Former CIA officials said that Porter J. Goss, who was agency director in 2005, had opposed the destruction of the tapes during meetings in which the issue was discussed. Senior agency lawyers also cautioned against doing so, although some had advised Rodriguez that it might not violate any laws to destroy the recordings.
Neither the CIA's inspector general nor the Justice Department can fairly and independently investigate the matter, according to Holt, a member of the House Intelligence Committee and the chairman of its oversight subcommittee. He said the CIA has misrepresented the facts surrounding the existence and subsequent destruction of the videotapes.
He said the misrepresentations included what the CIA provided to a federal court and an appeals court that were handling the prosecution of terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in 2005 and was sentenced to life in prison.
In addition, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has been directly involved in writing a series of often controversial legal opinions supporting the administration's aggressive detainee interrogation policies, Holt noted in his letter to Mukasey.
Mukasey, a federal judge for more than two decades, drew widespread criticism during his confirmation hearing when he refused to say whether he considered waterboarding a form of torture.
Now that he is the attorney general, he said Tuesday, he is reviewing the legal opinions on interrogation to see whether they are "sustainable" and whether the CIA conforms to them.
Hayden is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee today.
Times staff writer Josh Meyer contributed to this report.