Bush administration denies ignoring Guantanamo abuses

The Bush administration has denied charges that top military and national security officials ignored warnings about the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. In Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, a new book by journalist Seymour Hersh set for release Monday, Hersh writes that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld chose to do nothing about evidence of prisoner abuse and that President Bush signed off on a secret unit given advance approval to kill or capture and interrogate "high-value" suspects, which some consider to be in violation of international law. Reacting to the allegations over the weekend, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that despite some concerns about overcrowding at Guantanamo Bay, there was "nothing that suggested, to my recollection, that there were abuses ... going on at Guantanamo, and certainly nothing that would suggest the kind of thing that went on in Abu Ghraib." Read a transcript of Rice's interview on CNN's Late Edition. The Defense Department also released a statement on Hersh's book, saying that it "apparently contains many of the numerous unsubstantiated allegations and inaccuracies which he has made in the past based upon unnamed sources." Monday's Guardian has details of the charges made in the Hersh volume. Publisher HarperCollins has posted a portion of Hersh's Chapter 1, entitled "Torture at Abu Ghraib: A Guantanamo Problem", on its website here. Also available is a transcript of Hersh's Sunday appearance on NBC News' Meet the Press. AP has more.

 

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