CIA chief defends agency interrogation methods

The CIA's interrogation methods are "unique" but don't involve torture, agency chief Porter Goss says, although he won't specify just what techniques are used to extract information from prisoners.

In an interview published Monday in USA Today, Goss reiterated the George W. Bush administration's defense of its interrogation practices in the war against terrorism.

"This agency does not do torture. Torture does not work," Goss said. "We use lawful capabilities to collect vital information and we do it in a variety of unique and innovative ways, all of which are legal and none of which are torture."

The U.S. Senate passed a ban on the torture of suspected terrorists in U.S. custody. The bill would restrict techniques used to interrogate foreign terrorism suspects and would ban "cruel, inhumane or degrading" treatment of anyone in U.S. custody.

White House officials have said Bush will veto the bill - which still must clear the U.S. House of Representatives.

Without elaborating, Goss suggested that some techniques that would be restricted under McCain's bill have yielded valuable intelligence. He said it was important that the United States have flexibility in dealing with terror suspects in other countries.

Goss declined to talk about recent reports that the CIA has used secret detention centers at military bases in Central Europe. Several European leaders are demanding thorough investigations into the alleged CIA action.

Cooperation from allies is essential as "I don't have any arrest authority overseas. If you want to disrupt a terrorist, you've got to have local law enforcement help you," Goss said.

Media leaks about allies helping the U.S., however, are putting those countries at risk of reprisal attacks from terrorists, the AP reports Goss as saying.


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