Speaking today at a congressional panel on the torture of detainees, Philip Zelikow, a State Department official during the Bush years, said that the manner in which detainees were interrogated was a "collective failure" on the part of the administration. Zelikow, said that he had personally criticized the torture memos written by the Department of Justice in a memo of his own three years ago, but that it was ignored. He also said that unnamed Bush administration officials tried to censor it entirely by gathering and destroying copies of the memo. During the hearing Senator Sheldon Whitehouse bemoaned the smoke and mirrors surrounding the torture issue, describing a "near avalanche of falsehood" that has obstructed the committee's investigation.
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