Big news this morning as documents reveal that the CIA has destroyed 92 videotapes of interrogations, which is many more than had previously been acknowledged. The destruction of tapes could complicate future attempts to prosecute detainees whose interrogations were on the tapes, and it raises important questions about the legality of the interrogations in the first place.
The revelation comes as a criminal prosecutor is wrapping up his investigation in the matter. Human Rights First welcomed the decision to launch a criminal investigation into the destruction of the tapes. However, because at least four top White House lawyers under President Bush between 2003 and 2005 took part in discussions about whether to destroy the tapes, we supported an independent investigation rather than one from within the Justice Department. Serious questions remain about White House involvement in the destruction of the tapes, and why so many tapes were destroyed.