Is Sanchez guilty of perjury?

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The ACLU yesterday made public a September 2003 memo, signed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former top military commander in Iraq, authorizing “29 interrogation techniques, including 12 which far exceeded limits established by the Army’s own Field Manual.”

As numerous bloggers have already pointed out, the memo contradicts Sanchez’ earlier Senate testimony on the subject, when he said he “never approved any of those measures.” Guilty of perjury? The ACLU has already sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales calling for an investigation. It will be interesting to see if the Bush administration tries to defend Sanchez by claiming that the commander obscured the truth to protect national security interests. After all, the authorization memo above was originally classified for “national security” reasons, and Sanchez might try to claim that he was unable to divulge its existence during his testimony.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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