Congressmen Conyers, Delahunt, Scott, and Nadler would like Michael Hayden to provide a detailed description of how and why torture tapes got destroyed. Here are the key questions:
3. Did the CIA notify the Department of Justice of its intention to destroy the tapes and if so, when? Did the CIA receive a legal opinion from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, or any other entity, relating to the destruction of the tapes? Please provide copies of any such written materials.
4. In light of the fact that the September 11 Commission and a federal court requested information regarding these types of materials, why did the CIA decide not to provide information to these two entities concerning the existence or possible and actual destruction of the tapes?
5. When the CIA provided information to Department of Justice lawyers in 2003 and 2005 with respect to the request of the court in the Moussaoui case for evidence taken from interrogations of CIA prisoners, as stated in the Times article, what information concerning the tapes was provided to Department lawyers?
I’m especially interested in question number 3. As I said earlier, I think one of the two most likely times for the destruction of the tape is between May 10 and May 30, 2005, when OLC was busy writing torture opinions to override existing restrictions on torture. In fact, I wonder whether they have refused to turn over those particular torture memos (in addition to their desire to hide the ongoing torture) because they didn’t want anyone to know that (probably) Steven Bradbury deemed it legal.
In any case, I think there’s a high likelihood that Bradbury did deem it legal–given Hayden’s repeated claims that it was.
Anyway, things are getting interesting…