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U.S. under fire for destruction of terror tapes

The United States has launched an investigation into the CIA’s destruction of two videotapes, which showed the interrogation of terrorism suspects. It’s thought the controversial “waterboarding” technique was featured.

The tapes were destroyed in 2005 to protect the interrogators’ identity, according to CIA Chief General, Michael Hayden.

“You can certainly obstruct the image of the faces of the interrogators. The most important part is that you hear what's being said and done to the suspects,” said Michael O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institution, Washington DC.

CIA Chief General, Michael Hayden
CIA Chief General, Michael Hayden

The tapes were made to document the use of harsh questioning techniques such as “waterboarding”, which simulates drowning.
Human rights groups see this as torture, but the Bush administration claims it is completely legal.

“All interrogations have been done within the legal framework that was set out after September 11 and they are measures that have been tough and limited. They are safe and they have been very effective in helping prevent terrorist attacks in this country. The whole programme is legal,” White House Press-secretary, Dana Perino,  commented.

The main question now is who ordered the tapes destruction?

Michael Hayden, CIA Chief General, denied any knowledge.

“I did not personally know before they were destroyed, not at all.  I was aware of the existence of the tapes but really didn't become focused on it until the summer of 2006,” CIA Chief General, Michael Hayden, said.

President Bush also claims he has no recollection of such tapes or of plans to destroy them.