The Justice Department will open a preliminary investigation into the CIA's destruction of videotapes showing the severe interrogation of terrorism suspects, MSNBC reports. The CIA's internal watchdog will do the same. The preliminary probes will determine if broader investigations are warranted. The CIA destroyed the tapes in 2005 against the advice of White House and Justice Department officials and senior members of Congress.
"I welcome this inquiry and the CIA will cooperate fully," said CIA chief Mike Hayden. He has maintained that the agency destroyed the 2002 tapes to protect the agents involved, an excuse called "pathetic" by congressional Democrats. Hundreds of hours of videotapes showed the rough interrogation of two al-Qaeda operatives in the months following the 9/11 attacks.