Dec 24,2007 00:00
WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Sept. 11 commission Monday criticized the CIA, accusing the U.S. spy agency of interfering with the panel's work.
Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean told CNN the CIA should have turned over tapes of agents interrogating suspected terrorists with "enhanced" techniques, including waterboarding. The CIA earlier this month admitted destroying several tapes and the admission has prompted a series of investigations.
"I'm not a lawyer and I'm not sure if they broke the law or not," Kean said. "But what they did do is, I think, try to impede our investigation, because we asked for legitimate -- anything to do with those detainees, because they were the ones who knew most about the plot of 9/11 and that was our mandate. And we asked the CIA for everything having to do with those and we asked them not on one occasion but three and four and five and six occasions, and those tapes were not made available to us."
Kean said CIA arguments that the Sept. 11 commission didn't specifically request the tapes amounts to "parsing" its words.
"We asked for every single thing that they had," Kean stated. "And then my vice chairman, Lee Hamilton, looked the director of the CIA in the face, and said, 'Look, even if we haven't asked for something, if it's pertinent to our investigation, make it available to us.' And our staff asked again and again of their staff and the tapes were not given to us."
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