A declassified Senate report on interrogation techniques such as waterboarding after 9/11 makes clear that “we tortured some folks,” President Obama said Friday.
The report on rendition and interrogation by U.S counter-terrorism personnel, which will be released to the public soon, shows “we crossed a line,” the president said.
“We did some things that were wrong,” said Mr. Obama, who has received the report. “That’s what that report reflects.”
While condemning the practices that Bush administration officials say produced valuable intelligence to fight terrorism, Mr. Obama also said “it’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect” about the difficult job those officials faced after 9/11.
“People did not know whether more attacks were imminent and there was enormous pressure … to try to deal with this,” Mr. Obama said.
“I understand why it happened,” he said. “But having said all that, we did some things that were wrong.”
Mr. Obama also said he has “full confidence” in CIA Director John Brennan, despite Mr. Brennan’s acknowledgment this week that the agency spied on a Senate committee investigating the interrogation techniques.
The president said it was Mr. Brennan who requested an inspector general’s report that detailed the spying.