POLITICS
07/23/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Douglas Feith On Torture: "Some People Do Bad Things"

At a hearing about interrogation techniques in Guantanamo, the former Under Secretary of Defense explains away abuse:

After going back and forth with Feith -- in which Feith conceded there were indeed abuses in Defense Dept. detention and interrogation operations -- Rep. Bobby Scott (D.-Va) asked why the abusers might think they could torture detainees. "I don't believe they necessarily did think they did" have authority to torture, Feith said. "Some people do bad things."

A former Human Rights First attorney, Deborah Perlstein, gently read into the record the testimony of a Chief Warrant Officer tried for murder at Abu Ghraib. The individual in question said that he thought he was allowed to suffocate a detainee in a sack because of "a memo written by Gen. Sanchez," the U.S. commander in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, who in September 2003 accepted a series of suggestions from Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, then the Guantanamo commander, to "Gitmo-ize" Abu Ghraib. Miller's trip to see Sanchez, of course, occurred on behalf of and with the full knowledge of the Defense Dept.

"I don't think there's a dispute that people misbehaved," Feith said defiantly.

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