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Gonzales expresses `revulsion' over some interrogation practices

WASHINGTON—The following exchange between Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales came from 200 pages of written questions to Gonzales from the Senate Judiciary Committee along with his answers, released by the committee:

KENNEDY: The FBI e-mails produced in the ACLU lawsuit include reports that detainees in Iraq and Guantanamo have suffered from the following abuses: Detainees were bound hand and foot and left in urine and feces for 18-24 hours; cigarette burns were inflicted; detainees were exposed to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods; enemas were forced on detainees.

Do you believe any of these practices were or are lawful interrogation techniques or lawful detainee management?

GONZALES: I found those e-mails to be shocking and deeply troubling. While I share a revulsion to the use of practices such as those described, I do not think it would be appropriate for me to address reports of interrogation practices discussed in the press and attempt to analyze whether such reported practices are lawful.

In addition, were the administration to begin ruling out speculated interrogation practices in public, by virtue of gradually ruling out some practices in response to repeated questions and not ruling out others, we would fairly rapidly provide al Qaida with a road map concerning the interrogation that captured terrorists can expect to face, and would enable al Qaida to improve its counter-interrogation training to match it.

The Department of Justice has been asked to review specific interrogation practices used in the conflict with al Qaida and the Taliban and has concluded that they are lawful under the torture statute.


(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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