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CIA Chief Faces More Questions on Destruction of Videotapes


The head of the Central Intelligence Agency has faced a second day of questioning on Capitol Hill about the destruction of videotapes of interrogations of suspected terrorists.

CIA Director Michael Hayden testified Wednesday before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session. He appeared Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Hayden told reporters Tuesday that others know far more than he does about the issue, including his predecessors, George Tenet and Porter Goss.

Tenet headed the agency in 2002, when the tapes were made, while Goss was director when the tapes were destroyed in 2005.

Hayden told CIA employees last week the tapes were destroyed to protect the identity of the interrogators. Critics allege the tapes were destroyed to hide evidence of illegal torture.

President Bush told ABC news Tuesday that his "first recollection" of the existence or destruction of the tapes was when Hayden briefed him last week.

In media interviews, former CIA officer John Kiriakou said the CIA had used a simulated drowning technique on a senior al-Qaida suspect, Abu Zubaydah, and that it provided key intelligence that prevented a number of terror attacks.

Kiriakou said he believes the technique, known as "waterboarding," is torture.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says the United States does not torture, describing the CIA interrogation program as lawful, tough, safe and effective.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.