Petraeus Backs 'More Than the Normal' Interrogations

But only in dire circumstances, says CIA nominee
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2011 6:05 AM CDT
CIA Director nominee Gen. David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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(Newser) – David Petraeus says he believes in "more than the normal" interrogation techniques when fast action is required to save lives, reports the LA Times. Speaking at his confirmation hearing to be next director of the CIA, Petraeus said that, while he is against torture in general, he also thinks "there should be discussion … by policymakers and by Congress" about giving the president the power to authorize techniques beyond the US Army Field Manual in extreme circumstances. (He used an example of a nuclear bomb set to detonate.) John McCain backed the notion.

Petraeus, who would be the first CIA leader to come directly from leading a war, also emphasized that he would keep his military connections separate from the CIA, saying "when I am in the Situation Room with the president, I will strive to represent the agency's position." Petraeus also said he would prioritize cyber-security, China, the "Arab Spring," and weapons proliferation. (Read more David Petraeus stories.)

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