White House Mum on CIA Tapes

Perino told not to discuss matter with press
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2007 4:49 PM CST
Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington during a confirmation hearing on his nomination to be deputy director of national intelligence in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Lawyers have advised the White House spokeswoman not to discuss the CIA’s destruction of interrogation videotapes with the press. “I think that’s appropriate, and I’ll adhere to it,” Dana Perino said today of the administration lawyers' gag order. The White House typically stops commenting once inquiries are under way, the AP reports; Justice and the CIA are invstigating.

Perino deflected a question about the White House "wall of silence" and repeated her assertion that President Bush had no knowledge of the tapes—their existence or their destruction—until last week. Meanwhile, attorneys for a Yemeni detainee allege the erasing violated a 2005 court order to "preserve and maintain all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees."