Received this yesterday in response to a recent letter. I particularly love the comment that Bush has certified he has done nothing wrong. Yeah, sure!
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about the use of interrogation techniques in the Global War on Terror. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
Our nation’s government works best when its activities adhere to the principles of transparency and accountability. I am troubled whenever any of these principles are questioned, because it is essential that Americans have confidence in those who lead our country.
It is United States Government policy to treat all detainees humanely and with dignity. This is consistent with American values, U.S. laws, and the Geneva Convention. While al Qaeda and the other terrorist enemies we currently face in Iraq and Afghanistan are considered unlawful enemy combatants and not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions, the President has determined that the Conventions shall apply to a program of detention and interrogation operated by the Central Intelligence Agency. The Administration has certified that no policy approved during President Bush’s two terms in office has ever ordered, authorized, permitted, or tolerated torture.
Routinely persons suspected of terrorist activity are transferred from one nation to another for arrest, detention, and/or interrogation. This is normally done through extradition, by which one nation surrenders a person within its jurisdiction to a requesting nation by way of a formal legal process. Far less often, such transfers happen through a process known as extraordinary rendition or irregular rendition. Extraordinary rendition is the transfer of a person from one nation to another without judicial extradition proceedings.
Rendition is an issue that our country continues to study closely. It would be unacceptable for United States officials to knowingly extradite a person for the purposes of being tortured. It is important United States officials receive sufficient assurances that a person rendered to another country would not be tortured upon being taken into custody by foreign officials.
The Administration’s primary goal is the safety of the American people, and I am confident it takes its duty to defend both our safety and our freedoms very seriously. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I will continue to work to guarantee that our nation maintains the best defense possible against terrorist threats to our way of life.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Should you have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to let me know or visit my website at hftp://burr.senate.gov.
United States Senator
(I scanned this using OCR...so if there are spelling errors...they likely are not Burr's.)