White House: Torture ban applies to secret prisons

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Asked about secret prisons, Hadley said, “The fact that they are secret, assuming there are such sites, does not mean” torture would be tolerated. “Some people say that the test of your principles (is) what you do when no one’s looking. And the president has insisted that whether it is in the public or it is in the private, the same principles will apply and the same principles will be respected. And to the extent people do not meet up, measure up to those principles, there will be accountability and responsibility.” Led by Vice President Dick Cheney, the Bush administration is floating a proposal that would allow the president to exempt covert agents outside the Defense Department from a Senate-approved ban on torturing detainees in U.S. custody or weakening the prohibition. In a statement Wednesday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, reiterated his call for a detailed congressional review of the “fundamental legal and operational questions” surrounding terror suspects in U.S. custody. “Once again, it appears to me that the White House has dictated that the Republican-controlled Congress not conduct oversight of an important national security matter,” Rockefeller said. “They have made it clear that anyone who suggests that oversight is needed should be labeled as unpatriotic.” WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush’s directive banning the torture of terror suspects applies to all prisoners – even if held in a secret prison reportedly set up by the CIA for its most important al-Qaida captives, a senior administration official said Wednesday. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley would not confirm or deny the existence of a secret, Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe that was described in a Washington Post account. The story said the facility was part of a covert prison system set up nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries. Hadley said that “while we have to do what is necessary to defend the country against terrorist attacks and to win the war on terror, the president has been very clear that we’re going to do that in a way that is consistent with our values.” “And that is why he’s been very clear that the United States will not torture,” Hadley said, responding to questions at a White House briefing. “The United States will conduct its activities in compliance with law and international obligations.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more