Biden: I don't trust the Justice Department to investigate itself over destroyed CIA interrogation tapes
"I don't have confidence in the President, I don't have confidence in the Vice President, and I don't have confidence in the Justice Department. That's as simple as I can put it."
Senator, Foreign Relations Committee chairman and 2008 presidential hopeful Joseph Biden (D-DE) says to CNN's Wolf Blitzer that special counsel is needed to oversee the investigation into the destruction of 2002 CIA interrogation tapes to avoid a conflict of interest.
The Bush Administration has said that, while they were ordered to safeguard evidence of torture and abuse of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the recordings in question didn't fall under the rule, as the interrogations in question were performed at secret CIA prisons before the two suspects were transported to Guantanamo.
The very people that are accused of destroying the tapes should not be trusted to oversee themselves, says Biden. He rejects the argument that independent counsel would compromise whatever internal investigation the Bush Administration, especially an Attorney General who refuses to clarify his position on the widely criticized interrogation practice known as "waterboarding," is planning, as head of a heavily scandalized and politicized Justice Department.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has already been stonewalled by Attorney General Mukasey on the matter.
"This calls for a--totally independent forum, which the law calls for, to find out what happened here," says Biden, "because there are criminal charges that are likely to flow."
No one knows how high up the chain the investigation could go, says the Senator.
Video of the exchange, as broadcast on CNN's Late Edition on December 16, 2007, is available to view below.