hayden: cia destroyed videotapes of ‘interrogation’

hayden: cia destroyed videotapes of 'interrogation'from ap: The CIA videotaped its interrogations of two terror suspects in 2002 and destroyed the tapes three years later out of fear they would leak to the public and compromise the identities of U.S. questioners, the director of the agency told employees Thursday.

CIA Director Michael Hayden said House and Senate intelligence committee leaders were informed of the existence of the tapes and the CIA’s intention to destroy them. He also said the CIA’s internal watchdog watched the tapes in 2003 and verified that the interrogation practices were legal.

He said the CIA began taping the interrogations as an internal check on the program after President Bush authorized the use of harsh questioning methods. The methods included waterboarding, which simulates drowning, government officials said.

“The Agency was determined that it proceed in accord with established legal and policy guidelines. So, on its own, CIA began to videotape interrogations,” Hayden said in a written message to CIA employees, obtained by The Associated Press.

The CIA also decided to destroy the tapes in “the absence of any legal or internal reason to keep them,” Hayden wrote.