Probe Sought In Destruction Of Interrogation Tapes

Friday, December 7th 2007, 2:23 pm
By: News On 6

CAPITOL HILL (AP) -- A leading Senate Democrat is asking the Justice Department to investigate the CIA's destruction of videotapes of terror suspect interrogations. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the Democratic whip, wants to know whether the action amounts to obstruction of justice.

CIA Director Michael Hayden told employees the tapes made in 2002 were destroyed three years later, because the agency was afraid that keeping them "posed a security risk." Hayden's revelation was made public Thursday.

Hayden said the agency's internal watchdog viewed the tapes in 2003 and verified that the interrogation practices were legal. He also said some lawmakers had been informed about the tapes and the CIA's intention to destroy them.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which coordinates the work of attorneys representing prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, says the CIA may have destroyed crucial evidence that a court had said it's entitled to.

The White House says President Bush had not known about the tapes or their destruction.