Bush Defends Interrogation Program

05 October 2007

President Bush has again defended his administration's interrogation policies, saying the U.S. government does not torture people.

Mr. Bush told reporters at the White House Friday that his policies adhere to U.S. law and international obligations.

On Thursday, The New York Times newspaper reported about two secret memos, issued in 2005, authorizing the harshest interrogation methods ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency. They include a barrage of simultaneous tactics - including stress positions, hitting, exposure to extreme temperatures, and simulated drowning.

Democratic lawmakers are demanding to see those secret memos.

Mr. Bush said Friday that the "appropriate" members of Congress already have been briefed about their content.

The United States has been criticized for using harsh and extreme interrogation techniques against terror suspects since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Congress and the Supreme Court have taken numerous steps to counter any abuse of terror suspects.

President Bush issued an executive order in July of this year banning torture against al-Qaida or Taleban members held by the CIA.

But The New York Times reports that despite the administration dropping the most extreme techniques as "a policy matter," the 2005 Justice Department opinion endorsing those tactics, and a later one approving the CIA's interrogation standards, remain in effect.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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