Monday, December 24, 2007

CIA Fall Guy

Jose Rodriguez doesn't seem to want to take a fall for the destruction of the CIA "harsh interrogation" video tapes. He has retained Robert Bennett, a DC hotshot lawyer, to represent him. According to Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer, in the Sunday Times :
“The CIA and Jose Rodriguez look bad, but he’s probably the least culpable person in the process. He didn’t wake up one day and decide, ‘I’m going to destroy these tapes.’ He checked with a lot of people and eventually he is going to get his say.”
Having gotten his fingers burnt in the Iran-Contra scandal and being told to get his own lawyer at that time because it was "political;" he seems unlikely a mark.
Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorism at the CIA, said it was impossible for Rodriguez to have acted on his own: “If everybody was against the decision, why in the world would Jose Rodriguez – one of the most cautious men I have ever met – have gone ahead and destroyed them?”
There is an awful lot of ignorance being professed at this point. GeorgeII has no recollection of the tapes prior to a Dec 6 briefing by Gen Hayden. The CIA certainly seems to have left the POTUS out of a lot of loops, like the Iran nuclear NIE, but then, on the other hand...

“It looks increasingly as though the decision was made by the White House,” said Johnson. He believes it is “highly likely” that Bush saw one of the videos, as he was interested in Zubaydah’s case and received frequent updates on his interrogation from George Tenet, the CIA director at the time.
This would be the same guy whose specific language regarding the Iranian threat changed directly after he didn't get told the information that he was told existed.

I sincerely hope Rodriguez' lawyer is up to a real storm because there's almost no chance in the world that the full weight of the Executive branch is not going to fall on him. It would be very good for him if he managed to get himself some covering documentation at the time. If he is as cautious as his colleagues indicate; the Plame affair should have demonstrated to him the BushCo methodology where the CIA is concerned. He may also have had reason to know what use the Administration made of Iraqi intelligence that preceded the scapegoating of the CIA for the missing WMDs, in which case serious butt-covering would be called for.

This BushCo bunch has never taken responsibility for any mistakes that have been alleged and the totally obvious ones are discounted as unimportant. The drunken sailor spending of the first six years had Republicans stating that the deficit was immaterial, while the missing WMDs and the 9/11 attacks were the fault of disorganized intelligence agencies and the lack of ability to conduct illegal searches and detentions. Nothing is their fault and somebody else will be made to pay, the smaller and more helpless the better. Every time they have been warned of a coming disaster their reaction is not to adjust but to remove the irritant, Generals fired, NSA advisers "resigned," anything but not do what it was they wanted to do.

I don't know Jose Rodriguez, but I feel bad for him. He is exactly the size fish that this bunch will cut up for chum.


Anonymous said...

Not to worry about the fate of Jose Rodriguez, he, in all probability, has been given the same "Get Out Of Jail" card as our patriot, Scooter.
One thing about Bush, he learned how to play the " Blame Game" so perfected by the Clinton's. He even has the Dimmo leaders allowing him and his cronies immunity for his "Acts Of Evil".

Chuck Butcher said...

the thing about Jose is that he's a long time employee, not a big time political appointment like Scooter.