Confirmed: CIA Destroyed 92 Interrogation Tapes
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This just in from the Associated Press: "New documents show the CIA destroyed nearly 100 tapes of terror interrogations."
"The figure is far higher than the handful of recordings the agency has previously admitted destroying, and the revelation comes as a criminal prosecutor is wrapping up his investigation in the matter," writes AP reporter Devlin Barrett. "The tapes," he reminds us, "became a contentious issue in the trial of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, after prosecutors initially claimed no such recordings existed, then acknowledged two videotapes and one audiotape had been made."
Confirmation of the destroyed videotapes came in a government letter filed in a New York court today as a result of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU "seeking records of the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad."
According to an ACLU press release, "In December 2007, the ACLU filed a motion to hold the CIA in contempt for its destruction of videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of prisoners in violation of a court order requiring the agency to produce or identify all the requested records. That motion is still pending."
The damning letter, written by Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin and sent to Judge Alvin Hellerstein, read: "The CIA can now identify the number of videotapes that were destroyed. Ninety two videotapes were destroyed."
Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and War on Iraq Special Coverage.