President Barack Obama went to Langley, Virginia today and addressed the CIA. He does an excellent job at explaining his decision to release the torture memos. He also expresses his support for their tough mission. (I would like to add just a small note congratulating Marcy Wheeler for scooping everyone else. I think that she was the first one to note that KSM was waterboarded over 150 times. NYT has the story this AM.)
Days after releasing top-secret memos that detailed the CIA’s use of simulated drowning while interrogating terror suspects, President Barack Obama went to the spy agency’s Virginia headquarters on Monday to defend his decision and bolster the morale of its employees.
“I acted primarily because of the exceptional circumstances that surrounded these memos, particularly the fact that so much of the information was public,” Obama said.
Last week, Obama’s Justice Department published previously classified memos that described the Bush administration’s legal justification for CIA interrogation techniques that included methods criticized as torture. Republican lawmakers and former CIA chiefs have criticized the release of the memos, contending that revealing the limits of interrogation techniques will hamper the effectiveness of interrogators.
The memos detailed the use of waterboarding _ a form of simulated drowning that Attorney General Eric Holder has denounced as torture _ as well as sleep deprivation, isolation and physical violence. (more… )