Daily Revolt

December 15, 2007

Congress's Probe of CIA Tapes Resisted

Predictably the White House is stonewalling on the investigation. We were warned that Mukasey could not be trusted, and that he shouldn't be confirmed. How ironic:
The Justice Department moved yesterday to delay congressional inquiries into the CIA's destruction of interrogation videotapes, saying the administration could not provide witnesses or documents sought by lawmakers without jeopardizing its own investigation of the CIA's actions.

Congressional leaders from both parties alleged that Justice is trying to block their investigation and vowed to press ahead with hearings.

[...]The growing feud is the first major confrontation with Congress for new Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, who was narrowly confirmed last month amid controversy over his refusal to describe waterboarding -- a severe interrogation tactic that simulates drowning -- as torture.

[...]"We are stunned that the Justice Department would move to block our investigation," Reps. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.) and Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said in the statement. "Parallel investigations occur all of the time, and there is no basis upon which the Attorney General can stand in the way of our work."

They vowed to "use all the tools available to Congress, including subpoenas" to compel the CIA to produce documents and require key officials to testify about the tapes.

The exchange followed a letter earlier in the day from Mukasey that rebuffed congressional demands for details about the joint Justice-CIA inquiry into the tapes' destruction and rejected calls for the appointment of an independent prosecutor. Mukasey said that providing the information to Congress would make it appear that the department is "subject to political influence."

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