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White House defends nominee Chertoff against torture advice reports

[JURIST] White House spokesman Scott McClellan Tuesday denied reports that Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Michael Chertoff [DOJ resume], a former Justice Department official, advised the CIA on the use of certain torture techniques on terror suspects. McClellan said Chertoff did not approve any tactics, and instead told intelligence officials that interrogation tactics should not come close to crossing the line into unapproved techniques. Chertoff is scheduled to appear for confirmation hearings before the Senate Wednesday, with approval likely. Chertoff, who previously headed DOJ's criminal division and currently sits on the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, told lawmakers Monday that any advice he gave was broad and general. The New York Times reported Saturday [text; registration required] that Chertoff had advised the CIA on the legality of certain tactics. AP has more.

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