December 7, 2007 3:53 PM
McCain Reacts to Report of CIA Destroyed Tapes
From CBS News' Andante Higgins
HAMPSTEAD, N.H. -- John McCain responded today to the reports that the CIA destroyed interrogation tapes.
"I don't think they should have destroyed those tapes," McCain said at a news conference here. "It will harm the credibility of the CIA, in my view. And I wish they had listened to members of Congress who said they should not do so."
"As far as I know, they didn't break any laws but they should be concerned about their credibility with the American people. And when they take actions such as that without a convincing argument for doing so, it erodes American confidence in the institution and that's not good for America. And if I were president, I would certainly find out who's responsible."
Earlier, in a middle school gymnasium packed with students and veterans, Hampestead Middle School's eighth grade president prepared the audience for the McCain's arrival. "Thank you very much for that introduction and the tie looks good too," McCain told the student as he took to the stage.
McCain skipped his standard stump speech and in place of it talked about remembering those who have served in the military especially those who served on Pearl Harbor Day. "It was quiet Sunday morning. People were getting ready for church…we were unprepared, we had no idea that Japanese planes were coming." McCain explained to his audience.
Students asked questions about the Korean War, the Senator's time as a POW and other experiences McCain had in the military. "Were you scared?" asked one student from the bleachers. McCain said he wasn't so scared at the time but he gets scared thinking about it now.
The event was filled with McCain's wartime stories and he appeared to enjoy telling them. He told one of his favorite stories about a POW buddy of his named Michael Christian who was beaten for sewing an American flag inside his shirt. Undeterred from the beatings, he sewed another flag inside his shirt when he returned to his cell. McCain told the audience to remember that when they pledged allegiance to the flag.