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Bush: 'we do not torture'
Tue Nov 8, 2005 12:53 AM ET
By Tabassum Zakaria
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - The U.S. government is aggressively taking action to protect Americans from terrorism but "we do not torture," President Bush said on Monday, responding to criticism of reported secret CIA prisons and the handling of terrorism suspects.
Bush defended his administration's efforts to stop the U.S. Congress from imposing rules on the handling of terrorism suspects.
The United States was sharply criticized for its handling of detainees after photographs of guards abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq shocked the world.
U.S. forces have held hundreds of detainees at known facilities outside the United States since the September 11, 2001, attacks, such as Guantanamo Bay. But senior leaders of al Qaeda who have captured, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, have been kept in secret detention facilities overseas.
Bush did not confirm or deny the existence of CIA secret prisons that The Washington Post disclosed last week, and would not address demands by the International Committee of the Red Cross to have access to the suspects reportedly held at them.