Thursday, October 4, 2007

The White House Responds to Torture

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino responded to questions today about the New York Times story on torture. The transcript has been edited for clarity.

QUESTION: The New York Times has a piece today about legal opinions from the Justice Department authorizing harsh interrogation techniques. Do you challenge the accuracy of that report at all?

PERINO: 9/11.

QUESTION: Well, how about the central points, about the legal opinions?

PERINO: 9/11.

QUESTION: Shortly … shortly after Alberto Gonzales got there, did the Justice Department issue a legal opinion that …

PERINO: 9/11.

QUESTION: Well, it says for … that the February one authorized things like head-slapping, simulated drowning, and …

PERINO: 9/11.

QUESTION: But that would not deny … that wouldn’t deny what the Times is reporting.

PERINO: 9/11.

QUESTION: You’re being specific to applications.

PERINO: 9/11.

QUESTION: The New York Times also says that the U.S. is still using black sites for prisoners, to interrogate them. Is that accurate?

PERINO: 9/11.

QUESTION: Have you heard whether any other … they’ve started holding prisoners again?

PERINO: 9/11.

QUESTION: Does the administration still assert that it does not engage or authorize torture?

PERINO: 9/11.

QUESTION: You maintain that the administration still does not torture?

PERINO: Correct. Oh, and 9/11.

Any questions?