Ex-CIA Chief Defends Hiding Torture Evidence, But We Need to Know the Truth

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©PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

It feels like we have been here before. Another testosterone-fueled memoir from a charter member of President Bush’s torture team unapologetically seeks to justify the unjustifiable with inflated claims of attacks thwarted and secret battles won.

Latest to the plate is Jose Rodriguez, former Head of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, and the man charged with implementing the application of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) to detainees that fell into the CIA’s clutches after 9/11.

Rodriguez was not always quite so willing to boast about his handiwork. In 2005 he destroyed 92 videotapes of high value detainees Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri being water-boarded at secret CIA prisons in Thailand.

At the time Rodriguez justified his action to CIA Director Porter Goss by telling him that the tapes would make the CIA “look terrible; it would be devastating to us.”

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Coming Face to Face with Torture

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Pawiak Prison Museum in Warsaw Poland

Pawiak Prison Museum in Warsaw, Poland.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Pawiak Prison Museum in Warsaw, Poland.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland in World War II Pawiak was the largest political prison in the country – approximately 100,000 prisoners passed through its cells.

37,000 of those men and women died in Pawiak – many under interrogation by the Gestapo. Another 60,000 were sent to German concentration camps. Very few survived the war.

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Unlocking the Truth of Secret CIA Prisons in Lithuania

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secret prison lithuania

There are allegations of renditions between Lithuania and other European countries © Amnesty International

On Thursday Amnesty International launched a new report, Unlock the Truth, on the Lithuanian government’s abortive investigation of CIA ‘black sites’ that operated on their soil.

In December 2009 Lithuania became the first, and so far only, European state to publicly acknowledge that it had allowed the CIA to operate secret prisons on its territory. In January 2010 the Lithuanian Prosecutor General initiated a criminal investigation into the revelations.

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