Thursday, April 26, 2007

Defending Torture

Former CIA director says interrogation "saved lives"

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former U.S. spy chief said tough U.S. interrogation of terrorist suspects had proven more valuable than any of the other intelligence gathered by U.S. authorities, "60 Minutes" television show said on Wednesday.

In an interview to be broadcast on the CBS network show on Sunday, former CIA director George Tenet defended the agency's interrogation techniques, which human rights groups say border on torture.

"I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots," Tenet told the program. "I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together, have been able to tell us."

Tenet, who was CIA director between 1997 and 2004, would not talk about the techniques used, but said that "enhanced interrogation" was not torture.

He said "enhanced interrogation" was needed "because these are people who will never, ever, ever tell you a thing."

"These are people who know who's responsible for the next terrorist attack," said Tenet. "(Who) wouldn't blink an eyelash about killing you, your family, me and my family and everybody in this town."

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