Fits are being pitched, and the hissing in the Mad City coffee shops is crescendoing nicely, about what you ask? Those dirty dogs at CIA destroyed what could have been the greatest videos ever.
Does anyone want to place bets on how long it would be from the time those tapes were in the hands of a Democratic staffer to their airing on CNN? Immediately, comes to mind.
There are two good reasons to destroy the tapes. Hayden put the first one front and center, our interrogators are shown on them. Keeping their identities secret is very important, and something Valerie Plame could have paid more heed to. Once the interrogations were completed and transcribed, there is no use to them other than the ghoulish watching of human suffering.
Which brings us to reason number two. They were almost certainly horrifying and awful and their viewing by many Americans would cause a reaction. It would likely move public opinion toward more restrictions on what methods may be employed. We have already put too many and the unpleasantness of the coercive techniques would be offensive to some who would otherwise approve of using all techniques short of torture.
I believe there are quite a few things being discussed in open forums, that belong back on the dark side. It is right and proper that our government does unpleasant, unsavory and sometimes awful things in defense of our freedom. This should happen out of sight of all, but we are a little too paranoid as a country for that. So those with agendas constantly leak classified information and weaken our abilities.
Given that the mere existence of these tapes created bad possibilities they did the prudent thing and destroyed them. They broke no laws and were not even required to have made the tapes, they were done as an internal safeguard. They were also reviewed to see if any breaches of interrogation policy occurred by the Inspector General, none were shown.
At that point they served no purpose other than as torture pron, and that is an ugly thought. Not that that would have stopped any number on the left from putting it out there.