The Torture Tape Summaries

| Mon Jul. 27, 2009 10:09 AM EDT

What was on the torture tapes that the CIA destroyed?

The ACLU is trying to get the details. On Friday, the group filed a motion (PDF) in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The ACLU hopes to force the release of documents that would help the public reconstruct what was on the destroyed videotapes and understand why they were destroyed. Those documents include, "among other things,":

(1) cables describing the contents of the destroyed videotapes and the CIA’s use of "enhanced interrogation techniques,"; (2) documents "summariz[ing] details of waterboard exposures from the destroyed videotapes," (3) numerous memoranda and cables discussing and perhaps deciding what to do about the videotapes and the harsh interrogations they depict; and (4) a photograph of Abu Zubaydah presumably depicting the use or consequences of "enhanced interrogation techniques."

If government officials were willing to defy a court order and destroy the videotapes to prevent them from ever being released, what are the odds that the ACLU will get documents that describe what was on the videotapes?