Obama on Torture: ‘Democracy must reject false choice between our security and our ideals’

President Obama Releases “Torture Memos” by President Bush’s Administration

Administration to release Bush-era interrogation memos

The Obama administration released four Bush-era memos on terror interrogations Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that CIA officials will not be prosecuted for waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics that had been sanctioned during the Bush administration.

The memos, written by a top Justice Department lawyer, provided legal guidance to the entire executive branch, including the intelligence agencies, on permissible “enhanced interrogation techniques” that could be used against suspected terrorists taken into custody.

“My judgment on the content of these memos is a matter of record,” President Obama said Thursday.

“Enlisting our values in the protection of our people makes us stronger and more secure. A democracy as resilient as ours must reject the false choice between our security and our ideals.”

…He added that the officials involved in the questionable interrogations would not be subject to prosecution because the intelligence community must be provided “with the confidence” it needs to do its job.

“This is a time for reflection, not retribution. I respect the strong views and emotions that these issues evoke. We have been through a dark and painful chapter in our history. But at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past,” Obama concluded. Full Story

CIA Memos
FACTBOX: Waterboarding and other interrogation methods

See:
CIA Interrogation: ‘Cruel, Inhuman, Degrading Treatment’
Obama Refuses to Reverse Bush Policy on Prisoner’s Right to Trial
Obama Will Continue Use of Renditions

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