The Politics of Torture

For members of Congress, a public stand against torture confers little political advantage unless it's clear that no one is going soft on terrorism. So when CIA Director Michael Hayden admitted that his agency had destroyed videos showing the interrogation and possible torture of a member of al-Qaeda, representatives of both parties expressed dismay--not so much over what may have been done to the prisoners as over the apparent obliteration of evidence. Even before Hayden offered his explanation in closed testimony on Capitol Hill, Senate majority leader Harry Reid denounced a potential CIA cover-up, saying the loss of the tapes had damaged...

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