A former State Department lawyer tells The Associated Press that the Bush administration panicked after 9/11 and tortured prisoners.
Former President George W. Bush denied anyone was tortured. But Vijay Padmanabhan is at least the second insider to publicly describe as torture the so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" used by the U.S.
Padmanabhan was the department's chief counsel on Guantanamo litigation. He says it was "foolish" for the Bush administration to declare that detainees were beyond the reach of U.S. and international laws and the Geneva Conventions.
He told the AP Friday that "Guantanamo was one of the worst overreactions of the Bush administration."
Last week, another former official in the Bush State Department publicly criticized the administration for its Guantanamo policies.
Lawrence B. Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, said many detainees locked up in the prison camp were innocent swept up by U.S. forces unable to distinguish enemies from noncombatants
"There are still innocent people there," Wilkerson told The Associated Press. "Some have been there six or seven years."