing to do in a narrow number of cases. But we do not have public executions and we don't put them on tape and broadcast them, Why? Because the killing of a helpless person - which is what the death penalty is - is an ugly which would evince sympathy for the criminal and revulsion against those lawfully acting in carrying it out. We know from this guy Kiriakou that waterboarding was the right thing to do. It saved lives. It worked. It was used in a narrow number of cases. It was not done, like the Abu Ghraib psychopaths, for sadistic pleasure and amusement. It was done to obtain information and it did. As he said, it broke one terrorist in thirty seconds and another - Khalid Sheik Muhammad - in three minutes. This is after he said he wanted a lawyer. Well, after that he didn't want a lawyer, He confessed and it saved a lot of lives.

"Destroying these tapes was also the right thing to do. Why? Because it is an ugly thing to do - what was done to them - and showing it would have evinced revulsion against the interrogators, who saved our lives, and [it would have evoked] sympathy for the terrorists."

(Note that Krauthammer in this speech accepts that what the CIA did was de facto illegal.)

Juan WIlliams jumped right in to admonish Krauthammer, saying that the reasons Krauthammer ennumerated were not the same reasons the CIA had originally put forth. The original rationale was that the tapes were gutted to protect the identities of the interrogators, so they would not be subject to subsequent prosecution. The other panel members quickly interjected that the CIA had never mentioned "prosecution" as a reason. Brit Hume noted that the interrogators might "still be subject to prosecution for violating the law, tapes or no tapes." This was an interesting admission on Hume's part, isince he essentially agreed with Krauthammer's assessment above, i.e. that the CIA violated the law.

Williams defended his position, stating the the original rationale did not hold water because the identities of the interrogators could have been obscured to protect their covert status.

Charles Krauthammer then noted that the original reasons given were not, clearly, the real ones. He went on to paraphrase his obscenity above, saying "[t]he real reason is this stuff is ugly, it had to be done and it shouldn't be on television."

The panel members agreed that these recent revelations also damage the Democratic leadership in that it has become apparent that several top Democrats were informed that these torture techniques would be used and those leaders did not protest at the time, but accepted it as a fait accompli.

Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) and other Democrats have called for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor. Attorney General Michale Mukasey has indicated that he does not believe one is required at this time, but that he will appoint one in the future if he deems it necessary. (Aside: That will be when pigs fly!)

This is just another cover-up in a long line of cover-ups, foul-ups, missteps crimes and lies perpetrated by a corrupt, incompetent, immoral administration.