Tuesday, 6 November 2007

CIA exhausts medieval torture budget

The US Central Intelligence Agency is expected to hugely overspend its torture budget this year because of large royalty payments to the estate of Tomás de Torquemada, the former Inquisitor General of Spain and inventor of waterboarding. Lawyers acting on behalf of Torquemada's descendants are suing the agency for $300mn for unlicensed use of the technique, which simulates death-by-drowning in its subjects. "We've tried to get them to back down on this," said CIA director, General Michael Vincent Hayden. "But, let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything." The Democratic-controlled Congress is likely to approve a budget increase to cover the shortfall.

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