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US Confirms Existence of Secret Overseas CIA Prisons

President Bush has acknowledged for the first time that U.S. intelligence agents interrogated terror suspects at secret overseas prisons and moved 14 of them to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mr. Bush, speaking Wednesday, said one of the transferred men is Khalid Sheik Mohammed -- the alleged mastermind of the September 11th attacks on the United States in 2001.

Mr. Bush urged Congress to approve the creation of military commissions to try such detainees. He says the secret Central Intelligence Agency detention centers saved countless lives and were a vital tool in the war against terror.

Other suspects moved to Guantanamo include alleged September 11th plotter Ramzi Bin Al-Shibh, and two imembers of Indonesia's al-Qaida-linked terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, Hambali and Zubair.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman says their interrogations may continue at Guantanamo, but under new rules that protect all U.S. military detainees from abuse.

The Pentagon would not say where the men were held before or which part of Guantanamo's facility will be their new home.

Wednesday's announcement came as part of a series of speeches President Bush is giving about the fight on terrorism ahead of Monday's anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

Opposition Democrats say he is politicizing that fight in hopes of helping members of his party running for Congress in November. The White House says the speeches are not political and are meant to keep Americans informed about a serious threat.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters

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