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No Charges in Destruction of CIA Videotapes

Agency destroyed 92 tapes of suspects being waterboarded
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 9, 2010 4:16 PM CST
No Charges in Destruction of CIA Videotapes
This undated handout photo Abu Zubaydah, one of two suspects who was videotaped while being waterboarded.   ((AP Photo/U.S. Central Command))

A special prosecutor cleared the CIA's former top clandestine officer and others today of any charges for destroying videotapes showing waterboarding of terror suspects. He did, however, continue an investigation into whether the interrogations went beyond legal boundaries. The decision not to prosecute anyone in the videotape destruction came five years to the day after the CIA destroyed its cache of 92 videos of two al-Qaeda operatives, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri, being subjected to waterboarding. The deadline for prosecuting someone under most federal laws is five years.

Jose Rodriguez, who was the CIA's top clandestine officer when the tapes were destroyed, worried that the videos would be devastating to the agency if they ever surfaced and approved their destruction. Rodriguez's order was at odds with years of directives from CIA lawyers and the White House. Rodriguez' lawyer said the department made "the right decision because of the facts and the law" and called his client "a true patriot who only wanted to protect his people and his country." (Read more CIA stories.)

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