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Former Bush adviser says torture could be necessary

[JURIST] Former Deputy National Security Adviser Robert Blackwill [official profile], who served during President Bush's first term, said Monday that while torture should not be widespread in Iraq, there may be instances where it might be appropriate. Answering questions at the Council on Foreign Relations, Blackwill cited a hypothetical where torturing a terror detainee could be justified if the detainee's organization has threatened to detonate a nuclear weapon and investigators have reason to suspect that the detainee knows the location of the weapon. The US Congress and White House are currently at odds over the proposed McCain amendment [JURIST document], which would ban torture and inhumane treatment of detainees. The amendment passed the Senate with a 90-9 majority [JURIST report] and was later unanimously reaffirmed by the Senate [JURIST report]. The White House has expressed opposition to the amendment, saying it would hinder the war on terrorism. The amendment has been added to the 2006 military spending bill and Bush has threatened to veto the budget [policy statement, PDF] if the amendment remains on the final version. Congress has not yet reached a compromise on the spending bill, but there have been predictions a deal is close on the anti-torture provision [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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