Add another name to the wall of fame. Newsweek reports
that John Negroponte -- Mike McConnell's predecessor as director of national intelligence -- told then-CIA Director Porter Goss not to destroy the torture tapes. That instruction, apparently documented, is going to be crucial: advocates for Jose Rodriguez, the CIA official who destroyed the tapes in 2005, have said
that they did not receive clear instructions from their superiors firmly telling them to preserve the recordings.
In the summer of 2005, then CIA director Porter Goss met with then national intelligence director John Negroponte to discuss a highly sensitive matter: what to do about the existence of videotapes documenting the use of controversial interrogation methods, apparently includÂing waterboarding, on two key Al Qaeda suspects. The tapes were eventually deÂstroyed, and congressional investigators are now trying to piece together an extensive paper trail documenting how and why it happened.
One crucial document they'll surely want to examine: a memo written after the meeting between Goss and Negroponte, which records that Negroponte strongly advised against destroying the tapes, according to two people close to the investigation, who asked for anonymity when discussing a sensitive matter. The memo is so far the only known documentation that a senior intel official warned that the tapes should not be destroyed. Spokespeople for the CIA and the intel czar's office declined to comment, citing ongoing investigations.
Tally it up. Advising against destruction were: Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)
with Nancy Pelosi "concurring
as both a congressman and CIA director, Harriet Miers
, anonymous DOJ officials
, and Negroponte. Those with an appetite for destruction were, of course, Rodriguez
and, reportedly, lawyers
within the CIA's operations directorate.