New Rule Lets CIA Send Suspects to Foreign Torture Chambers
By Douglas Jehl and David Johnston
March 6, 2005
WASHINGTON, March 5 - The Bush administration's secret program to transfer suspected terrorists to foreign countries for interrogation has been carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency under broad authority that has allowed it to act without case-by-case approval from the White House or the State or Justice Departments, according to current and former government officials.
The unusually expansive authority for the C.I.A. to operate independently was provided by the White House under a still-classified directive signed by President Bush within days of the September 11, 2001, attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the officials said.
The process, known as rendition, has been central in the government's efforts to disrupt terrorism, but has been bitterly criticized by human rights groups on grounds that the practice has violated the Bush administration's public pledge to provide safeguards against torture.
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