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US interrogation tactics were torture: former State Department lawyer

[JURIST] Former US State Department (DOS) [official website] lawyer Vijay Padmanabhan [faculty profile] criticized the administration of former president George W. Bush for approving the use of extreme interrogation techniques against terrorism suspects, in an interview [AP report] with the Associated Press reported Friday. Padmanabhan, who now teaches at Cardozo School of Law in New York, served as the DOS's chief counsel on Guantanamo Bay and Iraq [JURIST news archive] detentions, and said that he believed the interrogation tactics used against some detainees constituted torture. He said the Bush administration was wrong to argue that the detainees were not protected by Geneva Convention [materials] rights, and that the tactics were an overreaction to the 9/11 attacks against the US.

Earlier this month, excerpts from a previously-undisclosed report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website] characterizing tactics used against terrorism suspects at Guantanamo as torture [text; JURIST report] were published in the New York Review of Books. Also this month, former Colin Powell [JURIST news archive] aide Lawrence Wilkerson criticized the Bush administration for arbitrarily detaining innocent civilians at the base [Washington Notes blog post; JURIST report].

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