A memo about harsh interrogation techniques shows that a former US state department official strongly dissented from the Bush administration's secret legal view in 2005 that an international treaty against torture did not apply to CIA interrogations in foreign countries.
Until now, the February 2006 analysis by Philip Zelikow has been a high-level, classified internal critique of the Bush administration's controversial interrogation policies. At the time he wrote his criticism, Zelikow was secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's representative on terrorism issues to the national security council's deputies committee.
The state department released Zelikow's memo Tuesday under the freedom of information act to the National Security Archive, a nonprofit advocacy group for openness in government.
In late 2005, Bush signed an amendment sponsored by John McCain that the Republican senator believed applied international standards of cruel and degrading treatment to US interrogation practices.
However, a May 2005 secret justice department interpretation of the law exempted CIA interrogation practices like waterboarding.
"We agree that torture is bad ... unless we decide otherwise!" -- Official White Horse Souse