President’s Statement on CIA Torture Report

Throughout our history, the United States of America has done more than any other nation to stand up for freedom, democracy, and the inherent dignity and human rights of people around the world.  As Americans, we owe a profound debt of gratitude to our fellow citizens who serve to keep us safe, among them the dedicated men and women of our intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency.  Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, these public servants have worked tirelessly to devastate core al Qaeda, deliver justice to Osama bin Laden, disrupt terrorist operations and thwart terrorist attacks.  Solemn rows of stars on the Memorial Wall at the CIA honor those who have given their lives to protect ours.  Our intelligence professionals are patriots, and we are safer because of their heroic service and sacrifices.

In the years after 9/11, with legitimate fears of further attacks and with the responsibility to prevent more catastrophic loss of life, the previous administration faced agonizing choices about how to pursue al Qaeda and prevent additional terrorist attacks against our country.  As I have said before, our nation did many things right in those difficult years.  At the same time, some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values.  That is why I unequivocally banned torture when I took office, because one of our most effective tools in fighting terrorism and keeping Americans safe is staying true to our ideals at home and abroad.

Today’s report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence details one element of our nation’s response to 9/11—the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, which I formally ended on one of my first days in office.  The report documents a troubling program involving enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects in secret facilities outside the United States, and it reinforces my long-held view that these harsh methods were not only inconsistent with our values as nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests.  Moreover, these techniques did significant damage to America’s standing in the world and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies and partners.  That is why I will continue to use my authority as President to make sure we never resort to those methods again.

As Commander in Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the safety and security of the American people.  We will therefore continue to be relentless in our fight against al Qaeda, its affiliates and other violent extremists.  We will rely on all elements of our national power, including the power and example of our founding ideals.  That is why I have consistently supported the declassification of today’s report.  No nation is perfect.  But one of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better.  Rather than another reason to refight old arguments, I hope that today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong—in the past.  Today is also a reminder that upholding the values we profess doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us stronger and that the United States of America will remain the greatest force for freedom and human dignity that the world has ever known.

127 Responses to “President’s Statement on CIA Torture Report”

  1. 1 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Hello Chips and TOD.

  2. 3 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

  3. 5 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 12:50 pm

  4. 7 amk for obama
    December 9, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    cnn ‘legal reporter’ whateverf,,k that means claims these are not prosecutable charges. amazing.

  5. December 9, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Well said – and inspiring!

  6. 9 forus50
    December 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I’m not sure I’m understanding the Torture Report. Is it saying that Bush didn’t know about the torture details? If so, then this doesn’t make any sense i.e. why would they be concerned if they didn’t know?

    “An internal C.I.A. email from July 2003 noted that the White House “is extremely concerned Powell would blow his stack if he were to be briefed on what’s been going on.”

    Looks like this was report by Senate Dems was set up to implicate low level CIA and so that Bush & Cheney & Co will never be imprisoned for their illegal war, killing thousands and this torture at Guantanamo and other secret locations.

    • December 9, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    • 11 amk for obama
      December 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      cia lied through their teeth day in & day out and none in the admin was wiser? It shows the total incompetence of the dumbya admin as well as their complicity.

        December 9, 2014 at 2:52 pm


  7. 13 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm

  8. 16 FoxfireTX
    December 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Good day TOD. So glad PBO made the decision he did on releasing this. The one major consequence is that it will never again be allowed by the US. And from my perspective, hopefully this is the final nail in the Bush legacy coffin. Not terribly surprised by any of it given what we know about Abu Graib, but disgusting nonetheless. And the sad thing is that all of those Repubs who think what we did is just fine, they will hate PBO even more for releasing this. Of course, the response is if you think it is just fine, why would you care that world knows?

  9. 17 Nena20409
    December 9, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    ACLU is advocating a Pardon by POTUS to ensure TORTURE Never happens again.

    Bully Pucky.

    Ford Pardoned Nixon yet, years later, it didn’t stop Reagan. Reagan went on with the Iran Contra. Dick Cheney and GW Bush went on to Torture.
    Having read the statements up thread by Pres Obama. I say, Thanks President Obama.

    I am tired of people making demands, but Never great allies when needed. I am tired of Pres Obama being the Panacea for all that is Wrong in USA. President Obama has Done more than Plenty for USA. The least we could be is Thank him and be be more than grateful.

  10. 20 Nena20409
    December 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm

  11. 23 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    • 24 amk for obama
      December 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      what century do these people live in?

    • 25 arapaho415
      December 9, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      JER, your contribution here is priceless.

      Thank you for all your informative posts, looking forward to the Nashville coverage!

      The funny thing about this photo is that the Duchess and King (Lebron) look relaxed and content, while Prince William looks like the odd man out. Struck my funny bone.

      December 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm


    • December 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      I notice Lebron tpuching Kate. I wonder if the paper in England is going crazy about that. What is so great about these people that you can’t touch them?.

  12. 28 Nena20409
    December 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

  13. 29 Linda
    December 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Ronan Farrow is going to find out if this shit is still going on…..because ?

  14. 32 amk for obama
    December 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent

    This report makes deeply uncomfortable reading but it shines a much-needed torch into some dark places.

    The fact that “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” (EIT), or torture by any other name, was stopped years ago or that some people at the top of the US administration may not have known its full extent, does not excuse the fact it took place at all.

    After going through six million pages of documents, the authors concluded that in none of the cases they looked at did these brutal methods stop a terrorist attack. Meaning that America’s reputation, and by extension that of the wider West, has been sullied for no tangible gain.

    This will lay the US open to charges of hypocrisy, making it far harder for the West to criticise brutal and dictatorial regimes. It may also encourage terrorists to justify their atrocities by pointing to this past abuse.

    It can only be hoped this report’s publication means these practices will be consigned to history’s dustbin.


  15. December 9, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I’m really sick and tired of the notion that Dems, PBO and his administration are singularly tasked with the responsibility of “fixing” and “correcting” immoral GOP behavior that people (media, activists, Glen Greenwald, Snowjob, American voters, etc) KNOWINGLY allowed to happen while they were happening.

    The very people who sit on their behinds and don’t vote, go along with MSM anti-POTUS memes, or participate in Dem voter suppression, are the loudest cacklers when it comes to demanding that PBO prosecute Bush/Cheney/Wall Street.

    Focusing on putting GWB and Cheney in prison is forcing the Obama administration to go down a road that is neither constructive or particularly meaningful in the grand scheme of things.

    Furthermore, it actually puts undue pressure on PBO and his administration, and then makes THEM the target of people’s anger, not GWB/Cheney.

    We need to use this torture report constructively and not get sidetracked; our focus needs to be where it belongs – on Bush and Cheney’s malfeasance and WHY we cannot and should not have a Republican as President in 2016 or ever. Not on “we mad at PBO because because he & Holder are not prosecuting…”

    • 35 Nena20409
      December 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Brava, HF2.

      I am with you 1001%.

      Yes, Mr Obama is President. Yes, much is expected. Yes, he has given his all.

      But…..But…..but……He is Not Mr Fix it all. He is Not our Daddy nor The Almighty God.

      Forgive me…. my Lord, but Pres Obama is Not God.
      We The People Have Got to stop demanding so much from him and FOR Once Demand More from the GOPers, Dems, Media and We The People…….Too.

    • 36 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      December 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      ^5. “We need to use this torture report constructively and not get sidetracked; our focus needs to be where it belongs – on Bush and Cheney’s malfeasance and WHY we cannot and should not have a Republican as President in 2016 or ever. Not on “we mad at PBO because because he & Holder are not prosecuting…””

    • 37 Vicki
      December 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      100% THIS!!! “We cannot and should not have a Republican as president in 2016 or ever.”

  16. 39 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm

  17. December 9, 2014 at 1:22 pm

  18. 41 Linda
    December 9, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Abu Zubaydah was NEVER a member of Al Qaeda…. page 410 of report….Cia admitted it.

  19. 42 Nena20409
    December 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm

  20. 47 donna dem 4 obama
    December 9, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I’m loving this tweet!!

  21. 48 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 9, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Good afternoon, TOD! OT, but PBO related:

    My White House Christmas Card arrived today! Just the medicine I needed to perk me up…

    • 49 donna dem 4 obama
      December 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      The pop up Christmas card last year was so nice. I cherish these every year. I’m not sure I’ll be on the list this year because I cut way back on my donations to the DNC in 2014.

  22. 52 Nerdy Wonka
    December 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm

  23. 53 arapaho415
    December 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Well, this is embarrassing for everyone.

    Can the CIA be more incompetent?

    Also I heard the radio mention John McCain’s name, didn’t catch what McCain said, but surprisingly it sounded like he didn’t take this opportunity to bash PBO — McCain’s always been against torture, so I’m glad he’s not blaming the Obama Adm.

  24. 57 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm


  25. 60 Nena20409
    December 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    For those on the right who gleefully cheer for American Exceptionalism.
    Today they will defend Income Inequality. Torture. Deny Food and Medicine to the very poor. They loathe Gov’t, but would spend Billions collectively seeking government jobs. They complain about Trial Lawyers, but would sue POTUS for doing his job. They loathe Deficit, yet in US history, they have caused more Deficit, shut down government, caused credit down grade, ignore clean water, allowed crumble infrastructure, vote for tax welfare for the rich while spouting support for Freedom, Democracy and Free Market……….they also deny many their rights to assemble and their rights to vote. They support Police state so long as their preferred group are Not directly affected.

    Who Loves You, America?.

  26. 62 Allison
    December 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm

  27. 64 amk for obama
    December 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    To think that this is just a sanitized report. What other horrible deeds that will never see the light of the day?

    • 65 Vicki
      December 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      AMK—I bet I speak for many Americans when I say that this report is sufficient unto itself and we do not need any more horrific details to condemn and consign all the participants–from Pres. Bush and VP Cheney down to the lowliest person at the black site to the eternal punishment and disgrace they have earned.

      • 66 amk for obama
        December 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm

        eternal punishment and disgrace ?

        You’re kidding, right? Their ugly criminal mugs have been on teevee for ever. Heck, they even did a fluff piece of dumbya, last week, didn’t they?

        • 67 Vicki
          December 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

          Not kidding. TV and people who cover for you don’t change the larger reality.

          • 68 amk for obama
            December 9, 2014 at 2:02 pm

            the larger reality being the american disgust at this criminal regime (which they voted for twice, btw) lasted exactly two years and gave back the power to the same set of criminals.

            • 69 Sandy1110
              December 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

              Agreed. The American public has been dumbed down by a GOP-owned media and the midterms prove it.

              The tweet about the vast number of people who wrongly believe the U.S. deficit has *INCREASED* proves it.

              You know who they just featured on the NCAA College Football playoff selection committee on ESPN this past Saturday? CONDOLEEZZA RICE.

              The MSM will prop up the Bush/Cheney war criminals and whitewash their crimes in the public eye until they are no longer owned by the GOP. That won’t happen anytime soon.

              And their audience is constantly fooled by it.

            • 70 Vicki
              December 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm

              You are correct about the history, AMK, and sandy1110 is right about the Media.
              Nevertheless, this report coming out is an affirmation that decency exists and that the malefactors have been and will be condemned by everyone who hears or reads this report.
              They may not be able to say so publicly, but everyone knows how wrong this CIA behavior was and who allowed it.

  28. December 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    So the Decider decided that he didn’t want to know or care to know….

  29. December 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Here we go — this is how the media tries to underhandedly make it about Obama. Get folks to be focused on and angry at him, while completely losing track of the matter at hand.

  30. 73 Linda
    December 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    So the Decider decided that he didn’t want to know or care to know….

    Plausible deniability is a term coined by the CIA in the early 1960s to describe the withholding of information from senior officials in order to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal or unpopular activities by the CIA became public knowledge.

  31. December 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    • 75 amk for obama
      December 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Bingo. It was more disgusting than seeing raygun getting elected twice. The fucker slept on his job and they rewarded him for it.

  32. 76 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Shelley Mays@TNPhotoShelleyM

  33. 77 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm

  34. 78 donna dem 4 obama
    December 9, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I rarely agree with Markos but he nails this one IMO.

    So the guy that spent an entire year telling its donors about how the DCCC was going to get crushed, and then told them close to Election Day that they had no clue what they were doing and “were out of ideas” is the guy who will now have ideas about how to win? He already told us he has no ideas!

    Here’s an idea: Spend less time aggressively raising millions of dollars for ads that no one watches, and more time inspiring people to want to vote Democratic, and building a GOTV machine to get out our base—people who are browner, younger, and more female than Steve Israel.

    And stop telling people they’ve lost a year before the election even happens.

    • 79 Vicki
      December 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Donna, I have been railing agaist Steve Israel for a long time. I suggested that the only place it was safe to let him speak for the Democratic Party was in his shower.

      Time to wonder if there is a viable Democratic Party that wants to win elections.
      If there is—where is the evidence?

      I’m seeing the energy for democratic ideals coming not from DC or dem party central, but from progressive cities with charismatic idealistic governance.

  35. 80 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    LIVE NOW: Awaiting President Obama’s arrival at Nashville International Airport – http://new.livestream.com/accounts/3889236/events/3178028

  36. 81 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:22 pm

  37. 82 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm

  38. 83 57andfemale
    December 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I’m going to miss Newsroom. It got increasingly better after the shaky first season; and the current season makes my heart ache for well-written, well-acted tv. Sorkin, for all his faults, is in a class by himself.

    Charlie Pierce wrote a quick column about this week’s episode and the demise of the Sam Waterston character. He quotes one of Charlie Skinner’s (the character) lines that should be emblazoned all over this nation:

    “I’m too old to be governed by fear of dumb people.”

    • 84 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      December 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      I’m going to miss it, too. Seems like smart, well written and acted, programs never last…

    • 86 Roberta in MN
      December 9, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      I agree 57. I watched it last night and was shocked Skinner died. They have 4-5 episodes left, I can’t imagine what it is going to be like. But a must watch show. I watched all the episodes on http://www.showsday.com, It’s a neat sight, if you don’t have cable. .20 cents a show. or 2 points. Lots of stuff to watch. BBL. Time to help decorate our Community Room. 🙂
      Thank you Nerdy for your tweets and Chips for this site. Love you all.

      • 87 57andfemale
        December 9, 2014 at 3:37 pm

        I think there’s one episode left. I may be wrong, but I was sure that’s what the promo said.

        I have crappy AT&T “upgraded” broadband, which didn’t even increase my speed. It’s pathetic living in Chicago that we can’t get decent internet except Comcast, which has screwed up three of my orders and I gave up on them. So I’m not able to stream anything. Even short YouTube videos buffer and buffer. I’d watch the entire series again in a heartbeat.

      • 88 57andfemale
        December 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

        Verified: Sunday is the series finale.

        Sam Waterston has already started work on a Netflix show where he plays Lily Tomlin’s gay husband.

  39. 89 57andfemale
    December 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Anthony Romero, head of ACLU, is a first-class idiot. His reasoning would have gotten him the AG post under Bush, it is so (pardon the pun), tortured, and void of legal, or any other, reasoning.

  40. 90 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Here comes Air Force One.

  41. 91 Nena20409
    December 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

  42. December 9, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    More foolishness from the Black Than Thou, Inc.,

  43. 93 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    • 94 Vicki
      December 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Maybe it’s me but this bs sounds like “the southern strategy.” Trying to move the Dems away from poor and/or black and brown people.

      • December 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm

        i believe that there are DEMS who are as uncomfortable with this president and the Obama coalition that he inspires as the GOP…this might sound strange…but i think that the DNC did everything in their power to lose…because losing gives them an excuse to reset to PRE_Obama….

      • 98 EricFive
        December 9, 2014 at 3:25 pm

        They all want to attact the white male vote. They share the view of former Senator Jim Webb, who considers the Obama coalition a collection of “interest groups” not regular Americans. They value the votes of some voters more than others. This is why Dems, prior to PBO, have always run as “GOP-lite” during Presidential elections. In many ways they want their party back, just like the tea party wanted their country back. People of color and women using their political power has upset folks on both the left and the right. It impedes their prime directive of funnelling wealth to the 1%ers.

  44. 99 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm

  45. 100 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm

  46. 101 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    BTW, did you see this pic from last night’s Berkeley protest?

  47. December 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm

  48. 104 Linda
    December 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    What ever happened to the Ebola Czar ?

    • 105 Nena20409
      December 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Yesterday ate the WHPC presser……a couple of questions on that.
      The report written…and as read yesterday is that He departs or rather, will wrap up his work Come March 1st. He has done a great job, quoting Josh Earnest. They have gone from 3 Hospitals capable of treating Ebola Patients in US to 35. He also mentioned that 3K plus US military personnel are in the areas affected in West Africa setting up Area Hospitals, Teaching and Educating best practices and that come Jan 2015, the Ebola Vaccines showing promising results……Humans will start getting Vaccinations in the affected areas.

    • 106 arapaho415
      December 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Ron Kain signed up for a specific period of time, which ends in early Spring next year.

      During his short tenure, the number of hospitals certified for ebola treatment increased more than 10 fold, from 3 to 35.

  49. 107 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm

  50. 110 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

  51. 111 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm


  52. December 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm

  53. December 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm

  54. 118 Nena20409
    December 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm

  55. 119 Nena20409
    December 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm

  56. 120 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm

  57. 121 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm

  58. 122 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

  59. 123 Nena20409
    December 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm


    Wow…….they are in Deep Denial.

  60. 127 JER
    December 9, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    LIVE NOW: Senate Hearing On Use of Military Force Against ISIL – Secretary Kerry – http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

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