Opposition Democrats in the US have reacted angrily to CIA revelations that it destroyed videotapes of terrorism interrogations.
There are calls for a justice department inquiry, with claims that information had been withheld from official proceedings. The White House says President Bush doesn’t recall being told about the tapes or their destruction before Thursday, when he was briefed by the CIA director. It’s reported the tapes recorded techniques that many critics have described as torture.
Democrat Senator Carl Levin rejected the excuse that the tapes had been destroyed to protect the identity of the agents involved. “It’s a pathetic excuse,” he said. “They’d have to burn every document in the CIA that has the identity of an agent on it under that theory. I mean, of course, you’re going to protect the identity of agents. There are millions of documents that the CIA has that has the identity of agents – those are classfied documents. We’re going to protect the identity of agents but you can’t destroy documents that are relevant to an investigation.”
President Bush says he still has confidence in the CIA director Michael Hayden, despite the revelations about the destruction of the tapes. The White House wouldn’t comment on whether any laws have been broken, saying the facts are still being gathered.