View Full Version : Military, Bush Team Clashed On Questioning - Report

07-28-2005, 08:38 AM
Military, Bush team clashed on questioning - report


Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:38 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Senior U.S. military lawyers strong disagreed in 2003 with an administration legal task force's conclusion that President Bush had authority to order harsh interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the New York Times reported.

Citing newly disclosed documents, the Times said in its Thursday editions that despite the protests, the task force concluded that military interrogators and their commanders would be immune from prosecution for torture under federal and international law. The reason was the special character of the fight against terrorism.

The Times said that memorandums written by several senior uniformed lawyers in each of the military services took a sharply different view and warned that the position eventually adopted by the task force could endanger American military personnel.

The memorandums were declassified and released last week in response to a request from Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, the newspaper said.

One memorandum written by the deputy judge advocate general of the Air Force, Maj. Gen. Jack. Rives, said several of the "more extreme interrogation techniques, on their face, amount to violations of domestic criminal law" as well as military law, the Times said.

The Rives memorandum also said the use of many of the interrogation techniques "puts the interrogators and the chain of command at risk of criminal accusations abroad," the Times reported.

The Times said the memorandums provide the most-complete record to date of how uniformed military lawyers were frequently the chief dissenters as government officials formulated interrogation policies.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.