US President Barack Obama. Photo Reuters
US President Barack Obama says the CIA "tortured some
folks" after the September 11, 2001, attacks, and that the
White House has 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 US Senate
committee investigating its interrogation techniques.