Zelikow memo tars Bush Admin on torture.
A six-year-old memo from within the George W. Bush administration that came to light this week acknowledges that White House-approved interrogation techniques amounted to "war crimes."
"The Bush White House tried to destroy every copy of the memo, written by then-State Department counselor Philip Zelikow. Zelikow examined tactics like waterboarding -- which simulates drowning -- and concluded that there was no way they were legal, domestically or internationally.
“We are unaware of any precedent in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or any subsequent conflict for authorized, systematic interrogation practices similar to those in question here," Zelikow wrote. The memo has been obtained by George Washington University's National Security Archive and Wired's Spencer Ackerman".
In an e-mail exchange with Britain's The Guardian newspaper, Zelikow said he still believes the techniques approved under Bush were "wrong" and may have violated U.S. and international laws. He said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice supported his position.
"I do regard the interrogation practices and conditions of confinement, taken together, as torture -- in the ordinary layman's use of this term," he told the newspaper, although he said he avoided the word "torture" because of its legal definition.
"I have sometimes just referred to 'physical torment' instead, which seems expressive and is accurate," he added.