destruction of evidence

ACLU's Investigation Unveils BushCo Told 9/11 Commission "Not To Cross A Line"

Via a Facebook update by Naomi Wolf comes the news that the ACLU uncovered a memo from the Bush era that warned the 9/11 Commission not to "cross a line" in its investigation and not to probe too deeply.

Leaked confidential documents have revealed that senior officials from the former US administration had warned a 9/11 investigation panel against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks.

In a letter obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the 9/11 Commission was refused permission to question terror suspects, with the Bush administration arguing that by doing so the panel would "cross" a "line" and obstruct the administration's efforts to protect the nation.

Wolf's link includes a reference to an OpEd News article by Sahil Kapur that offers this additional insight:

The 9/11 Commission, officially called the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, was formed by President Bush in November of 2002 "to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks" and to offer recommendations for preventing future attacks.

"The Commission staff's proposed participation in questioning of detainees would cross that line," the letter continued. "As the officers of the United States responsible for the law enforcement, defense and intelligence functions of the Government, we urge your Commission not to further pursue the proposed request to participate in the questioning of detainees."

FireDogLake's Marcy Wheeler speculates that this was an attempt by the Bush administration to ensure that its torture of certain detainees, which has since been widely documented, remained secret.

"[W]hoever made these annotations appears to have been most worried that Commission staff members could make independent judgments about the detainees and the interrogations," Wheeler wrote on her blog. The official "didn't want anyone to independently evaluate the interrogations conducted in the torture program."

Eventually, the commission's co-chairs harshly criticized the administration for having purportedly "destroyed" tapes of its interrogations with terror suspects, as Raw Story reported last year.

Destruction of -- and loss of -- evidence seemed to be a hallmark of the Bush Administration's years in the White House. Story highlights from the CNN link about the missing emails from the US Attorney scandal:

Story Highlights

• NEW: White House spokeswoman says 5 million official e-mails may be missing

• White House admits it should have kept e-mails on private GOP system

• Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee doubts e-mails are deleted

• Committee investigating whether U.S. attorneys' firings were politically motivated

At some point, hopefully before the Obama Administration gets too far along on its own path, someone will have the fortitude and wherewithall to send a huge cleaning van up to the White House to help mop up the mess left by the previous Administration, ideally in time to help ensure that the current Administration is given a much clearer mandate to work with, and ideally to help it stay within the bounds of Constitutional law and proper common ethical standards.

Other tapes that the WH wants to destroy, if they haven't already

promoted -cho

See Update at the bottom.

Do you remember Abu Ghraib?

Do you remember the pictures?

...do you recall what you never did see, but the existence of which was confirmed?

"...those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out."

[via Gryn]

Shut down the Bush Administration now.

Where's there's smoke, there's fire -- and burning evidence.

The news of the recent White House fire isn't the first time an area near and dear to national security went up in flames shortly after a judge ruled against Cheney's log privilege.

Remember the NSA building fire at Fort Meade last year? Curiously enough, it too was around the time that a judge ruled Cheney's logs are not privileged.

Judge Orders Cheney Visitor Logs Opened

"A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to release information about who visited Vice President

Dick Cheney's office and personal residence, an order that could spark a late election-season debate over lobbyists' White House access.

"While researching the access lobbyists and others had on the White House, The Washington Post asked in June for two years of White House visitor logs. The Secret Service refused to process the request, which government attorneys called 'a fishing expedition into the most sensitive details of the vice presidency.'" (AP)

(via TPM Muckraker)

Also, the Fort Meade complex had an interesting web page that is no longer available.

I've scrapbooked it, of course.

From the former site:

    The 902D Military Intelligence Group is the US Army's largest Counterintelligence Unit, conducting the full range of CI activities, throughout the spectrum of conflict, and at all echelons, from tactical to strategic.

    The 902D Military Intelligence Group conducts counterintelligence with a worldwide focus to serve as a force multiplier for US Army Commanders.

    We serve as the Army's first line of defense in force protection, technology protection, counterespionage, counterterrorism and Foreign Intelligence Service threat awareness, CI advice and assistance, and operational security support.

Curiouser and curiouser...so, how deep does the rabbit hole go, and how far are we willing to get sucked into it before we start excavating?