Thursday, December 20, 2007

First subpoena issued in CIA videotapes case

WASHINGTON - A House of Representatives committee issued a subpoena Thursday for Jose Rodriguez, a former CIA official who directed that secret interrogation videotapes be destroyed.

The House intelligence committee ordered Rodriguez, former head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, to appear Jan. 16 for a hearing. The Democratic committee chairman, Silvestre Reyes, said Rodriguez "would like to tell his story, but his counsel has advised us that a subpoena would be necessary."

The CIA also cracked open its files to congressional investigators Thursday, inviting them to the agency's headquarters in suburban Virginia to begin reviewing documents and records related to the tapes.

House intelligence committee staff members want to know who authorized the tapes' destruction; who in the CIA, Justice Department and White House knew about it, and when; and why Congress was not fully informed. The committee, which had threatened to subpoena the records if its investigators were not given access this week, also wants to know exactly what was shown on the tapes that documented harsh interrogations of two al-Qaida suspects in 2002. The CIA destroyed the tapes in 2005.

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