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CIA Response to March 2 NY Times Editorial

March 11, 2008

The following letter to the editor, published in the March 9 edition of The New York Times, responds to a March 2 editorial:

To the Editor:

"Horrifying and Unnecessary" (editorial, March 2) cites interrogation measures that are specifically banned by the Army Field Manual, including forcing prisoners to perform sexual acts, applying electric shocks and conducting mock executions.

The implication is that those measures would be used by the Central Intelligence Agency or other intelligence services if the intelligence authorization bill is vetoed by the president. They would not. The C.I.A. neither conducts nor condones torture.

As the C.I.A. director, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, has said, the Army Field Manual meets the needs of the American military services and is sufficient for their purposes.

But it does not exhaust the universe of lawful interrogation measures available to the Republic to defend itself against hardened terrorists -- techniques not useful or suited to the Army's circumstances but fully consistent with the Geneva Conventions and with current United States law.

These are the interrogation measures in the C.I.A.'s current interrogation program -- not the ones cited in your editorial. They have been fully briefed to the intelligence oversight committees, and their lawfulness has been confirmed by the Justice Department.

Mark Mansfield
Director of Public Affairs
Central Intelligence Agency McLean, Va.
March 3, 2008

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