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FBI chief testifies he warned DOJ, DOD harsh interrogation tactics may be illegal

[JURIST] FBI Director Robert Mueller testified [recorded video; prepared statement, PDF] before the US House Judiciary Committee [official website] Wednesday that he had advised officials at the Departments of Justice and Defense that some interrogation tactics employed against terror suspects might be illegal. Mueller said that the FBI had first raised concerns about the use of harsh interrogation methods in 2002, when CIA interrogators used waterboarding [JURIST news archive] with several alleged al Qaeda leaders, but declined to say how other agencies had reacted to FBI concerns. AP has more.

In February, acting head of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel [official website] Steven G. Bradbury testified [JURIST report] at a US House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties hearing [subcommittee materials] that the use of waterboarding has been barred by measures enacted since the interrogation technique was used on three terror detainees in 2002 and 2003. That testimony came a day after the US Senate approved [JURIST report] a measure [HR 2082 materials] restricting CIA interrogators to using only those interrogation techniques explicitly authorized by the 2006 Army Field Manual, which specifically prohibits the use of waterboarding and other harsh tactics. The measure was also approved by the House of Representatives, but was vetoed [JURIST report] by President Bush. An attempt to override the veto failed [JURIST report] last month.

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