Saturday, October 06, 2007

Bush Defends Interrogations, Saying Methods Aren’t Torture

Published: October 6, 2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 — President Bush, reacting to a Congressional uproar over the disclosure of secret Justice Department legal opinions permitting the harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects, defended the methods on Friday, declaring, “This government does not torture people.”

Ron Edmonds/Associated Press

President Bush addressed reporters in the Oval Office Friday on the economy, then discussed the C.I.A.’s questioning of detainees. “This government does not torture people,” he said.

The remarks, Mr. Bush’s first public comments on the memorandums, came at a hastily arranged Oval Office appearance before reporters. It was billed as a talk on the economy, but after heralding new job statistics, Mr. Bush shifted course to a subject he does not often publicly discuss: a once-secret Central Intelligence Agency program to detain and interrogate high-profile terror suspects.

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