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White House Says No Further Comment on Destroyed CIA Videotapes

The White House says it will not comment further about the Central Intelligence Agency's destruction of videotapes showing terror suspects being interrogated.

Spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters Monday that she will abide by a request from the White House counsel's office not to speak about the matter. She said she will not comment further until the completion of a joint Department of Justice and CIA investigation.

She said President Bush had no prior knowledge of the existence or destruction of the tapes, and added he maintains complete confidence in CIA chief General Michael Hayden.

Hayden is to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the destruction of the videotapes, which showed agents interrogating al-Qaida suspects.

Hayden told CIA employees in a message Thursday that the agency destroyed the tapes to protect the identity of the interrogators. He said appropriate members of Congress had been informed.

News reports say the videotapes, which were made in 2002, showed severe interrogation methods being used on two al-Qaida suspects, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.