Keith Olbermann wrote:On the day before the first electoral test of 2008, when all eyes are on Iowa, comes a last-minute reminder of just why the election that formally begins tomorrow in Davenport and Sioux City and Winterset and Council Bluffs is so important. Our third story on the COUNTDOWN, the opening of an official criminal investigation into waterboarding-gate, the destruction of the CIA interrogation torture tapes—tapes that included torture that were hidden from the 9/11 Commission, that at least three senior White House lawyers knew about and talked about, including the vice president‘s current chief of staff and the former Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales.
It is his successor, Michael Mukasey, who today officially announced a full criminal probe into the destruction, recusing the regulars and appointing not a special counsel, but the First Assistant U. S. Attorney, John Durham, from Connecticut, to investigate the case as acting U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He‘ll report back to the Department of Justice. The inquiry coming as the chairman and vice-chairman of the 9/11 Commission accused the CIA and the White House of deliberately hamstringing their investigation by refusing to disclose the existence of the tapes despite repeated requests for all interrogation material. They wrote a joint op-ed, a Democrat and a Republican in this morning‘s “New York Times” reading, quote, “as a legal matter, it is not up to us to examine the CIA‘s failure to disclose the existence of these tapes. That is for others. What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body created by Congress and the president, to investigate one of the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.”
Jonathan Turley joins Keith.