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CIA destroyed interrogation evidence, say government lawyers

March 4, 2009 by  

Government lawyers have revealed that the CIA destroyed interrogation evidenceAs civil rights advocates fight for the release of the Bush administration documents related to the war on terrorism, a group of government lawyers has revealed the CIA has destroyed videotapes of interrogation proceedings.

They made the revelations in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein from New York who issued an order in 2004 to preserve the material.

A lawyer for the ACLU was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that this demonstrates a "systematic attempt" to cover up the mistreatment of suspects.

In responding to the news, President Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs said that under the new leadership the agency will have "the tools they need to keep us safe, but do so in a way that also protects our values."

Meanwhile, the ACLU has scored a victory in its attempt to obtain the release of records documenting the Bush administration’s policies regarding detainees in the so-called "war on terror."

The group filed a petition to that effect with the Justice Department last January.

On Monday, the department released nine secret memos written by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that authorized some of the former administration’s national security policies. One of the memos was written by OLC lawyer John Yoo and argued the Fourth Amendment does not apply to military activities inside the United States, according to ACLU.

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