Saturday, October 6, 2007
From latimes.com: President Bush on Friday defended the CIA's harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects, saying its methods do not constitute torture and are necessary to protect America from attack.
But Bush's declaration that the United States "does not torture people" did little to dampen the fallout from fresh evidence that his administration has used secret legal memos to sanction tactics that stretch, if not circumvent, the law.
The president's comments came amid disclosures this week of classified opinions issued by the Justice Department in 2005 that endorsed the legality of an array of interrogation tactics, ranging from sleep deprivation to simulated drowning.
Bush's decision to comment again on what once was among the most highly classified U.S. intelligence programs underscores the political peril surrounding the issue for the White House, which has had to retreat from earlier, aggressive assertions of executive power.