DOJ: Torture Is Legal With “Good Faith”

From the AP:

The Justice Department in 2002 told the CIA that its interrogators would be safe from prosecution for violations of anti-torture laws if they believed “in good faith” that harsh techniques used to break the will of prisoners, including waterboarding, would not cause “prolonged mental harm.”

The newly released but heavily censored memo approved the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques method by method, but warned that if the circumstances changed, interrogators could be running afoul of anti-torture laws.

The Aug. 1, 2002 memo signed by then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee was issued the same day he wrote a memo for then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales defining torture as only those “extreme acts” that cause pain similar in intensity to that caused by death or organ failure. That memo was later rescinded by the Justice Department.

Late Update: The ACLU has posted the memos here.

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