CIA admits destroying interrogation tapes

RadioNetherlands
Friday December 7, 2007

The CIA has admitted destroying video recordings of the interrogation of terrorist suspects. The US intelligence agency said the tapes were destroyed to protect the identities of undercover CIA agents and because they were no longer relevant to the investigations.

The New York Times reported the destruction of the tapes on Thursday and said the recordings showed interrogation techniques being used which human rights organisations regard as torture. The CIA describes the interrogation techniques used as “lawful, safe and effective”.

The tapes, which date from 2002, showed the interrogation of a number of terrorist suspects, including alleged al-Qaeda commander Abu Zubaydah. They were destroyed in 2005, the year in which the CIA came under fire for running secret detention centres abroad.

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US intelligence services were given greater powers regarding the detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects. There is now increasing support in Washington to have these powers revoked.

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