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CIA rejects 9/11 commission criticism on destroyed tapes

The CIA rejects criticism from the leaders of a US commission that examined the attacks of September 11, 2001, saying the agency cooperated fully with the investigation.

world Updated: Jan 03, 2008 11:11 IST

The CIA has rejected criticism from the leaders of a US commission that examined the attacks of September 11, 2001, saying the agency cooperated fully with the investigation.

The co-chairmen of the blue ribbon 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, wrote in The New York Times on Wednesday that "recent revelations that the CIA destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot."

Kean and Hamilton wrote that, although US President George W Bush had ordered all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the probe, "Those who knew about those videotapes and did not tell us about them, obstructed our investigation."

The Central Intelligence Agency rejected the accusation. "The notion that CIA obstructed the 9/11 Commission's investigation is simply wrong," the agency said in a statement.

"And it is disappointing that those who praised CIA publicly for its cooperation with the Commission several years ago now choose to criticise the Agency for not being forthcoming."

A senior intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that media reports about interrogation methods appeared a month before the commission's final public hearing and two months before its final report was released.

"If the commission had wanted to make an issue of how the information was obtained from the detainees, as opposed to what was learned from them, they had an opportunity to do so at the time.

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