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Here’s a passage from Wednesday’s New York Times story on yet another set of secret legal opinions issued by the Bush Administration’s Department of Justice licensing the use of torture in interrogations:

From the secret sites in Afghanistan, Thailand and Eastern Europe where C.I.A. teams held Qaeda terrorists, questions for the lawyers at C.I.A. headquarters arrived daily. Nervous interrogators wanted to know: Are we breaking the laws against torture?

The Bush administration had entered uncharted legal territory beginning in 2002, holding prisoners outside the scrutiny of the International Red Cross and subjecting them to harrowing pressure tactics. They included slaps to the head; hours held naked in a frigid cell; days and nights without sleep while battered by thundering rock music; long periods manacled in stress positions; or the ultimate, waterboarding.

Never in history had the United States authorized such tactics. While President Bush and C.I.A. officials would later insist that the harsh measures produced crucial intelligence, many veteran interrogators, psychologists and other experts say that less coercive methods are equally or more effective.

With virtually no experience in interrogations, the C.I.A. had constructed its program in a few harried months by consulting Egyptian and Saudi intelligence officials and copying Soviet interrogation methods long used in training American servicemen to withstand capture.

— Scott Shane, David Johnston and James Risen, New York Times (2007-10-03): Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations, p. 2

2 replies to Welcome to Red State America Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Laura J.

    Since, y’know, it would be totally A-okay and dandy for government agents to torture people at will if it were legal.

  2. Discussed at www.unpartisan.com

    Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator:

    Dems demand Justice Dept. memos that OKd use of harsh interrogations / Bush administration refuses, says tactics it authorized didn’t violate anti-torture laws…

    Democratic lawmakers assailed the Justice Department on Thursday for issuing secret memos that autho…

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