Release of Documents Showing Timing of CIA Destruction of Torture Tapes

Friday, December 04, 2009

Destruction of the CIA tapes revealing the torture of detainees came immediately after news accounts reported the existence of secret prisons overseas, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU says CIA cables dated November 8 and 9, 2005, show field agents asking permission from CIA headquarters in Washington to destroy the 92 tapes, and another dated November 9 confirms their destruction. On November 2, The Washington Post had first reported the existence of CIA “black sites” where suspected terrorists were interrogated. On November 9, The New York Times wrote that the CIA’s inspector general had questioned the legality of the torture program.

The ACLU is presently suing the CIA to force it to disclose all documents related to its torture program, and it is asking a federal court to find the agency in contempt for destroying the tapes. The CIA reportedly has 3,000 summaries, transcripts, reconstructions and memoranda relating to the tapes that have not been released on grounds of national security.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
OIG Documents (ACLU) (PDF)


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