Philip Zelikow, George W. Bush-Era Official, Objected On Interrogation View

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  1. Political Junky

    Political Junky Gold Member

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    Philip Zelikow, George W. Bush-Era Official, Objected On Interrogation View

    WASHINGTON — A memo released Tuesday on harsh interrogation techniques shows that a former State Department official strongly dissented from the George W. Bush administration's secret legal view in 2005 that an international treaty against torture did not apply to CIA interrogations in foreign countries.

    Until now, the February 2006 analysis by Philip Zelikow has been a high-level, classified, internal critique of the Bush administration's controversial interrogation policies. At the time he wrote his criticism, Zelikow was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's representative on terrorism issues to the National Security Council's deputies committee.

    The State Department released Zelikow's memo under the Freedom of Information Act to the National Security Archive, an advocacy group for openness in government.

    In late 2005, Bush signed a bill containing a provision sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that the senator believed applied international standards of cruel and degrading treatment to U.S. interrogation practices.

    However, a May 2005 secret Justice Department interpretation of the law exempted CIA interrogation practices like waterboarding carried out in foreign countries.

    In his five-page memo, Zelikow wrote that the State Department earlier had agreed with the Justice Department's view.

    But "that situation has now changed" in light of McCain's amendment, Zelikow wrote.

    "Under American law, there is no precedent for excusing treatment that is intrinsically `cruel' even if the state asserts a compelling need to use it," Zelikow's memo stated.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012

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