The Swiss senator who led a Council of Europe investigation called the admission by Bush of the existence of the secret detention centers “just one piece of the truth.”
The international Red Cross welcomed the transfer of high-level terror suspects to the U.S. military prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and said it planned to check on them “very soon,” but reiterated its desire to visit all detainees in the U.S. war on terror wherever they may be held.
Critics said Bush’s acknowledgment of the program and justification of tough interrogation measures vindicated the worst fears that Washington had gone too far in the pursuit of terror suspects.
Bush seemed to be trying to justify “impunity legislation” that would allow the CIA to continue to operate the centers and use “alternative techniques” of interrogation, said Robert Freer, of Amnesty International. He noted Bush didn’t rule out cruel, degrading and inhuman prisoner treatment even if he proclaimed, “The United States does not torture.”
The president said the CIA’s “procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively, and determined them to be lawful.”