The U.S. government is refusing to comment on news reports that the Central Intelligence Agency has been holding and interrogating top al-Qaida terror suspects in secret prisons outside the United States.
National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said he would not comment on intelligence operations, but added that President Bush has been very clear that the United States will not carry out torture, and will comply with law and international obligations.
The Washington Post newspaper said Wednesday more than 100 prisoners have been questioned at facilities in at least two Eastern European countries and other locations outside the United States. The NBC television network carried a similar report. The Post said funding for the sites came from the regular intelligence budget approved by Congress each year.
Senator Barbara Boxer, a leading Democrat, called the reports of secret prisons "startling."