( Gulf ) - President George W. Bush has defended his administration's treatment of terror suspects following claims the Justice Department secretly approved illegal interrogation methods.
In a hastily convened appearance at the Oval Office, the president said "the US doesn't torture" and "investigative techniques used by the CIA were legal".
He was reacting to a report in Thursday's New York Times on two secret memos from 2005 that authorised extreme interrogation tactics against terror suspects - despite a declaration by the Justice Department in December 2004 that torture was "abhorrent".
The first memo authorised the use of a barrage of painful physical and psychological tactics including head slaps, exposure to freezing temperatures and simulated drownings.
The second Justice opinion said none of the CIA's practices would violate the legislation.