WASHINGTON, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Top Bush administration officials including Vice President Dick Cheney had approved torture for interrogations of terror suspects, ABC News reported Thursday.
The officials held meetings and signed off on how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) would interrogate top al-Qaida suspects -- whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, according to the report.
The meeting seemed to have taken place during President George W. Bush's first term between 2001 and 2005.
The officials' discussions about these "enhanced interrogation techniques" were so detailed, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed -- down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.
The advisors were members of the National Security Council's Principals Committee, a selected group of senior officials who met frequently to advise Bush on issues of national security policy.
At the time, the Principals Committee included Cheney, then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Contacted by ABC News, a spokesmen for Tenet, Rumsfeld and Powell declined to comment about the interrogation program or their private discussions in the meetings.
There were previous reports that Bush administration officials have approved torture, but this is the first time for them to explicitly unveil the details of it.