Joe Klein Thinks Destroying Evidence, Covering Up War Crimes is "Candor"
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This post, written by Amanda Terkel, originally appeared on Think Progress
Yesterday, The New York Times published an explosive report revealing that in 2005, the CIA destroyed tapes documenting harsh interrogation tactics against two al Qaeda operatives. For the past two years, the administration has hid the destruction of the tapes from the American public. Even when the tapes were still around, officials refused to hand them over to the 9/11 Commission.
Only after the Times informed the CIA that it was publishing its article did the agency finally admit that to destroying these tapes:
The New York Times informed the intelligence agency on Wednesday evening that it was preparing to publish an article about the destruction of the tapes. In his statement to employees on Thursday, General Hayden said that the agency had acted "in line with the law" and that he was informing C.I.A. employees "because the press has learned" about the matter.
CIA Director Hayden acknowledges that the public was going to find out about the CIA torture tapes anyway, but he still gets points for coming clean. [...]
[T]his represents yet another case where the intelligence community has released information that hammers the Bush Administration's credibility-and, more important, helps the prospects of the bill that Congress will soon produce mandating that all government agencies conform to the anti-torture provisions of the Army Field Manual.
The intelligence community did not release the information. As Hayden himself admitted, he is talking about the issue only "because the press has learned" about it. The only justification for destroying evidence that the CIA has "released" is a flimsy excuse.
Amanda Terkel is Deputy Research Director at the Center for American Progress and serves as Deputy Editor for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.