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CIA Destroyed Nearly 100 Terror Interrogation Tapes

The CIA has acknowledged destroying nearly 100 videotapes of terror suspect interrogations conducted during the Bush administration.

The acknowledgment Monday stemmed from a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin said in a letter submitted in the case that the CIA can now identify 92 destroyed tapes.

An attorney for the ACLU said the large number of videotapes destroyed confirms the agency engaged in what she alleged was a "systematic attempt" to hide evidence of illegal interrogations.

A firestorm of controversy erupted over the harsh interrogation practices used under former President George W. Bush and revelations that videotapes were destroyed.

The tapes were believed to have shown the use of harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

Separately, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reiterated Monday his position that waterboarding is torture and will not be used under the administration of President Barack Obama.

Holder said in Washington to the Jewish Council of Public Affairs that his department will not justify, rationalize or condone waterboarding

The CIA acknowledged waterboarding was used on three al-Qaida prisoners during the Bush administration.

At his confirmation hearing, Holder pledged to be an independent attorney general and vowed to end harsh interrogation techniques that were used under former President George W. Bush.

President Obama has stipulated that all U.S. interrogations will be guided by the U.S. Army Field Manual - which forbids harsh techniques like waterboarding.

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