US Senator Alleges Pentagon 'Twisted Law' to Carry Out Abusive InterrogationsBy VOA News
17 June 2008

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee says senior Pentagon officials "twisted the law" to carry out abusive interrogation techniques against terrorism suspects.

Carl Levin (file photo)Senator Carl Levin heads the committee investigating the origin of aggressive U.S. interrogation methods.

During a hearing Tuesday, Levin charged that the office of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld began researching harsh methods such as waterboarding, sensory deprivation and stress positions as early as July of 2002.

Levin also said Pentagon officials drew up a list of harsh techniques with the help of military officials, who teach U.S. troops how to survive abusive interrogations by the enemy.

He said lawyers in various branches of the military strongly disagreed with Pentagon lawyers about the legality of the aggressive techniques, which Rumsfeld ultimately approved.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the legal advice provided by Pentagon lawyers will, in his words, "go down in history as some of the most irresponsible and shortsighted legal analysis ever provided to our nation's military and intelligence communities."

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