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. Mia, Bedford, NH

    Allowing our government to torture people... what could possibly go wrong?

    Our nation was founded on torture and secret prisons!

    And Valarie Plame will be glad to know that our rulers are indeed greatly concerned with protecting the identity of our CIA operatives. Starting now.

    December 10, 2007 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  2. WDRussell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    Well isn't that special. A brownshirt wannabe named Andy wants an investigation on the Dems because they don't agree with his lord Bush.
    You will have to imagine what else I have to say , because I wouldn't say it here.

    December 10, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  3. Sue in Michigan

    Wake up, people! The CIA DID break the law, they are covering up for Bush and Cheney, and it is past time for someone, anyone, to call for an investigation.
    To say that the Democrats are harder on Bush than on terrorists is ludicrous...this country supposedly believes in the rights of ALL people (isn't that one reason Bush gave for the war..."to bring democracy to the Iraqui people," he said.) We cannot become terrorists ourselves by permitting torture of ANYONE! That doesn't make us safe; it reduces us to their level, and makes us look weak to the rest of the world. The US is better than that-and torture does not bring truth, as has been proven. Someone being waterboarded will say what you want to hear, not the truth, if they even know it. If you want to be a barbarian, please take your ideas somewhere else. I prefer a civilized society where people who break the law are investigated, and where we try to live by the Golden Rule.
    GO JOE!

    December 10, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  4. Vickie, Columbia, MD

    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 soapboxes 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 10, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  5. Mark, Shreveport, La

    Yeah, the CIA destroys two videotapes of interrogations of terrorists, and we should spend millions of dollars investigating this!

    No wonder we have such a large deficit.

    December 10, 2007 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. Michael Arnaud-Glen Burnie, Maryland

    No laws broken, but Biden and the other Demograts say a special counsel needs to be appointed.

    Once again we see the waste of time by DC insiders. Instead of showing the nation how he would imporve the country if he became President, Biden comes out against the Bush White House for some inane reason. If Biden wants to bring his poll numbers up, try actually doing the job he was voted for and stop jumping on every bandwagon that will get him air time on the tv and space in the papers.

    You really can't get mad at him for it though. Soon all the Dem candidates will be calling for the special counsel and all the Repub candidates will be firing back at them. Welcome to CIVILISED politics.

    December 10, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  7. Terry, Lakeland, FL

    Wonder if Mr Star is around still, he's probably up for wasting a few more million.

    December 10, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Independent in NY

    I think we need to have Biden investigated.

    December 10, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Terry, Lakeland, FL

    Valarie Plame, wasn't an active agent on active missions...there is a big difference between a desk agent and a field agent.

    December 10, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Terry, Lakeland, FL

    No laws were broken. This again is a Dem ploy to try and make noise. Which is about all the Dems have ben able to get done.

    How about a Special Counsel to investigate the removal and destruction of a large about of Documents that show a bad light on Mrs. Clinton.

    December 10, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Would it bother any of you liberals to actually go beyond NPR or MSNBC and do some research and discover that:

    The leading Democrat in the Nation was aware of the tactics – Nancy Pelosi

    ONLY three people have been given this method and two of the three gave up information that SAVED LIVES, possibly even LIBERALS were among those saved.

    Three times and two of them talked, the MSM can't let those FACTS get out as it would confuse the sheep or change the non-sheeps perception.

    These people whose rights you all so cherish do not fall under the Geneva convention rules.

    These people would not think twice about CUTTING YOUR FOOL HEAD OFF or your INNOCENT CHILDREN and while they are doing it, you can explain to them "how you understand them" and "it is not their fault".

    Maybe we should sit them down and have "teas and cookies" and then they will tell us everything.

    Hillary can make the teas and bake he cookies.... actually, she can't.

    Waterboarding SIMULATES drowning, cutting your head off with a DULL blade REALLY HAPPENS.

    December 10, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Al Stanley Niceville FL

    Joe, is that a halo around your head in this snapshot?

    December 10, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Gene, Lawton, OK

    I think we all know this would go nowhere. the CIA is so corrupt. they are the ones that started and bankrolled al-Queda in the first place.

    December 10, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Dem from Feigned Outrage Land

    Eureka! I’ve got a great idea!

    Let’s hold some useless, politically-motivated hearings during an election year and investigate the snot out of the CIA AND the FBI. Then, in response, let’s hamstring them with endless additional rules, regulations, caviats, “Gorlick walls” and bureaucratic shackles. Then, after the NEXT 9/11 happens, we can hold another set of useless, politically-motivated hearings to determine why the intelligence-gathering apparatus did NOT stop the attack.

    Genius!

    It’s the CIA’s job to do unsavory, yet necessary, things and lie to us about it. Those who believe one can make an omelet without breaking eggs are destined to starve.

    December 10, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Funny – theres always someone to blame for everything. Keep in mind – the same group that targeted the United States "gave" us additional information on twarting future attacks – and if we didn't utilize such tactics...maybe we wouldn't of stopped them.....you have the bleeding hearts (same people who would release a serial rapist because they didn't read him miranda) – a baffling group of angry (most likely vegan) left wing Democrats....neither the CIA or the FBI has ever answered to a group of politicians...ever

    December 10, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Robert, Vivian, LA

    And this effects me how?

    December 10, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Marc, Lafayette CA

    Yeah, the CIA destroys two videotapes of interrogations of terrorists, and we should spend millions of dollars investigating this!

    No wonder we have such a large deficit.

    Posted By Mark, Shreveport, La : December 10, 2007 8:51 am

    Nice try Mark. The reason we have such a large deficit is because Bush has us involved in a sensless war that has cost taxpayers ~$450 Billion while lowering income taxes on the upper class.

    Seriously, nice try though. Better luck next time.

    December 10, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. Terry, Lakeland, FL

    Nice try Mark. The reason we have such a large deficit is because Bush has us involved in a sensless war that has cost taxpayers ~$450 Billion while lowering income taxes on the upper class.

    Seriously, nice try though. Better luck next time.

    Posted By Marc, Lafayette CA : December 10, 2007 11:43 am

    Wait bush lowered taxes on me....that must mean I'm rich....YAAAAAAAAA...no wait, I'm not rich...hold on how come my income taxes got lowered....wait that's because bush DIDN'T lower taxes only on the rich....good try Marc, wrong again, but it was a good try!!

    December 10, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Pat, Sacramento, CA

    So your taxes are "lower"? Does that offset the increase in the price of gas, insurance premiums, health care costs, housing, food, etc.?

    I would personally prefer higher taxes on the income I had before Bush took office and the lower cost of living.

    December 10, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Williams, Salt Lake City, Utah

    We should investigate Mr Biden. He is a rodant.

    December 10, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Jill, MN

    Terry in Lakeland, You believe too much liberal media spin. You wouldn't complain about tax breaks for the upper class if you were one of them. And, the war is necessary but you just don't understand yet. Maybe IF a democat wins the presidency, and plays the same old appeasement tune as before, we'll be attacked again and then you'll see. Some wars are necessary-this is one of them. Guess what. Our family takes in $40,000 a year and we're doin just fine; it's a matter of priorities.

    December 10, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Maybe he should send in Joe Wilson..

    December 10, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Terry, Lakeland, FL

    So your taxes are "lower"? Does that offset the increase in the price of gas, insurance premiums, health care costs, housing, food, etc.?

    I would personally prefer higher taxes on the income I had before Bush took office and the lower cost of living.

    Posted By Pat, Sacramento, CA : December 10, 2007 2:29 pm
    AS to the dems plan, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes.

    Wait is there any plan the dems have put forth that doesn't require they raise taxes? If they take over soon buying gas will be the least of our problems.

    December 11, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. Kristy Sanborn, Buckhorn, Mo.

    Here we go again, another attempt to waste time and money, but hey, it gives us all something to watch on the news!
    This candidate made some pretty strong accusations, hope he can back them up.
    Or it will just turn out like all the other attempts when some people testified and the ones who initiated the investigations like on Mr. Gonzales, didn't have the facts to back up their accusations.
    Interesting.

    December 11, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Marc, Lafayette CA

    Terry, Lakeland Florida. NICE TRY! You really do think you're smart don't you? Well I think you're funny...so that's something anyway.

    Here are some facts you apparently don't know about your hero Bush's tax cuts:

    • Over the ten-year period, the richest Americans—the best-off one percent—are slated to receive tax cuts totaling almost half a trillion dollars. The $477 billion in tax breaks the Bush administration has targeted to this elite group will average $342,000 each over the decade.

    •By 2010, when (and if) the Bush tax reductions are fully in place, an astonishing 52 percent of the total tax cuts will go to the richest one percent—whose average 2010 income will be $1.5 million. Their tax-cut windfall in that year alone will average $85,000 each. Put another way, of the estimated $234 billion in tax cuts scheduled for the year 2010, $121 billion will go just 1.4 million taxpayers.

    •Although the rich have already received a hefty down payment on their Bush tax cuts—averaging just under $12,000 each this year—80 percent of their windfall is scheduled to come from tax changes that won’t take effect until after this year, mostly from items that phase in after 2005.

    PLEASE IF YOU HAVE FACTS TO DISPUTE THIS THEN POST THEM.

    Otherwise you are just a sounding board for Fox News...and arrogant to boot.

    December 11, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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