The US attorney general defended his country's treatment of terror suspects against criticism from Europe and elsewhere, saying Tuesday that the United States abhors torture and respects the rights of detainees.
Alberto Gonzales also said the US did not transport terrorism suspects to nations where it was likely they could be tortured.
Human rights groups and other European critics have alleged that US planes may be using European airports and air space to send suspects to nations that may torture them. They have also criticized the US prison camp in Guantanamo, and a UN report last month called for the facility to be closed "without further delay" because it is effectively a torture camp where prisoners have no access to justice.
The US attorney general - speaking Tuesday at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank in London - vehemently denied such charges, but acknowledged that people might interpret the term "torture" in different ways. The US abides by its own definition, which he said was the intentional infliction of severe mental or physical suffering.