The New York Times has revealed the Justice Department under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales issued a series of secret legal opinions effectively sanctioning the use of torture. The first opinion came shortly after Gonzales arrived in February 2005. Just months earlier, the Justice Department had publicly declared torture "abhorrent." But the secret opinion under Gonzales gave a green light to a series of harsh interrogation tactics including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures. At the time, outgoing deputy attorney general James Comey said the department would be "ashamed" when the opinion was publicly revealed. Less than one year later, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion declaring that no CIA techniques violated proposed laws banning "cruel, inhuman, and degrading" treatment. The New York Times also reports the harshness of the approved tactics was so unprecedented that agents in secret CIA prisons overseas repeatedly asked Washington lawyers what was allowed. New details have also come out about the interrogation of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Insiders say Mohammed gave several "exaggerated or false statements" after some one hundred harsh tactics were used over a two-week period.

Democracy Now! Headlines for October 4, 2007

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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