CIA Destroyed 92 Interrogation Tapes

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

James Freedland, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org

CIA Destroyed 92 Interrogation Tapes

WASHINGTON -  According
to a letter filed by the government in court today, the CIA
acknowledged it destroyed 92 tapes of interrogations. The admission
comes in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking records of
the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. 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 following can be attributed to Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU:

“This letter provides further
evidence for holding the CIA in contempt of court. The large number of
videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency engaged in a systemic
attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations and to evade the
court's order. Our contempt motion has been pending in court for over a
year now – it is time to hold the CIA accountable for its flagrant
disregard for the rule of law.”

The tapes, which show CIA operatives
subjecting suspects to extremely harsh interrogation methods, should
have been identified and processed for the ACLU in response to its FOIA
request demanding information on the treatment and interrogation of
detainees in U.S. custody. The tapes were also withheld from the 9/11
Commission, appointed by former President Bush and Congress, which had
formally requested that the CIA hand over transcripts and recordings
documenting the interrogation of CIA prisoners.

A copy of the government’s letter is available at: www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/38869lgl20090302.html

The ACLU’s contempt motion and related legal documents are available online at: www.aclu.org/torturefoia

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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