Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) just released a formal announcement confirming our report Monday that his Senate Judiciary subcommittee would hear testimony on May 13 about torture from former FBI agent Ali Soufan and ex-State Department aide Philip Zelikow. Specifically, a press release says the hearing will focus on “the legal analysis used to authorize harsh interrogation techniques, the ineffectiveness of those techniques, and the standards governing lawyers’ professional conduct applicable to those who authorized the procedures.” (That should dovetail nicely with the Justice Department’s soon-to-be-released quasi-rebuke to the Bush administration’s torture lawyers, which Daphne has been writing about.)
But say you can’t wait until next Wednesday. Over at Mother Jones, David Corn and Nick Baumann asked Zelikow who he thinks orchestrated the suppression and destruction of his 2005 State Department memo arguing against the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” regime. Zelikow’s answer is out of left field:
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.
I know, right? More curveballs than Zack Greinke.