Justice Memos Endorse Torture
Officials gave green light for array of painful interrogation techniques
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2007 9:56 AM CDT
Jade Lai holds a sign as she listens to speakers at a rally protesting the American Psychological Association participating in military interrogations at Guantanamo Bay in San Francisco, Friday, Aug....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Justice Department under Alberto Gonzales secretly endorsed the use of torture techniques during interrogation by the CIA, the New York Times reports. A classified 2005 legal memorandum authorized the harshest  techniques ever used by the CIA, the Times says, including a combination of head-slapping, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, freezing, loud noises and other forms of physical pain.

While the White House had publicly abandoned the right to deploy such techniques in 2004, and dissent over their use had roiled the Justice Department, Gonzales approved a memo declaring them legal when he became AG, and they remain in effect, the Times says, despite congressional and Supreme Court efforts to impose limits. Interrogations have been conducted "lawfully, with great care and close review” and have  "helped our country disrupt terrorist plots and save innocent lives," said a CIA spokesman.