Though it twice declared otherwise in court, the CIA has three video and audio recordings of high-level al Qaeda interrogations, federal prosecutors revealed yesterday. The defense team for convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui requested the tapes, but the CIA denied their existence. The tapes probably won’t undo Moussaoui’s conviction—the detainees don’t mention him—but could shed light on CIA interrogation techniques.
“So far, there has been great mystery about what was actually done to the high-value detainees,” one former CIA lawyer told McClatchy Newspapers. “A videotape is worth a thousand words.” It’s unclear if the tapes show CIA interrogators or a foreign intelligence service. The CIA said it “discovered” the tapes and gave them to the Justice Department in September.