The controversy over whether waterboarding [JURIST news archive] constitutes illegal torture first loomed large late last year as then-Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey tried to duck the issue [JURIST report] in his confirmation hearings and former CIA agent John Kiriakou unofficially confirmed the use of waterboarding [JURIST report] during interrogations of US terror suspects. Also in December, Hayden sent a memo [JURIST report] to CIA employees saying the agency videotaped the 2002 interrogations of two detainees, but that the tapes were destroyed [JURIST news archive] in 2005 amid concerns that they could be leaked to the public and compromise the identities of the interrogators. Last month, the now Mukasey-led Department of Justice announced that it had opened a criminal investigation [JURIST report] into the destruction of the tapes.
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