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CIA admits it destroyed 92 interrogation tapes


While it has been known for some time that the CIA had destroyed tapes of interrogations with terrorism suspects, the Monday news that 92 videotapes had been destroyed by the agency was still shocking.

The CIA acknowledged the number of tape erasures in a letter filed by government lawyers in New York. The letter was filed in response to an ongoing lawsuit from the the American Civil Liberties Union that is seeking more details of terror interrogation programs.

The ACLU has responded to the news that 92 videotapes were destroyed with calls for a “prompt finding of contempt" from the judge against the CIA.

Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU and counsel on the case said to Raw Story, “The large number of video tapes destroyed confirms that this was a systemic attempt to evade court orders.”

The letter was submitted when the court's stay of consideration of the ACLU's contempt motion expired on Feb. 28. John Durham, the acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, who is conducting the criminal investigation into the destruction of any interrogation tapes, did not request an additional stay.

According to the letter, which can be viewed here, the CIA is now gathering information in response to the Court’s order to provide a list identifying and describing each of the destroyed records as well as transcripts or summaries from any of the destroyed records and the names of any witnesses who may have viewed the videotapes before their destruction. The CIA requested that it be given until March 6 to provide the court with a timeline for its response to the requested information.

In December 2007, the ACLU filed a motion to hold the CIA in contempt for its destruction of videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of prisoners in violation of a court order requiring the agency to produce or identify all the requested records. That motion is still pending, according to a release from the ACLU.

The ACLU contends that the tapes should have been identified and processed for the ACLU in response to its FOIA request seeking information on the treatment and interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody.

The tapes became a contentious issue in the trial of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, after prosecutors initially claimed no such recordings existed, then acknowledged two videotapes and one audiotape had been made.

This latest news of CIA tape erasures dovetails into Senate plans to hold a review of the agency's detention and interrogation program. The Senate Intelligence Committee plans to investigate whether the steps taken by the CIA to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects were properly authorized.


With AP.

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that lawsuits like this one produce more evidence than senators running their mouths on Wednesday produces? I want in.

expand the investigation of the special counsel who was supposedly looking into this?

They're putting up quite the fight. I think that's a good sign that we might be making progress. I'm far from cashing in. Thanks again, Mr. Swanson.

DonP With the tapes destroyed the most that can occur is the CIA (amorphous govt agency) will be held in contempt. A meaning less statement by the court and totally devoid of any real consequence. However, if the tapes had been submitted and revealed acts of torture and could be used to reveal the identities of the interrogators actual consequences could have ensued. Therefore it is to the benefit of the CIA and the Justice Department to destroy all tapes, photos or other incriminating evidence which might be sought by litigants. No court in the U.S. is ever going to hold actual human beings criminally responsible for these actions. A win win for the bad guys.

The cannons have now been swiveled on their capstans and are now pointing inward towards us. All secret police eventually degrade and become corrupt with their powers of spying and creating planned chaos. When you go through presidents yet keep them around in permanent power, it's inevitable. And what to do with the ones you purge and are disgruntled? They who were designed to be our supreme protectors have gone rogue and may be the ultimate downfall of our Democracy. Time will tell. The time is nigh on taking this to the streets in full force. I'm steeling myself on selling off most of my possessions and make this my life's work; for whatever that may be worth. Peace.

for the foia to go through,also I believe we knew of desroyed tapes before dec 2007. Does anybody know? chris dorsey rva4peace

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