Thursday, January 17, 2008


Rodriguez had no authority to destroy tapes

Rizzo testifies in closed session
Representative Peter Hoekstra, Republican of Michigan, said Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service at the time, had not “gotten authority from anyone” to destroy the tapes. “Matter of fact, it appears that he got direction to make sure the tapes were not destroyed,” he said.

Mr. Hoekstra spoke after hearing testimony from John A. Rizzo, the C.I.A.’s top lawyer, who addressed the committee on Wednesday during a closed session lasting nearly four hours. Mr. Hoekstra did not provide details, including who may have told Mr. Rodriguez not to destroy the tapes. The lawmaker said it was important to have Mr. Rodriguez testify before the committee to get his version of events.

A lawyer for Mr. Rodriguez, Robert S. Bennett, challenged Mr. Hoekstra’s comments about what agency officials told his client. “Nobody, to our knowledge, ever instructed him not to destroy the tapes,” Mr. Bennett said. “Had the director or deputy director or general counsel told him not to destroy the tapes, they would not have been destroyed.” here

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