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Report: Cheney advocated U.S. torture

UPI | November 21 2005

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. practice of using torture on terror detainees was rooted in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, a former senior State Department official claims.

Retired U.S. Army Col. Larry Wilkerson, who served as former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, made the allegation to CNN, and said it was possible the practice was still going on.

"There's no question in my mind where the philosophical guidance and the flexibility in order to do so originated -- in the vice president of the United States' office," he said. "His implementer in this case was (Defense Secretary) Donald Rumsfeld and the Defense Department."

Cheney is lobbying against a bill in Congress that would outlaw "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" of prisoners, and wants an exception for the CIA in cases that involve a detainee who may have knowledge of an imminent attack.

Earlier this month, President George Bush flatly denied there was a security policy of torture, saying: "We do not torture."

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