President Barack Obama admitted Friday, during a spur-of-the-moment press conference, that America did in fact torture people in the aftermath of 9/11. The Hill reported that although Obama condemned the actions as “contrary to our values,” he also said it is important to understand what was going on at the time and why the actions were taken.
With the impending release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report regarding “enhanced interrogation techniques” used during Bush’s War on Terror, Obama took a moment to discuss the issue with the press. Without dancing around the topic, Obama openly admitted that the US was involved in torture. While torture is clearly wrong, the president insisted we must understand why those in charge might have deemed it necessary.
“Even before I came into office, I was very clear that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong. We did a lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.
I understand why it happened. I think it’s important when we look back to recall how afraid we were.”
Besides being morally abhorrent, torture isn’t even a useful technique. While some may still insist it is a reasonable means of gathering information, time and again torture has been shown to be unreliable. R
Regardless, the Bush administration allowed torture and even vetoed a bill that would have limited it.
Though he was against torture from the start, it’s good to see President Obama taking responsibility for the mistakes the country has made. While it is a shameful piece of our history, admission is the first step in correcting our mistakes. Namely never electing a right-wing warmonger to oval-office ever again.
Watch Obama make his statement in this video from the White House below.