LARA JAKES JORDAN
April 2, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) ‚ÄĒ The Pentagon has released a now-defunct legal memo that approved the use of harsh interrogation techniques against terror suspects.
The newly declassified memo says President Bush’s wartime powers trump any international treaties banning torture.
The memo was written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo in March 2003. He has since left the agency.
Yoo’s memo to top Pentagon lawyer William J. Haynes outlines legal reasons why military interrogators could use harsh tactics against al-Qaida and Taliban detainees. Yoo wrote that the techniques could be used as long the interrogators did not specifically intend to torture their captors.
ACLU lawyer Melissa Goodman said the documents the civil rights group studied “make us incredibly concerned.” She said it would be understandable if the military relied on help from the FBI on joint investigations, but not when the FBI was not involved in a probe.
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