Obama Releases Bush Memos Detailing Torture

Justice docs released detail OK'd techniques
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2009 3:41 PM CDT
Obama Releases Bush Memos Detailing Torture
The Camp Delta detention compound at Guantanamo Bay.   (AP Photo)

A Bush-era memo on interrogation techniques acknowledged that waterboarding represented a “threat of imminent death,” but that the simulated-drowning procedure was not torture because it caused no lasting psychological harm, Reuters reports. The Justice Department memo and three others on interrogations were released to the public today—and simultaneously dismissed by Obama officials as no longer valid.

The memo also approved for use other forms of physical and mental stress to encourage detainees to cooperate with interrogators. Slapping suspects and shoving them into walls did not constitute torture; neither did sleep deprivation, close confinement, or introducing insects into a “confinement box.” The memo was issued by the Justice Department in 2002 to guide interrogators. (Read more torture stories.)

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