"What we're hearing from the other candidates in this race on the Republican side are very irresponsible and dangerous proposals that I think will put our national security at risk and further divide us from the very allies that we need in order to win this war against ISIS," former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta said during a conference call.

"Donald Trump is saying we should torture people and bomb families of terrorists and walk away from NATO, build walls and round up Muslims and keep them out of our country, '' said Panetta, who also served as the Chief of Staff for Bill Clinton when he was the US President.
Joining the conference call organised by the Clinton campaign, former senior US government official Rand Beers said he found Cruz's statement on increased surveillance in Muslim neighbourhoods as completely wrongheaded.

The torture policy of the Republican candidates was also criticised by retired Major General Tony Taguba who led the investigation of Abu Ghraib back in 2004, which was a scathing report in exposing torture and abuse of detainees in Iraq in 2004.     

Responding to a question, Panetta dismissed criticism from Republicans that US President Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, when she served as her Secretary of State, played a role in the rise of ISIS.

"You can't lay the blame for these kinds of threats on the president or Secretary Clinton. The fact is terrorism has developed in those countries because of the conditions that are present in those countries and that kind of terrorism is something we just need to confront," Panetta said.

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