New Reports On 9/11 Interrogation Tapes Underscore Need For Full Accountability And Transparency, Says ACLU

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Will Matthews, ACLU, (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

New Reports On 9/11 Interrogation Tapes Underscore Need For Full Accountability And Transparency, Says ACLU

NEW YORK - An
Associated Press report today provided the first public details about
CIA tapes of interrogations of accused 9/11 conspirator Ramzi
Binalshibh. Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union requested
information from the government about these tapes, specifically asking
why the CIA appears never to have noted the tapes' existence in the
ACLU's long-running litigation over records relating to the treatment of
detainees. The government has not yet responded. 

The tapes were reportedly discovered
in 2007 under a desk in the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, and their
existence was first revealed by the government in a letter sent that
year to U.S. Circuit Judge Karen J. Williams and U.S. District Judge
Leonie M. Brinkema. Prior to that letter, the government had denied the
tapes' existence and until today, nothing was publicly known about the
contents of the tapes.

Many critical records were destroyed
by the CIA, including at least 92 other interrogation videotapes
depicting waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques."
The ACLU continues to believe that the CIA's destruction of those
videotapes was in violation of court orders and the Freedom of
Information Act.  

The following can be attributed to Alexander Abdo, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project:

"Today's report is a stark reminder
of how much information the government is still withholding about the
Bush administration's interrogation policies. Many records critical to
real accountability remain secret, such as transcripts in which
prisoners tell of the abuse they suffered in CIA custody and the
presidential directive authorizing the CIA to establish secret black
sites.

"The content of these tapes could
provide insight into the U.S.'s troubling collaboration on
interrogations with Morocco, a country routinely cited by the State
Department for its use of torture. Only with real transparency and
accountability for these abuses can the government turn the page on this
dark chapter in our history."

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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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