A Pentagon spokesman said Monday that Red Cross officials had “made their view known” that the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amounted to torture.
Lawrence Di Rita, spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, said, “It’s their point of view,” but it was not shared by the Bush administration.
He noted that the administration believed it had the legal right to detain such suspects until the end of the war on terrorism because they are unlawful combatants not subject to the protections of the Geneva convention.
The New York Times reported on its website that the International Committee of the Red Cross had accused the American military of using techniques “tantamount to torture” on prisoners at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.
Red Cross inspectors who visited the site in June said interrogators used “humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, use of forced positions” to break the will of prisoners, according to the newspaper.