Torture? Yes, it was, says former Bush State Department lawyer

A former State Department lawyer responsible for Guantanamo-related cases said Friday that the Bush administration overreacted after 9/11 and set up a system in which torture occurred.

Vijay Padmanabhan is at least the second former Bush administration official to publicly label “enhanced interrogation techniques” as torture. He said the administration was wrong in its entire approach when it sent detainees to the remote Navy base and declared it out of reach of any court.

“I think Guantanamo was one of the worst overreactions of the Bush administration,” Padmanabhan told The Associated Press. He said other overreactions included extraordinary renditions, waterboarding that occurred at secret CIA prisons and “other enhanced interrogation techniques that would constitute torture.”

“The idea that you’re going to be able to hold someone and detain someone where there is not an applicable legal regime governing their detention, rules, treatment, standards, etc. is, I think, foolish,” he said.

The criticisms from Padmanabhan, the department’s chief counsel on Guantanamo litigation, are among the harshest yet made by a former Bush administration insider

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h/t  Andrew Sullivan

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