Adviser says Bush admin collected, destroyed dissenting views on torture
David Edwards and John Byrne
Published: Wednesday April 22, 2009

Print This  Email This

A onetime senior adviser to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the Bush Administration collected and destroyed memos by top officials arguing that torture methods used on detainees were wrong.

Philip Zelikow, former counselor at the State Department and a trusted adviser and deputy to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, revealed the allegation in Foreign Policy Tuesday. He expanded on his remarks in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Tuesday night.

Zelikow says he was told to destroy copies of his own memo arguing against the torture techniques ultimately approved by the Bush Administration, and averred that his views against the torture techniques was shared by his Rice, his boss. But he believes some copies of the dissenting torture memos still exist.

"I mean, we're trying to collect these and destroy them, and you have a copy, don't you?" Zelikow told Maddow. "But I know copies that were retained in my building, and as I mentioned, Secretary Rice understood what I was doing on her behalf. I was her agent in these matters. And the -- so I think copies still exist."

"Why would they destroy them?" he added. "That's a question they'll have to answer."

"Am I right in thinking that they would want to erase any evidence of the existence of a dissenting view within the administration because it would undercut the legal authority of the advice in those memos, the advice that those techniques would be legal?" Maddow asked.

"That is what I thought at the time," Zelikow replied. "I had the same reaction you did. But I don't know why they wanted to do it."

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Apr. 21, 2009.

Download video via

Get Raw exclusives as they break -- Email & mobile
Email - Never spam: