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Archive for Friday, December 21, 2007

Subpoena issued in CIA tapes case

December 21, 2007

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— The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena Thursday for Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA official who directed that secret interrogation videotapes of two suspected terrorists be destroyed.

The panel ordered Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, to appear for a hearing on Jan. 16. Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said Rodriguez "would like to tell his story but his counsel has advised us that a subpoena would be necessary."

The CIA cracked open its files to congressional investigators Thursday, inviting them to the agency's Virginia headquarters to begin reviewing documents and records related to the videotapes.

House Intelligence Committee staff members want to know who authorized the tapes' destruction; who in the CIA, Justice Department and White House knew about it and when, and why Congress was not fully informed. The committee, which had threatened to subpoena the records if they did not get access this week, also wants to know exactly what was shown on the tapes, which document the harsh interrogation of two al-Qaida suspects in 2002. The CIA destroyed the tapes in 2005.

"We learned we have a long way to go, that there are a number of people involved that we need to talk with," said a committee official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation of the tapes' destruction is ongoing. "Many in the executive branch will be called." The committee is still drawing up its list of witnesses to call.

President Bush declined to address the controversy, saying at a White House news conference Thursday he was confident that administration and congressional investigations "will end up enabling us all to find out what exactly happened." He repeated his assertion that his "first recollection" of being told about the tapes and their destruction was when CIA Director Michael Hayden briefed him on it earlier this month.

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