Obama says that after 9/11, 'we tortured some folks'

WASHINGTON Sat Aug 2, 2014 7:05am EDT

1 of 2. U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement while at the White House in Washington, August 1, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday the CIA "tortured some folks" after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that the White House had handed over to Congress a report about an investigation into "enhanced interrogation techniques."

"We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values," Obama told a White House news conference.

Obama's comment was a reaffirmation of his decision to ban the use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding shortly after he took office in January 2009.

The administration of President George W. Bush, Obama's predecessor, authorized the use of harsh questioning techniques of militant detainees in the wake of the 9/11 attacks after deciding they did not amount to torture. Obama told reporters the techniques were used because the United States was afraid more attacks were imminent.

"It's important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had," he said. "A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots."

Obama also said he had full confidence in CIA Director John Brennan despite a revelation the agency spied on a U.S. Senate committee investigating its interrogation techniques.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Steve Holland and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (37)
Yvo_Kerwar wrote:
George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are war criminals and should be tried as such. Barack Obama and Eric Holder are accomplices because they didn’t prosecute them. If our country commits terrorist acts and covers them up, then it is itself a terrorist organization. I am ashamed of what my country has done and continues to do to this day. Everything has changed since 9-11 and there is ample evidence that our government was complicit in that event. We need a new investigation of what actually happened and it should start with looking into how the 47 story WTD Building 7 collapsed on 9-11 just like the Twin Towers from “small fires.”

Aug 01, 2014 9:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gopersuck wrote:
Some “Folks” were Tortured? Who is this person? I voted for a man who Trivializes or describes Tortured people as down home next door neighbors by calling them Folks? A President who defends spying on American Citizens by the NSA and directs Local law enforcement to not disclose or outright hide High tech methods of collecting Info on US Americans?

Aug 01, 2014 11:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JustProduce wrote:
Yes, you voted for a guy who is desperately trying to distract people from the plethora of fumbles both international and national that he is responsible for. Since blaming Bush is a bit played out, blaming all of us is the next best thing.
From day one, this guy wanted us to feel weak and defenseless. He promised to be the protector. He also wanted us to be ashamed of being Americans. He wanted us to feel terrible for being productive.
The problem is that we are strongest and proud. So his message continues to be dissonant with the reality; a reality that he tries to hide behind his perpetual golf and campaign outings.
Yes, just like you, a little more than half of voters selected someone who they can’t even recognize anymore.

Aug 01, 2014 11:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.