White House counsel Harriet Miers was "livid" and CIA counsel John Rizzo was "clearly upset" that the spy agency destroyed interrogation videos showing waterboarding in 2005, newly released CIA documents show.
The documents show that, not long after destroying the videos, CIA officials worried they'd done something improper. The internal CIA e-mails foreshadow a controversy that has lingered at the agency for years and remains the subject of a Justice Department investigation.
The videos showed CIA interrogators using waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique, on terrorism suspect Abu Zubaydah. The videos showed that interrogators did not follow the waterboarding procedures authorized by President George W. Bush's administration, the documents show.
The e-mails, released by the Justice Department under a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union, showed that Bush's top lawyer, Miers, and her CIA counterpart, Rizzo, were both angry the tapes were destroyed.
"Rizzo is clearly upset because he was on the hook to notify Harriet Miers of the status of the tapes because it was she who had asked to be advised before any action was taken," reads a November 2005 e-mail from an unidentified CIA officer to the agency's No. 3 official, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo. "Apparently, Rizzo called Harriet this afternoon and she was livid."
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