Mother Jones has advanced the story of an alleged bid by the Bushies to destroy a memo, written by a top state department lawyer, that offered an alternative view on the legality of torture.
Last month, as we noted, Philip Zelikow, a top lawyer for Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, wrote that the Bush White House “attempted to collect and destroy all copies” of the memo. But he hadn’t said who at the White House he suspected of being behind that effort.
Now, the muckraking mag reports:
Zelikow tells Mother Jones that he doesn’t know for sure who in the White House ordered the suppression of his memo, but he says that his “supposition at the time” was that the office of Vice President Dick Cheney was behind the cover-up. In an email exchange with Mother Jones, Zelikow notes that Cheney’s office did not have the authority to request that his memo be deep-sixed: “They didn’t run the interagency process. Such a request would more likely have come from the White House Counsel’s office or from NSC staff.” But that request did not reach him in written form. “It was conveyed to me, and I ignored it,” Zelikow recalls. But he suspected that Team Cheney was probably behind it.