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Memos released yesterday revealed many of the torture techniques approved by the Justice Department under the Bush Administration. Approved techniques included waterboarding, throwing prisoners against flexible walls up to 30 times in a row, slapping, sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours, holding their faces, forcing them into small boxes and even holding them in confined places with insects. Referring to waterboarding, one memo states that if a prisoner was unable to recover from an incident "the intervening physician would perform a tracheotomy."

Calling it a "time for reflection, not retribution," current President Barack Obama has ruled out the prosecution of CIA officers who tortured prisoners under Bush-era policy. "Nothing," he said in a statement issued just before the memos' release, "will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past."

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