A C.I.A. officer directly involved in the 2005 decision to destroy interrogation videotapes and who once ran one of the agency’s secret prisons has ascended to the top position within the C.I.A.’s clandestine service. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/us/officer-tied-to-tapes-destruction-moves-up-in-cia.html?ref=world The officer, who spent years working inside the agency’s Counterterrorist Center and once was in charge of a so-called black site, played a role in developing the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program. The destruction of dozens of C.I.A. interrogation tapes, documenting the interrogations of Qaeda operatives Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in a secret C.I.A. detention facility in Thailand, was one of the most controversial episodes of the past decade. The Justice Department undertook an investigation into the matter after the destruction of the tapes was disclosed in late 2007, but no C.I.A. officers were criminally charged. She now leads — called the National Clandestine Service — is responsible for all C.I.A. espionage operations and covert action programs. The head of the clandestine service is one of the most coveted jobs in the C.I.A., and has never before been run by a woman.The years since the Sept. 11 attacks have transformed the C.I.A., and a whole generation of clandestine officers are rising through the agency’s ranks who have more training in hunting, capturing and killing terror suspects than in typical spying work like recruiting foreign agents to spy against their governments for the United States.
The destruction of the tapes was ordered by Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who at the time was the head of the agency’s clandestine service. The officer was serving as Mr. Rodriguez’s chief of staff, and several former C.I.A. officers said she was a strong advocate for getting rid of the tapes, which had been sitting for years inside a safe in the agency’s station in Bangkok. “She and Jose were the two main drivers for years for getting the tapes destroyed,” said one former senior C.I.A. officer.
The C.I.A. and its controversial past is managing a formal response to a 6,000-page investigative report by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The report, which remains classified, is said to document a pattern of exaggerations and false statements by C.I.A. officers to the White House and Congress about the efficacy of the interrogation program.