Documents cover tape-destruction talks

April 16, 2010 at 10:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- Just-released documents detail CIA deliberations, including legal discussions, about destroying videotapes of the harsh interrogations of two terror detainees.

Documents concerning the deliberations were released Thursday as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, The New York Times reported Friday.

In 2005, Porter Goss, who was the CIA director, agreed with the decision of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., head of the agency's clandestine service, to destroy videoed documentation of the interrogations. However, current and former intelligence officials said Goss did not approve of the tapes' destruction before it was done and was displeased that Rodriguez didn't consult him or the CIA's attorneys in advance, the Times said.

In 2002, CIA operatives in Thailand videoed interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, two suspected al-Qaida suspects held covertly in the country by the CIA. Former CIA officials said Rodriguez ordered the tapes destroyed in November 2005 because he thought if they became public it would jeopardize undercover CIA officers legally and physically.

The Justice Department has been conducting an investigation into the destruction of the tapes for more than two years. Goss and other ex-CIA officers have testified before a grand jury hearing evidence as part of the investigation.

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