CIA destroyed torture tapes

Published on WSWS, by Joe Kay, 8 December 2007.

The revelation that the Central Intelligence Agency destroyed at least two video tapes depicting the torture of prisoners held by the United States underscores the brazen criminality of the Bush administration. Aside from the torture itself, the elimination of evidence of brutal interrogation exposes top CIA and government officials to obstruction of justice charges.

In an article published on Friday, the New York Times cites several unnamed current and former government officials in reporting that “at least two videotapes” were destroyed. The tapes showed the 2002 interrogation of two prisoners, one of whom was Abu Zubaydah, considered a top member of Al Qaeda. The other individual was not named.

Although the government has never officially acknowledged it, Zubaydah, captured by the CIA in March 2002, was subjected to water-boarding, a form of torture involving the near drowning and suffocation of the prisoner. One can only assume that the tapes depict water-boarding or worse forms of torture.


The existence and destruction of the tapes was first revealed on Thursday by CIA Director Michael Hayden in a letter to CIA employees. Hayden issued the letter only after the government was informed by the New York Times Wednesday that the newspaper planned to publish an article on the topic …

… There may be fall-out from the destruction of the videos. Some lower-level individuals may be made fall guys for the White House and the CIA. But the Bush administration is counting with good reason on the Democrats to keep things under control.

This new revelation underscores the lawless character of the clique around Bush and the immense dangers it represents to the democratic rights of the people. It also highlights the Democratic Party’s lack of any serious commitment to the defense of democratic rights. These rights can be defended only through the independent political mobilization of the working population against the two-party political establishment and the US ruling elite whose interests it serves.

(full text).

Link: WSWS: Red Cross confirms Bush administration, CIA used torture in interrogations, by Patrick Martin, 7 August 2007.
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