Huffpost Politics

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy Headshot

A Nation of Laws, Not Men

Posted: Updated:

I'm headed to the Senate floor right now to speak about startling news from today's newspapers:

The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives in the agency's custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terrorism suspects -- including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody -- to severe interrogation techniques. The tapes were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that video showing harsh interrogation methods could expose agency officials to legal risks, several officials said.

The news that these CIA tapes were destroyed came the very same week that we learned that as many as ten million White House emails were not preserved, despite a law that requires that they be kept, and at the same time as the president continued to insist that we grant the phone companies immunity for their role in the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

I've already introduced the Torture Prevention and Effective Interrogation Act, legislation that requires the Army Field Manual standards to apply to all government interrogations, not only those conducted by the Department of Defense. Today's news is just another reminder that Congress needs to take action immediately to prevent this administration from continuing to make a mockery of our anti-torture laws.

I'm headed to the floor to demand answers. I hope you will demand them as well.

[UPDATE - KENNEDY STAFF]: Senator Kennedy's prepared remarks can be read here.