C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes of Interrogations:
The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda operatives in the agency's custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A's secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.
The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said….
The recordings were not provided to a federal court hearing the case of the terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui or to the Sept. 11 commission, which had made formal requests to the C.I.A. for transcripts and any other documentary evidence taken from interrogations of agency prisoners.
C.I.A. lawyers told federal prosecutors in 2003 and 2005, who relayed the information to a federal court in the Moussaoui case, that the C.I.A. did not possess recordings of interrogations sought by the judge in the case.
Update: Read this: Firedoglake, Absence of Torture Tape Librarian a Feature, Not a Bug
So now its a question of how many lawsuits, not whether. At this point every detainee is going to attempt to relitigate their case on the grounds of suppressed information. I would not be suprised if lawyers for John Walker Lindh were filing a motion to quash his guilty plea.
Seems to me that the administration is in a real bind this time. They don’t control the agenda in Congress, they cannot go back with a demand for some new law to patch up their extra-constitutional abuse of authority.
It also kicks the ticking bomb scenario out the window, the Bush version now reads ‘would you use torture to find a ticking bomb then destroy the evidence afterwards’.
All Bush has left is the pardon power.