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Document a Day: More “Missing” Evidence
The CIA wasn't the only agency to videotape interrogations—or to make tapes disappear.
In 2007, during the trial of alleged would-be dirty-bomber Jose Padilla, prosecutors admitted they had not turned over to his defense team all of the videotapes the U.S. military had recorded of his interrogations—and that the one tape it had not produced was the recording of the final interrogation session before Padilla was finally allowed to meet with attorneys after almost two years in incommunicado detention in a naval brig in North Carolina. By then the government had abandoned the dirty bomb plot allegation, a plot it had constructed and supported through serial torture.
This letter from the Defense Intelligence Agency shrugs off the “disposal or destruction” of the DVD, insisting that when its lawyers informed the trial judge that “the DVD could not be located” “the Judge made no adverse comment.”
In fact, when informed of the missing evidence, Judge Marcia Cooke told prosecutors, "Do you understand how it might be difficult for me to understand that a tape related to this particular individual just got mislaid?"
• Letter from DIA re missing Padilla interrogation tape 12/6/07 (1-page document, third page of the document)