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Gates Backed Releasing Torture Memos


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« on: April 23, 2009, 01:37:12 pm »

Gates Backed Releasing Torture Memos

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 23, 2009; 12:22 PM

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., April 23 -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates indicated Thursday that he supported the release of sensitive memos on detainee interrogation methods last week because he viewed their ultimate disclosure as inevitable.
Gates, a former CIA director, said his foremost concern was that CIA officers who had used the interrogation techniques should be protected from prosecution.

"I felt very strongly the importance that they be protected," Gates told reporters during a visit to this Marine Corps base in North Carolina.

Another concern, Gates said, was the possibility that the Obama administration's release of the memos would cause a "backlash in the Middle East" that could adversely affect U.S. forces operating there. In discussions, he said, senior administration officials realized the disclosure could be "used by al-Qaeda" to generate opposition against the United States.


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Vigilante
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2009, 01:37:25 pm »

Despite these concerns, Gates said he believed it was very likely that the interrogation memos would eventually become public.

In light of congressional probes and lawsuits on detainee operations, there was "a certain inevitability that most of this would come out," he said.

"All of us wrestled with it," he said when asked whether he personally supported the release of the memos. But he added that his own view was shaped by his belief that the methods would ultimately become known.

Gates said he deferred to the Justice Department on the extent of the redactions to the memos.



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