defend America's freedom to torture!

Do we have something in mind that we want to keep hidden from the world? We'll almost certainly never know now.

The United States lost a bid today to rewrite a United Nations plan intended to reinforce the 1989 convention against torture.

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Diplomats say, and American officials do not dispute, that the United States is sensitive about this issue because of potential demands for access to the detention camp at the United States naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where more than 500 detainees suspected of being Al Qaeda members and others seized in Afghanistan are being held, as well as to others held in the United States as "enemy combatants."