U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ruled out the use of "waterboarding" as an interrogation technique for terrorism suspects on Monday, calling it a form of torture that the Obama administration could never condone.
Holder's declaration underscored President Barack Obama's break with the former Bush administration's anti-terrorist policies, which were condemned around the world by human-rights groups, civil liberties advocates and U.S. allies.
"Waterboarding is torture. My Justice Department will not justify it, will not rationalize it and will not condone it," Holder, who his heading a review of the treatment of terrorism suspects, said in a speech to the Jewish Council of Public Affairs in Washington. His vow was greeted by applause.