CIA's Legal Troubles Grow Over Tapes' Destruction

Agency faces growing number of challenges from detainees
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2008 9:24 AM CDT
Protestors demonstrate the use of waterboarding on a volunteer in front of the Justice Department in Washington in this Nov. 5, 2007, file photo.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)
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(Newser) – The CIA's decision to destroy interrogation videotapes to save itself legal trouble is backfiring in a big way, the New York Times reports. Lawyers for more than a dozen detainees have filed challenges citing the destruction of evidence, putting terrorism cases on shaky ground and jeopardizing future prosecutions as well, the Times notes. 

“They thought they were saving themselves from legal scrutiny,” says a former CIA officer, but “they may have created even more problems for themselves.” The agency also faces a criminal investigation and upcoming scrutiny by the House Intelligence Committee. "This is like any other cover-up,” said a lawyer representing detainees. “We’ve only scratched the surface.”