The claim they were wiped was a deliberate misdirection, the tapes wiped were standard CCTV security tapes not the recordings of interrogations, but the Admiral they wheeled out deliberately blurred the distinction to give the impression the torture tapes were wiped.
Cernig @ Atlargely:-
Just over a week ago, the Seton Hall Law’s Center for Policy and Research published a report that said military records and statements showed over 24,000 tapes had been made of interrogations carried out at Guantánamo Bay. The same day, a Washington Post article following up on that report said that many of those recordings might have been taped over, destroying valuable evidence. That article was based upon a court filing “by Guantanamo’s commander, Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, who said video surveillance recordings in several areas of the facility have been automatically overwritten and no longer exist”.
However, in an email and a comment to my posts on the subject, Michael Ricciardelli – one of the co-authors of the Seton Hall Law report – wrote –
There seems to be some confusion stemming from the Military (there’s a surprise) and the press concerning the “automatic over-writes” on the video recorders in hallways and common areas in Guantanamo. These cameras (think in terms of the video cameras in convenience stores– but more sophisticated) were said to have recorded “day-to-day” “mundane” life at Guantanamo. According to the Military, every certain number of days these “hallway” and “common area” monitor recording systems automatically taped over themselves( i.e., were “overwritten”).
These statements came from a declaration of Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, United States Navy on February 8, 2008 (case 1:05-cv-00023-RWR Document84-4; Washington Post, February 14, 2008). Importantly, these “hallway” and “common area” monitor recordings are specifically NOT video recordings of interrogations– And the Rear Admiral is exceedingly careful to NOT say that they are in his declaration; though, perhaps, it could be anticipated that because of the way the declaration was made the media would confuse the two separate and distinct issues. Which is to say, that the responsive statement’s by Rear Admiral Buzby have misdirected and now obfuscate the issue. As such, some of the media reporting has failed to make clear this distinction between the “day-to-day” video recording and the video recording of interrogations. This distinction, however, is readily apparent if one looks to the partially redacted text of Rear Admiral Buzby’s declaration.
So copious evidence of war crimes exists in the possession of the perpetrators, if they are not seized soon and investigated (and impeachment of the Commander in Chief and the co-conspirators in creating the legal ‘gray ‘ framework for torture and the medical professionals who also took part) then they get away with war crimes previously the United States has convicted people for. And the journey into the abyss continues.
There are key stages in a descent into this depravity, points at which the correct action, pressure applied, leverage utilised can turn course, points that once you go beyond it becomes much harder to change course. Iraq was a key one, a tipping point of the project and let’s forget the 911 excuses, it was planned before that, the warrantless wiretap program began before that, American torture manuals were written before that. All the tools were available, the empire was already far reaching and corrupt when the Bush project took power through his brother’s state Florida and a biased packed Supreme Court. And with the means, the motive & the opportunity, they got to work. Time to make some choices people. Time for action.