7,394. 5/21/2009

President Barack Obama recalled his banning of the use of enhanced interrogation techniques in a speech at the National Archives on May 21, 2009. He said: ” ‘I know some have argued that brutal methods like waterboarding were necessary to keep us safe. I could not disagree more. As Commander-in-Chief, I see the intelligence. I bear the responsibility for keeping this country safe. And I categorically reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation. What’s more, they undermine the rule of law. They alienate us in the world. They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists, and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America. They risk the lives of our troops by making it less likely that others will surrender to them in battle, and more likely that Americans will be mistreated if they are captured. In short, they did not advance our war and counterterrorism efforts–they undermined them, and that is why I ended them once and for all.’ ”

 – Barack Obama (courtesy White House Archives), “Verbatim: Obama’s May 2009 Detainee Policy Speech,” The Miami Herald, May 21, 2009

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