9/11 Commission Chair: "No Question" CIA Attempted "to Impede Our Investigation"
In its attempts to uncover all materials related to the 9/11 attacks, the 9/11 Commission specifically requested material about the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The New York Times has revealed that the CIA destroyed tapes of the two men's interrogation without informing the 9/11 Commission about their existence.
On Saturday, former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin told CNN:
,I think it's ludicrous to suggest, in fact, that we withheld anything of consequence from the 9/11 Commission. Anything that was on the tapes that would be relevant to their inquiry was given to them in writing, and the tapes would have simply not advanced their inquiry at all.In fact, the tapes were highly relevant to the Commission's inquiry. Philip Zelikow -- the former staff director of the 9/11 Commission -- explained: "The Commission was not investigating the treatment of captives. But it did seek information not only about the 9/11 plot, but also any intelligence information about the history and evolution of al Qaeda and its connections to other terrorist entities. Therefore, from the start, the Commission sought to obtain all relevant information gleaned from the interrogation of captives."
This morning on CNN, 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean there is "no question" the CIA was aware that its now-destroyed videotapes depicting severe interrogations were among evidence being sought by 9/11 Commission investigators, and the destruction of the tapes was an attempt to "impede our investigation":