WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will continue to hand foreign detainees over to other countries for questioning, but only with assurances they will not be tortured, Leon Panetta told a Senate committee considering his confirmation as CIA director.
That has long been U.S. policy, but some former prisoners subjected to the process — known as extraordinary rendition_ during the Bush administration’s anti-terror war say they were tortured.
“I will seek the same kind of assurances that they will not be treated inhumanely,” Panetta said Friday in his second day before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I intend to use the State Department to be sure those assurances are implemented and stood by, by those countries.”
Panetta formally retracted a statement he made Thursday that the Bush administration transferred prisoners for the purpose of torture.
“I am not aware of the validity of those claims,” he said.
Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., chastised Panetta for careless words. “You cannot be making statements or making judgments based on rumors and news stories,” he said.
Because he has not yet been confirmed, Panetta has not been briefed on the details of the secret program.
This is great, eh? Not only do we have a president who makes each day at the WH look like Amateur Hour, but we’ll have a CIA director who doesn’t have the first clue how to run an intelligence agency, and who makes inflammatory off the cuff remarks that he can’t substantiate.
I feel so much safer now that the “adults” are in charge! Don’t you?