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Bush denies US rendition for torture but Rice acknowledges 'mistakes'

[JURIST] In response to growing scrutiny of his Administration's interrogation practices, President Bush Tuesday insisted [White House transcript] that the United States does not secretly transfer terrorism suspects to foreign governments that engage in torture. The Bush Administration has been increasingly questioned about the practice, known as extraordinary rendition [Wikipedia backgrounder], since reports surfaced that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] was running a system of secret prisons in Europe [JURIST report] to which detainees were transferred. Reuters has more.

Continuing her visit to Europe. Tuesday US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice nonetheless conceded [official transcript] in a press conference with new German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website] that the US government may have made mistakes in its battle against terrorism: "Any policy will sometimes have mistakes and it is our promise to our partners that should that be the case, that we will do everything that we can to rectify those mistakes.". Rice did not say what mistakes the US government may have made, but specifically declined to comment on Khaled el-Masri, a German man captured in Afghanistan and held for five months until he was released under then-National Security Advisor Rice's direct order [JURIST report]. Again, Reuters has more.

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