Torture and the U.S. Congress
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Following the Abu Ghraib scandal, revelations of further incidents of questionable conduct by U.S. personnel, agents and contractors continued. The subject of torture was again raised during the 2007 confirmation process for Michael Mukasey, whom President Bush tapped to replace Alberto Gonzalez as attorney general. As further incidents were revealed, additional insight into the government's conduct were unveiled.
CIA Destruction of Interrogation Tapes
In December 2007, several media outlets reported that the CIA had destroyed two videotapes showing the agency's interrogation techniques. The New York Times reported CIA officers in 2002 subjected terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques." The tapes were made to document the interrogation should one of the subjects make a confession.
CIA officials said the destruction of the tapes was necessary to protect the identities of the interrogators. CIA director Michael V. Hayden said:
"Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the program, exposing them to and their families to retaliation from al-Qaeda and it sympathizers."
The existence of the tapes was noted in regards to the 9/11 commission, a panel that was formed to investigate the attacks against the Pentagon and World Trade Center. According to The Washington Post, the panel had sought "a wide array of material and relied heavily on classified interrogation transcripts in piecing together its narrative of events." The commissioners did not see the tapes.
When news of the tapes' destruction broke, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Intelliegence Committee, indicated he might "launch an investigation this year," into the incident, according to The Hill. In addition, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called on the Justice Department to initiate a probe.
On December 10, 2007, The Hill reported that the House Intelligence Committee would launch an investigation as well.  Hayden was to appear before the panel in a closed briefing on December 12.
Articles and Resources
- ↑ Mark Mazzetti, "C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes of Interrogations", The New York Times, December 6, 2007
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Dan Eggen and Joby Warrick, "CIA Destroyed Videos Showing Interrogations", The Washington Post, December 7, 2007
- ↑ Manu Raju, "Senate Dems seek probe into destroyed CIA tapes", The Hill, December 7, 2007
- ↑ Klaus Marre, House Intel panel launches probe into CIA tape destruction, The Hill, December 10, 2007