Congressional leaders are demanding information on who knew about the CIA’s destruction of interrogation videotapes. Presidential candidates in both parties over the weekend also asked whether anyone in the White House knew what was happening. The CIA and Justice Department are conducting a joint inquiry. (AP in FOXNews.com)
What the commentators said
Destroying the tapes wasn’t the “original sin,” said USA Today in an editorial. The U.S. had trouble on its hands the moment CIA operatives used harsh interrogation techniques against al Qaida suspects in 2002. “Had there been no torture, there would have been no need to destroy the tapes.”
“Interrogating terrorists is a tough business that requires tough measures,” said Jed Babbin in HumanEvents.com. The “outcry du jour” is about tapes that probably showed the waterboarding of two al Qaida masterminds—one of them Sept. 11 planner Khalid Sheik Muhammed. The tapes would have been “inevitably leaked” as Congress debates interrogation methods, and that would only have endangered the lives of the interrogators and revealed our methods to terrorists.
Please, said The Orlando Sentinel in an editorial, when The New York Times uncovered this mess, it quoted a former intelligence official who said the reason the tapes disappeared was “fear of another Abu Ghraib, where photos of abuse at a prison in Iraq caused revulsion worldwide.” Congress needs to launch an investigation of this “cover-up” to determine whether the CIA was guilty of obstruction of justice.