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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

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Report: Rumsfeld OK'd Rough Interrogations in Iraq
VOA News
16 May 2004, 13:33 UTC

A published report about conditions in Iraq's U.S.-run prisons contends that U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld himself authorized harsh interrogations of detainees in Iraq, but Pentagon officials are strongly denying the account.

The New Yorker magazine quotes unidentified current and former U.S. intelligence officials as saying Mr. Rumsfeld and his Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Stephen Cambone, approved the use of physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners.

A U.S. Defense Department spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita, says the assertions in The New Yorker are "outlandish, conspiratorial and filled with error[s] and anonymous conjecture." The spokesman says the Pentagon neither ordered nor authorized any abuse of prisoners held at Abu Ghraib prison, near Baghdad.

Senator Carl Levin, the senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Fox television the panel will do everything possible to find out whether the allegations in The New Yorker article are true.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said he did not know anything about the alleged interrogation program reported in the article, but earlier in Jordan he offered an apology to Iraqi prisoners mistreated at Abu Ghraib, saying the abuse they suffered is not consistent with values that the United States upholds.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.



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