Senate Report Blames Rumsfeld, Other Top Officials for Detainee Abuses

Senior Officials Sought Advice on "Aggressive" Interrogation Techniques

The Senate Armed Services Committee has released a bipartisan report today concluding that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other top administration officials were “directly responsible” for the abuses of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and that their policies led to serious abuses elsewhere.

The report also says “the fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees.” Rumsfeld is cited repeatedly for his authorization of “aggressive interrogation techniques” and was the direct cause of abusive techniques across in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

A Spokesman for former Secretary Rumsfeld condemned the report as “unfounded allegations against those who have served our nation,” and said that the “irresponsible charges” may lead people around the world to believe that the United States condones torture.

Senator John McCain cited an “inexcusable link between abusive interrogation techniques used by our enemies who ignored the Geneva Conventions and interrogation policy for detainees in U.S. custody.” Senator Carl Levin expressed concern that training techniques “designed to give our troops a taste of what they might be subjected to if captured by a ruthless, lawless enemy” were being used against detainees.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.