CIA Destroyed Videos of Interrogations

Move could raise obstruction-of-justice issues for agency
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2007 6:04 PM CST
CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations, Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, in New York. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The CIA destroyed in 2005 videotapes showing the harsh interrogation of at least two terrorism suspects, the New York Times reports. The destruction could raise serious legal issues if the CIA is shown to have withheld tapes from federal prosecutors and the 9/11 commission. The tapes included the 2002 questioning of suspected al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, who was subjected to waterboarding.

CIA chief Gen. Michael Hayden said the agency destroyed the tapes to protect the identities of undercover agents involved in the interrogations; sources told the Times it was done to protect agents from legal risk. One member of the 9/11 commission, which requested all such information, called the revelation "a very big deal" and said it could amount to obstruction of justice.