Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has defended U.S. treatment of terrorism suspects, saying the United States is a nation of laws and that U.S. officials are sworn to uphold rights guaranteed by this country's Constitution.
Ms. Rice delivered a televised statement Monday just before leaving Washington for a trip to Europe. She did not directly address allegations that the CIA has been holding terrorism suspects at secret prisons in eastern Europe and other locations abroad.
The secretary said the United States will use every lawful weapon at its disposal to defeat terrorists.
The European Union is demanding an explanation of published reports that the U.S. intelligence agency secretly flew prisoners through European airspace to Soviet-era prisons for interrogation.
Secretary Rice is traveling first to Germany, where she will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel. She also is visiting Romania, Ukraine and Brussels, for a NATO meeting.
Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.