Wednesday, March 04, 2009

They just slipped into the shredder

92 times... oops!:

WASHINGTON – The CIA destroyed nearly 100 videotapes of interrogations and other U.S. treatment of terror suspects, far more than previously acknowledged, the Obama administration said Monday as it began disclosing details of post-Sept. 11 Bush-era actions.

The interrogations were a highly contentious issue during the administration of President George W. Bush, with many Democrats and other critics saying that some methods used amounted to torture — a contention Bush and other officials rejected. A criminal prosecutor is wrapping up his investigation in the matter.

Monday's acknowledgment, however, involved a civil lawsuit filed in New York by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking more details of the interrogation programs following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"The CIA can now identify the number of videotapes that were destroyed," said the letter submitted in that case by Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin. "Ninety-two videotapes were destroyed."

It is not clear what exactly was on the recordings. The government's letter cites interrogation videos, but the lawsuit against the Defense Department also seeks records related to treatment of detainees, any deaths of detainees and the CIA's sending of suspects overseas, known as "extraordinary rendition."

At the White House, press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters he hadn't spoken to the president about the report, but called the news about the videotapes "sad," and said Obama was committed to ending torture while also protecting American values.

ACLU attorney Amrit Singh said the CIA should be held in contempt of court for holding back the information for so long.

"The large number of videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency engaged in a systematic attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations and to evade the court's order," Singh said.

For copies I suggest they check the charred remains in Cheney's man-sized safes or in the back of Georgie's sock drawer. It's getting more and more clear they were really into that kind of thing.


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