According to the New York Times, back in 2005 the C.I.A. destroyed two videotapes of interrogations of Al Qaeda suspects:
"The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A’s secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.
The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques."
The C.I.A. explained this act by saying that the tapes posed a "serious security risk" to the C.I.A. operatives in the tapes and their families, as Al Qaeda might have tried to retaliate against them if they were able to identify them. (They did not explain why they couldn't have blocked out the faces of those involved, which would have addressed that risk).
The C.I.A. apparently lied when asked about the existence of any tapes:
"The recordings were not provided to a federal court hearing the case of the terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui or to the Sept. 11 commission, which had made formal requests to the C.I.A. for transcripts and any other documentary evidence taken from interrogations of agency prisoners.
C.I.A. lawyers told federal prosecutors in 2003 and 2005, who relayed the information to a federal court in the Moussaoui case, that the C.I.A. did not possess recordings of interrogations sought by the judge in the case." (emphasis added).
According to a legal expert, the destruction of the tapes and the cover-up of their existence should have legal consequences:
"John Radsan, who worked as a C.I.A. lawyer from 2002 to 2004 and is now a professor at William Mitchell College of Law, said the destruction of the tapes could carry serious legal penalties.
'If anybody at the C.I.A. hid anything important from the Justice Department, he or she should be prosecuted under the false statement statute,' he said."
It has been reported that the suspect in the tape, Abu Zubaydah, endured a number of nasty physical interrogation methods, including the controversial waterboarding technique, which involves near-suffocation.
Even C.I.A. officers admit that the release of videos would "provoke a strong reaction," which may explain why the C.I.A. wasn't too keen on anyone seeing them.
“People know what happened, but to see it in living color would have far greater power,” a former intelligence official said.
Lying and torture are both bad. Lying about torture is worse.
My question is, do you think anyone in Congress or the Justice Department will do anything about this? Or will they just let it slide, as they have everything else this administration and its cronies have done?