Thursday, March 13, 2008

On the record

Just as predicted in this space in January, as the tale of the destroyed waterboarding videotapes was unfolding, the Pentagon admitted this week that it had found nearly 50 recordings of interrogations of terror suspects at military facilities around the world. In an article that appeared yesterday on the New York Times' Web site, a Pentagon spokesman said one of the tapes showed the forcible gagging of a terror suspect. Many of the tapes show interrogations of Jose Padilla, a Chicago resident who had been accused of plotting a radioactive bomb attack and was held for more than three years without charge. Padilla was sentenced in January to 17 years in prison for supporting terrorism. The tapes have surfaced as a result of a Pentagon investigation that started in January after the agency admitted destroying videotapes showing the use of extreme interrogation techniques against three suspected members of al-Qaida. The Defense Department investigation is still in progress. The revelations about the tapes have added to a national controversy about the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody. Congressional investigations also are underway.

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