Rejects past view it must involve 'excruciating and agonizing pain'

  1. Justice Dept. rewrites memo on torture
    Rejects past view it must involve 'excruciating and agonizing pain'
    The Associated Press

    Updated: 7:28 a.m. ET Dec. 31, 2004
    WASHINGTON - The Justice Department released a rewritten legal memo on what constitutes torture, backing away from its own assertions prior to the Iraqi prison abuse scandal that torture had to involve "excruciating and agonizing pain."

    The 17-page memo omitted two of the most controversial assertions made in now-disavowed 2002 Justice Department documents: that President Bush, as commander in chief in wartime, had authority superseding U.S. anti-torture laws and that U.S. personnel had several legal defenses against criminal liability in such cases....

    ..."The Justice Department memo, dated Thursday, was released less than a week before the Senate Judiciary Committee was to consider Bush's nomination of his chief White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, to replace John Ashcroft as attorney general."...