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Posts Tagged ‘CIA Tapes’

Panetta: Too Dangerous To Release Torture Tape Docs

TPM Muckraker- By Zachary Roth – June 9, 2009, 9:58AM

Do we have yet another case of the Obama administration mimicking its predecessor’s notorious penchant for government secrecy?

The CIA argued yesterday that Bush-era documents detailing the videotaped interrogations of detainees should not be released, citing national security concerns, reports the Washington Post.

The videotapes, which depicted harsh interrogation tactics, were famously destroyed in 2005. As part of a wide-ranging lawsuit, the ACLU is seeking the release of CIA emails discussing the tapes, handwritten notes taken after reviewing the tapes, and a photograph of one high-value detainee, Abu Zubaydah, among other items relating to the tapes.

CIA director Leon Panetta argued in a statement that releasing the material “could be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security by informing our enemies of what we knew about them, and when, and in some instances, how we obtained the intelligence we possessed.”

Panetta wrote that the “disclosure of explicit details of specific interrogations” would give al-Qaeda “propaganda it could use to recruit and raise funds.” He called it “ready-made ammunition.”

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Some Destroyed CIA Tapes Showed “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”

In new court documents filed today, the Justice Department acknowledged that twelve of the destroyed CIA interrogation tapes depict “enhanced interrogation techniques” — what most people call torture — the ACLU announced in a press release.

The government also said it would provide a list of summaries, transcripts, and memoranda related to the destroyed tapes, though the ACLU noted that a previous list was almost entirely redacted.

The CIA admitted earlier this week that it had destroyed 92 interrogation tapes. The destruction was ordered by then operations chief Jose Rodriguez.

In an earlier Freedom of Information Act request, the ACLU asked for information on the treatment and interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody. It filed a motion in December 2007 to hold the CIA in contempt for its destruction of the tapes, which it argued violated a court order requiring the agency to produce or identify all the records it was asking for.

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