Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 3/2/2009

Mar 2, 2009 3:27pm

TAPPER:  Two questions, one on AIG and one on CIA.  AIG, is the administration confident that it — that it knows what happened to the tens of billions of dollars previously given to AIG?
   
GIBBS:  Is it confident — I’m sorry?

TAPPER:  That they know — that you guys know what happened to the previous billions before you hand over this next $30 billion.
   
GIBBS:  Yes — yes, the — I mean, I don’t think it’s a — well, obviously, you’ve got a huge insurance company that is losing money, not the least of which because of its sheer size and sheer size and decrease in the growth in our economy.  It experiences a far bigger drop, largely because of its size. But, again, the steps that — that Treasury and — and others took were to ensure a larger systemic problem wasn’t one that we had to deal with here today in letting something just die.
   
TAPPER:  But in terms of specifically the — I guess it’s like $150 billion before, you guys are confident…
   

GIBBS:  Yes.
   
TAPPER:  … that you know where — OK.   In terms of the CIA, there’s news today that the CIA destroyed — before President Obama took office — about 92 tapes of interrogations.  What’s the reaction from the president to this news? And will you guys be trying to find out what happened exactly and perhaps pursuing criminal charges?
   
GIBBS:  Well, I have not spoken with the president specifically since the news report came around a little while ago.  Someone did tell me as part of this that, because this came out in a criminal case, that there is a — a pledge to turn over documentation and — and reasoning around this that will be done.  And the president will get a chance to look at some of that. Obviously — obviously, this is a — the development is — is not good.  It’s sad.  And I think the leadership in Mr. Panetta and certainly under the guise of this new administration, we want to give the — the people that work at the CIA the tools they need to keep us safe, but do so in a way that also protects our values. I think that’s why the president outlined so quickly a change in interrogation policies and — and said once and for all that torture is not the policy of this country.

– jpt

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