Bush orders CIA 'black sites' closed

Sept. 8, 2006 at 8:08 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush has ordered the CIA's controversial "black site" prisons in Eastern Europe and Asia to be closed.

The action, reportedly carried out on the advice of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, ends the administration's 5-year initiative designed to hide interrogation techniques used on as many as 100 suspected terrorists, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Senior administration officials told the Post a number of factors went into the decision to close the prisons, including demands from allies to end the practice, the CIA's need to find a more long-term solution to the detention problem and an appeal from Rice to Bush to give thought to the legacy of his administration.

The move came as a setback to some administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who were reportedly major advocates of the program.

The closing of the prisons came amid a push from counselor Philip Zelikow, who was executive of the Sept. 11 commission, and State Department legal adviser John Bellinger III to change U.S. police regarding detainees. They advocate the commission's recommendation that the U.S. policy be altered to fit international norms, the Post said.

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