CIA officer who purged torture evidence is rewarded with promotion
March 28, 2013 14 Comments
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A United States Central Intelligence Agency officer who was personally involved in the
illegal controversial destruction of videotapes showing CIA personnel torturing detainees, is now leading the Agency’s operations division. At the center of the affair are nearly 100 recordings of interrogation sessions of al-Qaeda suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The videotapes were made in 2002 at a CIA black site in Thailand and kept inside a safe at the Agency’s station in the Asian country. The CIA decided to destroy the videotapes soon after May of 2005, when the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate demanded access to them. In 2007, after The New York Times revealed the destruction of the videotapes, the US Department of Justice ordered two separate investigations into the incident. However, under pressure from the administration of President Barack Obama, no criminal charges were ever pressed. The videotape affair is bound to resurface in the headlines, however, after The Washington Post revealed on Wednesday that a female CIA officer, who personally ordered the destruction of the videotapes, even though she knew that Congress had asked for them, was recently promoted to one of the CIA’s most senior posts. The officer, whose name cannot legally be revealed, because she remains undercover within the Agency, is currently in charge of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service (NCS), which is responsible for conducting covert action and espionage around the world. Many consider the NCS as the ‘heart and soul’ of the CIA, and it is the first time in the history of the CIA that a woman has led that secretive division. Citing “current and former intelligence officials”, The Post alleged that the officer entered the position in an acting capacity a few weeks ago, following the retirement of her boss. It added that the officer, who previously served as the CIA’s station chief in New York and London, United Kingdom, is among a small group of CIA insiders who are seen as viable candidates to permanently fill the NCS director’s post. The revelation inevitably draws attention to the position on torture of the CIA’s recently appointed Director, John Brennan. He said during his confirmation hearings earlier this year that he was opposed to interrogation as a matter of principle. He also told a Senate committee that he was “firmly opposed” to the use of enhanced interrogation on enemy detainees. The paper quoted CIA spokesperson Preston Golson as saying that Brennan is still making up his mind on who to appoint for permanent director of NCS and has “asked a few highly respected former senior agency officers to review the candidates he’s considering for the job”.