As William Ockham has noted, there is a new–very informative–Vaughn Index and Declaration out. I’ll have much more to say about these. But for now, look at what documents 3 and 4 from the Vaughn Index tell us about the timing of the torture tape destruction.
November 1, 2005: Bill Frist briefed on torture.
November 1, 2005: Dana Priest reveals the use of black sites in Europe. In response, CIA starts moving detainees from the countries in question.
November 3, 2005: Leonie Brinkema inquires whether govt has video or audio tapes of interrogations. CIA IG Report on Manadel al-Janabi’s death completed.
November 4, 2005: Member of Congress writes four page letter to CIA IG.
November 8, 2005: CIA requests permission to destroy torture tapes. CIA reaffirms March 2005 statement that all interrogation methods are lawful. Duncan Hunter briefed on torture. Pete Hoekstra briefed on torture.
November 14, 2005: Govt tells Brinkema it has no audio or video tapes.
That is, the CIA requested to destroy the torture tapes in email on November 8, 2005. They confirmed the destruction on November 9. Not surprisingly, after Leonie Brinkema had asked about videotapes. But also right in the middle of debates about McCain’s Detainee Treatment Act. And note that briefing for Crazy Pete Hoekstra–but not the other Dems in Intelligence Committee leadership–on the same day that CIA started asking to destroy the torture tapes.