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Graham Pushback on Torture

We asked former Senator Bob Graham today about the heated debate over torture now raging in Washington.

He has been drawn into that controversy because of news reports that certain legislators, including Graham, were briefed by the Bush administration on the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” such as waterboarding.

Graham said those allegations that he knew about the rough tactics by the CIA were false, and he suggested it may be appropriate for a grand jury to look into the program.

“Speaking for myself as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from mid-2001 to the end of 2002, I was not briefed on these interrogation techniques,” he said.

He continued:

“…[I] am frankly very frustrated that there are these allegations made that everybody knew about it. I think the policy of the Bush administration was to try to bring as many people into the net when they were going to engage in some questionable activity in order to give them cover. In this case, I was not in the net.”

On the question of whether he favors prosecution of Bush administration officials responsible for the interrogation policies, Graham said that should be decided by the judicial branch, with a jury making the final call on whether to prosecute. He said it was appropriate to let judicial institutions weigh the evidence.

“I think they will serve us well in this instance,” he said.

This program aired on April 23, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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