Kennedy: Tape destruction is ‘a mockery of the rule of law.’

On the Senate floor today, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) railed against the Bush administration over the revelation that the CIA had destroyed videotapes in 2005 of agency officials using harsh interrogation tactics. Calling it a “cover-up,” Kennedy declared that “we haven’t seen anything like this since the eighteen and a half minute gap in the tapes of President Richard Nixon” and that the administration is “making a mockery of the rule of law.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/12/KennedyTortureSpeech.320.240.flv]

Kennedy noted that news of the tape destruction came “the very same week that we learned that as many as ten million White House emails have not been preserved,” saying that “the pattern is unmistakable.”

UPDATE: Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Reps. Robert Scott, William Delahunt and Jerrold Nadler have sent letters to Central Intelligence Agency Director Gen. Michael Hayden and Attorney General Michael Mukasey requesting details about today’s reports that the CIA destroyed videotapes of interrogation activities.

UPDATE II: Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ): “Next week, I plan to hold an oversight hearing in the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel with General Hayden to examine this matter in detail.”