WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Key omission in memo to destroy CIA terror tapes

WASHINGTON (AP) - A glaring omission seems to be an important part of a 2 1/2-year Justice Department investigation into whether destroying CIA videotapes of harsh interrogations was a crime.

When the CIA sent word in 2005 to destroy the videos, there was an unusual omission in the carefully worded memo: the names of two agency lawyers.

Once a CIA lawyer has weighed in on even a routine matter, officers rarely give an order without copying the lawyer in. It's a standard way for managers to cover themselves if a decision goes bad.

And the omission was so unusual that a top CIA official noted it in an internal e-mail just days later.

As the probe winds down, prosecutors have focused on a little-used section of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law.

The law makes it a crime to destroy documents, even if no court has said they must be kept and no investigators are looking for them.

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