WASHINGTON - The United States "does not torture people," U.S. President George Bush said during a briefing on the economy Friday.
"This government does not torture people," he said. "We stick to U.S. law and our international obligations."
An article in The New York Times this week reported the U.S. Justice Department issued a secret finding in February 2005 that endorsed harsh interrogation techniques.
Bush's briefing Friday was called to discuss the addition of 110,000 new jobs in the last reporting period.
"We've had 49 consecutive months of job creation," he said, "That's the longest uninterrupted (period of) job growth in our country."
After saying the job creation news was "a real tribute" to employees and employers, Bush addressed recent reports "about a program that I put in motion to detain and question terrorists and extremists."
The interrogation techniques used by "highly trained professionals" have been disclosed to "the appropriate members of the United States Congress," Bush said.
"I put this program in place for a reason," he said, "to better protect the American people."
When government agents "find someone with information," Bush said, "you bet we're going to detain them ... and question them."
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