Official: FBI avoided prisoner abuse

June 10, 2008 at 8:25 PM

WASHINGTON, June 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine told a Senate panel Tuesday that the FBI has avoided harsh interrogation techniques on terror suspects.

At the Judiciary Committee hearing, ranking Republican member Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania asked whether suspects were ever tortured, The Hill reported.

Fine responded by only saying the FBI should have outlined clearer policies on interrogation.

"We believe that while the FBI could have provided clearer guidance earlier and could have pressed harder its concerns about detainee abuse by other agencies; the FBI should be credited for its conduct and professionalism and for generally avoiding participation in detainee abuse," Fine said.

Specter said the question of abuses "ought to have a very heavy glare of congressional focus."

The hearing was chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

She criticized the White House for endorsing "unnecessary, unreliable and un-American" interrogation methods, the newspaper said.

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