Goss Admits to Torture

From Holden:

Of course the CIA was only following orders.

Porter J. Goss, the director of central intelligence, said Thursday that he could not assure Congress that the Central Intelligence Agency’s methods of interrogating terrorism suspects since Sept. 11, 2001, had been permissible under federal laws prohibiting torture.


Mr. Goss’s comments came closer than previous statements from the agency to an admission that at least some of its practices might have crossed the legal limits, and had the effect of raising new questions about the C.I.A.’s conduct in detaining and questioning terror suspects, and in transferring them to foreign governments, in what remains one of the most secretive areas of the government’s efforts to combat terrorism.


Asked about the legality of practices in the past, a government official said, “The C.I.A. has always complied with the legal guidelines it received from the Department of Justice in regard to interrogation.”

At the hearing, Mr. Goss acknowledged that there had been “some uncertainty” in the past among C.I.A. officers about what interrogation techniques were specifically permitted and prohibited. A legal memorandum relaxing the limits on interrogation was issued in 2002 but repudiated by the administration in 2004.