NYC judge refuses to cite CIA in 9/11 tape case

By the Associated Press | August 1, 2011 | 6:59 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City federal judge says he won't hold the CIA in contempt for destroying videotapes of Sept. 11 detainee interrogations.

At a hearing Monday, Judge Alvin Hellerstein rejected the American Civil Liberties Union's arguments that the CIA should be held accountable for the destruction of 92 tapes. The ACLU alleges the tapes showed interrogators torturing key al-Qaida (al-KY'-ee-duh) operatives.

The judge says citing the CIA wouldn't accomplish anything. But he agrees the agency should pay the ACLU's legal costs for pursuing the disclosures.

The CIA claims the tapes were destroyed without top officials knowing and it's taken steps to make sure it couldn't happen again.

The judge cited national security concerns when he said he likely would've ruled against making the tapes public if they'd been preserved.