Newspaper Finds Justice Authorized Torture in 2004

The U.S. Justice Department publicly condemned the use of torture during interrogation in 2004. But the New York Times reports Thursday that secret documents authorizing harsh tactics were circulated internally.

New York Times reporter Scott Shane says in some cases, CIA interrogators were approved to use certain harsh techniques on detainees being questioned. However, those techniques — such as waterboarding, which creates a sensation of drowning in the subject — would occasionally be used on other detainees.

Despite the Justice Department's authorization, the secret documents showed that the CIA interrogators worried they would face prosecution for using the harsh techniques, Shane says.

In 2004, there was a minor revolt in the Justice Department. Alberto Gonzales came in soon after as attorney general with the mandate of bringing the department back in line with the White House — and to make sure such dissention would not happen again.

Shane says the CIA eventually stopped using some of the harshest interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. However these techniques are still considered legal under Justice Department legal interpretations.

Shane talks with Alex Chadwick about the Justice Department documents and his article.

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