December 9th, 2007
05:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Biden calls for Special Counsel to investigate CIA

Joe Biden says the Justice Department needs to appoint a Special Counsel.

(CNN)–Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, says the Justice Department needs to go further than it has, by calling for the appointment of Special Counsel to investigate the CIA's destruction of videotapes that included the interrogation of terrorism suspects.

“Under federal law, the Attorney General may appoint a Special Counsel to prosecute matters when he or she determines that an investigation by the Department itself would present a conflict of interest, or there are other extraordinary circumstances and it would be in the public interest to do so. I believe these conditions are met," the Democratic presidential hopeful said in a news release Sunday.

“This is a White House that has sanctioned and pushed for the kind of interrogation techniques captured on those video tapes," Biden said. "This is a White House that was informed of the CIA’s desire to destroy those tapes. Thus, it is possible this investigation could lead to the White House."

On Saturday, a Department of Justice official announced the Justice Department and CIA will do a preliminary inquiry into the spy agency's destruction of videotapes taken during interrogations of two al Qaeda suspects.

The announcement was made in a letter from Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein to the CIA's acting general counsel, John Rizzo. Wainstein said the purpose of the probe will be to determine "whether further investigation is warranted."

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Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. chris

    Before you can figure out the CIA, you need to figure out Water into Wine at a wedding. Duh.

    December 9, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. chris

    (^) oh one more thing.

    December 9, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Patty, somewhere

    There just doesn't seem to be much confidence inspired in the outcome when you know those accused of committing possible crimes may be investigating themselves. Why don't they just say they are innocent now and save us all a lot of problems waiting for they are innocent later?

    December 9, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |


    Again KUDOS to Sen. Joe for demanding that Blame be assigned to the symptoms before we Fix the Problem.

    I love to see Congress waste more of OUR TIME, OUR TAX-DOLLARS, and OUR PATIENCE while they each try to assign blame to the other as they attempt to gain dignity in the process!!!

    BTW, Joe, what Law School did you learn this at? I don't think the Syracuse University College of Law teaches this.

    One more thing Joe... Stop beating that Anti-Bush drum, even the natives are getting tired of it! Please in the future try to be more pertinent and topical to the moment, and to what the issues really are in this Country that you seem to forget is paying Your Mortgage!

    If you need help with this, contact Chris in Middletown, Ct; or Bernard, Scotch Plains, NJ; or Amy, WA; or Schratboy, Boulder CO: or really ANYONE Joe. Hey if you call up Jack Cafferty, i bet he would be happy to offer you some pointers!

    You are the LONGEST RUNNING SENATOR from Delaware in HISTORY, so please, act accordingly!

    December 9, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    CIA Spooks working hand and hand with there government? A comfortable little agreement I'm sure? If Biden thinks he's gonna crack these guys up, your crazy. These people carry cyanide tablets, to avoid giving information. Hayden is a carefully guided lapdog. The media needs to let this one drop, before the bottom falls out on them. I'd hate to see another good reporter, blackmailed for their loose lips.

    December 9, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Haven't the Republicans learned anything in 35 years? #1...DON'T make tapes (with Watergate it was audio, now its video) of yourself doing things that are legally or ethically questionable and #2 the destruction of these tapes are a vitual admission of guilt, regardless of how you spin it. (Nixon tried to spin "executive privelege", now the Bush administration is trying "national security").

    Further, considering the Justice Department apparently approved of these techniques, if there was any doubt until now about whether Gonzalez was a frightening Attorney General...this should settle the issue.

    December 9, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Walt, Belton, TX

    Pretty strong comments and implications coming from the senator of least respect.

    December 9, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. David, SC

    Joe, it is time for you to retire. You want to spend american tax-payers money to have another special counsel. It is better for you to say I am anti-Bush so I will do anything to spend public money. You are a real hypocrite. You should know that although you are one of the presidential candidates, you have no credible support. Just go away, senator. Do no waste our money.

    December 9, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. david,newton,iowa

    I trully feel American again. Thank you Lord for having such people like Oprah and Obama. I strongly believe if we don't have Obama in this race, people could be divided and down like they have been the last seven years. Go Oprah,go Obama!

    December 9, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. George,Md

    That is why we need change Mr. Biden, that is why we are choosing Obama because we won't have such incidencies to start with!

    December 9, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. dilmont

    This will show us if Mukasy is independent as he claims or anothe Bush puppet. Since he wouldn't give a straight answer about torture during the confirmation – I'm going with puppet.

    December 9, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Wyatt Medford,Oregon

    Biden a true leader and I hope the next president of the USA.

    December 9, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Biden Backer/Seattle

    the man

    December 9, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Jeb, Austin, Tx

    Of course. Yet another distraction from the current failures of Congress.

    December 9, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. cicilia,nashua,nh

    Joe, we are talking about Oprah and Obama this weekend. We know Bush has a pass and is not accountable to anything. Please stop wasting our time......

    December 9, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Ben Marble, M.D. Long Beach, Ms.

    So let's recap...

    Dubya Gump approves new methods of 'extreme interrogation' including waterboarding

    The CIA decides to cover their bums by videotaping the new techniques in action

    Dubya Gump continues to say 'we don't torture'

    John McCain says "WATERBOARDING IS TORTURE" and suddenly a few days later we find out the videotapes of that TORTURE were destroyed....?
    hmmm sounds like a real mystery to me.....
    PS Dick + Bush = Screwed so let's stop getting screwed IMPEACH NOW!

    December 9, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Richard,newheaven,ct

    No more scenics anymore. we need our country back! I am no longer paying attention to these guys......

    December 9, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. H Lorden, Chicao, Il

    I disagree with there being a need for any investigation of the CIA destroying videos of waterboarding. We do not need to repeat the travesties of the multiple displays of pics from Abu Ghraid. If Sheik Mohammed was subjected to water-boarding, I say "good". Let's separate plotical ambitions for presidential elections from what's right for this country. We need to defend America!

    December 9, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Lee Columbus Ohio

    This read like a big cover up, On top of that why now are we finding out about this , After two years of more cover ups,, Look like a lot of stuff is going to come out soon, The sad part, I don't think they will do any thing, Still these people need to be put in jail

    December 9, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Senator Biden is right. A Special Counsel is warranted.

    He is also looking more and more Presidential as the time ticks by. If not President then Vice-President.

    He is a patriotic American and a strong no-nonsense leader. If he were the nominee I would vote for him.

    December 9, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. Adam, Clearwater, FL

    The headline on the CNN hompage reads "Dem wants CIA tape destruction probed".

    CNN is meticulous about keeping Senator Biden's name off the front page. How about:

    "Biden wants CIA tape destruction probed"

    December 9, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Andy, New York, New York

    I want a special investigator to probe the Democrats in Congress who have spent the better part of the past eight years playing 'gotcha politics' with the Bush administration, wasting millions of tax payers dollars and coming up empty on every probe they conducted so far. Really, how can anyone take the Dems seriously if they can't see how out of touch with reality they have been? There is no law that states the tapes should be kept, so if they were destroyed to protect the CIA covert operatives, and the Dems are more interested in a non-legal issue rather than helping protect our guys, then the Dems are the ones who need to be probed for their sense of duty. Who are they working for? The terrorists? No law was broken. Now, Mr. Biden, go run for president and lose like the loser you already are!

    December 9, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. Former US Army Officier, Kansas

    It is a shame that Seantor Biden needs to be the first to call for a Special Counsel to investigate the extistance and destruction of tapes that could very well have been used on crimminal prosecution of those invovled in say 13 months.

    However, this matter should be in the for front of agenda items for both parties in the Congress, we are no longer dealing with a matter that can be called political bickering. This matter has elevated to a violation of federal law, destruction of evidence, covering up a violation of federal law, covering up international war crimes.

    A totally independent Counsel to investigate the matter is totally appropriate, but unfortunetly at this time a investigation into this matter shall not be completed during this admistration. However, it must be done reguardless of the time frame.

    December 9, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. Laura Tulsa OK

    No wonder they don't get anything done in Washington. They're too busy investigating each other. It's not just the Democratic party, but both political sides in this country spend so much taxpayer money and time on these inquests, it's discouraging to the voters/taxpayers.

    December 9, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. Juan, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Oh give me a break! The Washington Post is reporting that Nancy Pelosi herself was well aware of waterboarding back in 2002 and never raised any concerns.

    CNN won't carry that story, and they will most certainly take this comment down.

    December 9, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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