Then Rodriguez asked Robert Eatinger, the top lawyer in the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, whether there was any legal requirement that the tapes be kept. Eatinger said no.
Eatinger and Hermes have told colleagues that they believed Rodriguez was merely teeing up a new round of discussions about the tapes and, because of previous orders not to destroy the tapes without White House approval, they were unaware that Rodriguez planned to move immediately, officials told The Associated Press.
Relying on the advice from Hermes and Eatinger, Rodriguez told Winograd to write an official request to destroy the videos. On Nov. 5, 2005, the request came in. Its justification: The inspector general had completed its investigation and CIA lawyer John L. McPherson had verified that the cables accurately summarized the tapes.
On Nov. 8, Rodriguez sent his approval.
It took about 3 1/2 hours to destroy the tapes. On Nov. 9, Winograd informed Rodriguez the job was complete. Goss and Rizzo wouldn't find out until the next day.