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Rep. Harman Calls On Her Letter To CIA To Be Declassified

December 7, 2007

Rep. Jane Harman, Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence & Terrorism Risk Assessment, issued the following statement today in response to news that the CIA destroyed detainee interrogation tapes:

CIA Director Hayden’s public statement yesterday, that some members of Congress were informed about the existence of videotaped interrogations of high value detainees, prompts me to respond.

In early 2003, in my capacity at Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, I received a highly classified briefing on CIA interrogation practices from the agency's General Counsel. The briefing raised a number of serious concerns and led me to send a letter to the General Counsel. Both the briefing and my letter are classified so I cannot reveal specifics, but I did caution against destruction of any videotapes.

Given the nature of the classification, I was not free to mention this subject publicly until Director Hayden disclosed it yesterday. To my knowledge, the Intelligence Committee was never informed that any videotapes had been destroyed. Surely I was not.

This matter must be promptly and fully investigated and I call for my letter of February 2003, which was never responded to and has been in the CIA's files ever since, to be declassified.

Rep. Harman’s letter to CIA Director Michael Hayden asking for her original 2003 letter to be declassified is below:

Letter from Rep. Harman to Hayden