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. mike,coarsegold,cal

    Justice Department should investigate Sandy Berger first.

    December 9, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. Pippen, Arlington VA

    "Special Counsel" – The use of millions of taxpayer dollars solely for political gain.

    Mr. Biden, return to your usual activities of plagiarizing speeches and polling at 3% please.

    December 9, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. frank tulso ok

    We have nothing to hide, we don't toture, don't lie, and we don't stick our nose where it doesn't belong. What you see is not reality. Get over it!!!!!


    December 9, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. Ba Gua Zhang, Chico, CA is possible this investigation could lead to the White House." As well as several other matters of consequence, yet no one has pursued it. Talk is cheap!

    December 9, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. Nick, Chicago, IL

    I am fearful when the dems are tougher on the CIA and our President than on terrorists. Particulalry given their lead in the polls. God help us all.

    December 9, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Hung Trinh

    The democrat is a fool. CIA primary goal is to protect U.S.A interest and defeat our enemies. Why our ememies having more rights than our people?

    December 9, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Helen, NY

    Ben Marble MD,

    You must be a member of SOROS party and moveondotorg. Get lost... You are obsessed with media including CNN and you want to impeach our president. Have a life... I wonder CNN will publish this one..

    December 9, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. Jon N., Arvada, CO

    the democrats knew about this for quite some time.. but only now is it convenient to feign outrage.


    December 9, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  9. Jim


    December 9, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. P.D. Bristol, PA

    I can't beleive how some people are reacting to this story. This administration is by far, the worst I have ever witnessed in my 41 years! The fact that people are actually advacating torture is stunning. Even my father, who voted for Bush in 2004, cannot beleive the sheer arrogance and imcompetence of Bush and his enablers.

    December 9, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. Niel, Orchard Park, NY.

    Apparently, the only thing the Dems can do in Congress, is to call for a special prosecuter – the gazillionth time in the last 30 year. Never get tired of gotcha politics do they?

    December 9, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  12. john williams san diego, ca.

    in Sep.2002, nancy pelosi was given a virtual tour of CIA detention sites and harsh techniques used. No formal objections were raised about the severe methods used during 2002-2003 when waterboarding was used and Pelosi was on the oversight committee. She now declines to comment directly on the classified breifings..Typical power driven Liberal.

    December 9, 2007 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  13. Brian Tampa, FL

    Biden is looking for a bump in the polls. Why do our own people {Democrats} always try to hang the men trying to protect us and try to make everything political. The White House told them not to destroy the tapes this has nothing to do with politics but old Joe wants to keep the dream alive for a few more weeks and if making mountains out of mole hills can accomplish that for him, he is all in. Pathetic!

    December 9, 2007 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. Derek, Toronto, ON

    It's not at all about whether or not torture was used as the reason why these tapes were destroyed.

    It's about eliminating the evidence which Zubaydah provided, incriminating the Saudi, Pakistani, and U.S. intelligence services in orchestrating 9/11.

    The Bush administration is doing all it can to hide the evidence of its criminal culpability.

    They WANT you to believe that it's about torture, when it's not. Don't let them mislead you any more!

    Also, interesting that this story comes out immediately following Bush's contradictory statements about Iran and the NIE... Trying to change the subject are we?

    December 9, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. SergioPL, Sacramento, CA

    Waterboarding is nothing compared to all the monstrosities committed by those people (decapitations, lynching, bombings, etc.)

    Waterboarding is torture? Great! All those who want to destroy our families deserve to be punished.

    We have reached a point where "political correctness" has become more important than "correctness" itself. Those who believe that terrorists should be treated well, shouldn't be considered real Americans.

    December 9, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. Walt, Belton, TX

    More sleazeball politics by the head sleaze....

    December 9, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Defending America does not imply to do wrong and torture is wrong.

    December 9, 2007 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  18. Bob Delaware OH

    Seriously, if the CIA hasnt gotten Osama by now, they lost whatever chance they had. I dont believe in second chances, either lol.

    December 9, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  19. Rivas, San Marcos, TX

    This isn't even the tip of the iceberg. This Administration has been operating with impugnity from the start, and if there is a special counsel to investigate, that counselor should be given a wide berth, because there's a whole lot more to this than meets the eye. Abusing our troops, lying to the nation, then making poor attempts to cover it up and then lie about the lies...ENOUGH!!! Impeach, THEN prosecute!!!

    December 9, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  20. Ron Nebraska

    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

    It's only ok to not protect CIA operatives when petty political revenge is the motive isn't it?

    December 9, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Andy, Evansville, IN

    The political grandstanding that's going on is absolutely disgusting. Turns out key Democrats were well versed on the operations and interrogation techniques utilized by the CIA since 2002. Some even questioned if they were going far enough. Now, when they can make political hay of it, they stand on their self-righteous soap boxes and spout their anti=Bush rhetoric. The sad part is much of the population now believes that nonsense too...leading to a very divided country. Thanks a lot Biden!!

    December 9, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. Jaik , chicago, IL

    I find it amazing that anyone could suggest otherwise ! The GOP stance is that the CIA should do an internal investigation ...on a cover up and destruction of evidence charge done to avoid investigation ? thats like asking Nixon to handle Watergate investigations.

    December 9, 2007 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  23. JC Topeka, KS

    There are fools out there. Committing crimes, suspension of civil and human rights, limiting access to the courts and denying legal representaion in the fantasy of providing security are not protecting anyone. Benjamin Franklin once warned the Continential congress as they debated what to do to reconsile with King George, he told them to be warry of giving up basic civil rights in the name of security, or they might awake one morning and discover that they have neither.

    Toture, destruction of tapes that should torture and identify interigators is not a poiltical manner, it is not a ball to be used for political advantage by either political parties. It is a significant event, that underscores the moral, and ethicals values that this nation has stood for in the eyes of the world.

    A full non political investigation is called for, truth and justise have never been a waste of money nore time unless you were the party that had something to hide.

    December 10, 2007 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  24. mark wilkes barre pa

    I think Mr biden mis quoted him self when he said " in the public intrest to do so " He meant to say " in the libral intrest to impeach the president " This guy has been out to get Bush for years unsuccessfully to even the score. Republicans had far less on clinton and were able to impeach even if they couldnt get cencors on him. After all the attempts this man has made to get the job done on bush he has failed time after time to make one thing stick. history will decide what this administration did wrong or how it conducted itself , at this point an investigation into this matter would only cost too much money and waste valuable time for no results.

    December 10, 2007 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  25. Independent in IA

    CYA time in the halls of justice, the CIA, FBI and all the other agencies involved in counter-terrorism.

    December 10, 2007 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
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