House Subpoenas Top Ex-Spy

Lawmakers seek explanation for why he had tapes destroyed
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2007 4:20 AM CST
Abu Zubaydah, one of the two al Qaeda suspects whose interrogation was shown on the destroyed tapes. He reportedly broke after a 35 second session of simulated drowning. (AP Photo/U.S. Central Command)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The former head of the CIA's clandestine service has been subpoenaed to testify about the destruction of  videotapes of the harsh interrogations of two al-Qaeda suspects. The subpoena for Jose Rodriguez was issued after the House Intelligence Committee staff studied documents on the interrogations that the CIA had surrendered to the panel. Rodriguez may seek immunity in exchange for his testimony.

President Bush was questioned yesterday about the tapes and appeared to acknowledge that disclosures about controversial interrogations could damage America's reputation. “I don’t want people to get the wrong impression of our country, but I’m not surprised we get criticized on a variety of fronts,” he said. The president stressed, however, that he only learned recently that the tapes had been destroyed.