President Obama: United States “tortured some folks” after 9/11

You don’t say…

President Barack Obama bluntly acknowledged on Friday that the United States conducted torture in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“I was very clear that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong,” he said. “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.”

“We crossed the line and that needs to be understood and accepted. And we have to, as a country, take responsibility for that so we don’t do it in the future,” he added.

Addressing reporters at the White House, Obama commented on a Senate investigation into enhanced interrogation techniques conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency. The investigation is expected to be declassified some time in August.

According to a new CIA Inspector General’s Office report, agency employees in 2009 hacked Senate computers being used to compile the investigation. Some lawmakers on the Hill are calling for CIA Director John Brennan to resign over the matter, but Obama deflected those concerns on Friday.


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22 thoughts on “President Obama: United States “tortured some folks” after 9/11

  1. Zach, thanks.

    Big improvement over calling it “enhanced interrogation.”

    Need the details. Who did it, what was done, when, to whom?

    Rumors, that it included torturing the children of suspected terror suspects in front of the suspect, are out there.

  2. Obviously, there were “crimes against humanity” in the form of torture, either physical or mental, if we are to believe the film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” or other such accounts and allegations which justified harm or pain, physical or mental, to the innocent or even the complicit as an unintended consequence to achieve a greater good and/or even prevent harm or death to those with no culpability.

    For almost all religious or ethical groups of society as a whole, evil is never justified to achieve a good. Refer to:

    Honestly and personally, I have a problem with this moral dictum in judging another who thought he/she was protecting me from harm or death.

    1. Great movie and good example of double effect; i.e., torture not morally acceptable to achieve a good.

      John, your question on torturing accountants for their fiduciary failure is not a double effect since it is punishment after the wrong or cinme. But I believe castration for their deliberate negligence would be appropriate and just for the financial harm to so many.

  3. Two questions why is that relevant to him now and second who care if we tortured a few people

    1. Bob,

      Answer to your first question, he’s the President. If U.S. government employees tortured people, it’s his job to begin the process to hold them accountable. If he doesn’t do it, it’s on Congress and that’s what’s happening.

      Answer to your second question, do you care if we were torturing children to extract information from their parents?

      The CIA has redacted the torture report that took five-years. That’s the fear, that they redacted stuff they they know will revolt the American people.

      I’ve got some questions for you. Do you “care” about the Japanese who tortured Americans soldiers to death on the Bataan Death march? Do you want to overturn their convictions at Nuremberg?

      Do you “care,” about Germans who let Joseph Mengele torture little kids at Auschwitz?

  4. While President Obama is usually a very articulate guy, this time his choice of words strikes me as more than just a little off kilter. Tortured some folks? Folks?

    I mean, having some folks over for dinner, or heading out for the holidays to see your folks, or how are you folks doing today, all have a casual, quasi familiar, folksy ring to it, but tortured some folks? A word with a tad more gravitas may have been in order.

    1. Thanks for the diary posting, yes, that, “folks,” was even used in the context of torture, put me off even more with this character than I already am. Wanted we the people to get the impression that it wasn’t evil torture, or painful torture or psychologically undue torture. You know, the kind of torture that should have prompted Zero to jail his predecessor and the other perpetrators instead of eventually engaging in it himself along with drone murder, re-supplying arms and munitions to Israel, arming ISIS mercenaries Syria or arming neo-nazi thugs in Kiev to, look out for the Empire’s corporate interests, while California burns, Toledo and Detroit die of thirst and USians throughout the midwest feel the negative effects of mining, fracking, and are endangered by dilbit rail and pipeline transport for further private profits for billionaires. Obomba, Walker, brothers in service for themselves.

      1. NQ, I value and share your views for the most part.

        As a Hillary supporter, deeply disappointed by her loss to Obama, I subsequently joined in enthusiastically voting for him…twice. He is, respectfully, my President, Obama, not “Obambo.”

        1. That’s Obomba, Duane, Zero works and is completely deserved, too. War criminals do not deserve anyone’s respect, so I guess we’ll have to disagree to disagree.

          You say potato, I say thanks for taking responsibility for helping to help bring this pathetic loser to power. I do like your honesty.

        2. POTUS at work:

          “President Obama, in his press conference on Friday, said ”it is heartbreaking to see what’s happening there,” referring to the weeks of civilian deaths in Gaza – “as if he’s just a bystander, watching it all unfold,” observed Brooklyn College Professor Corey Robin. Robin added: ”Obama talks about Gaza as if it were a natural disaster, an uncontrollable biological event.”

          1. Okay, we got your take on a black president.

            What’s your uncolored picture on the Jewish People?

            1. Activities and or actions or inactions, pick a topic Duane, with his appointment of revolving door bankers/Wall St cronies, uniparty economic policy to protect the rich, failure to prosecute war crimes or bank fraud, happy with an ineffective EPA, fast tracking efforts with the TPP, fast-tracking permits for LNG port facilities on the east coast (USians don’t deserve the gas that fracking has ruined our environment where obtained, last week re-opening the Gulf to more BP oil-drilling leases, yesterday expanding US corporate interests in Africa and today we hear of invitations to what, 51 African leaders (let’s sort through how many of those are strongmen, i.e. dictators) being invited to a WH dinner to curry favors?

              And certainly just for the benefit of the multitudes of wealthy consumers in Africa and not to abscond with natural resources or exploit a burgeoning cheap labor force to expand the Empire. /s

              And all you can defend him with is a false assertion that I am racially bigoted. Many Jewish people in Israel and abroad were seriously protesting the activities of the Israeli leadership’s genocidal policy against Gaza. Any more idiotic assertions to attack me personally and ignore the POTUS?

              1. NQ, lacking a direct answer to my previous questions,I assume that you are not part of the “47%” and voted for the “white guy” Romney, the only non-torturer candidate, in the last presidential election. Feel free to correct my assumption.

                Regarding my second question on the Jewish people’s support of their leadership, I was unable to discern an answer in your last post. Based upon some of your previous comments here, you may be distressed to know that 87% of Israel citizens agree with the actions to remove the Hamas’ tunnels and stop rocket attacks.

                1. Duane, Jews outside of Israel have a much different opinion.


                  I think you and I would agree that Hamas is in the wrong with rocket attacks into Israel. Long before the Geneva Conventions prohibited “collective punishments,” of civilian populations, , St. Thomas Aquinas had written that they were unjust forms of war.

                  Proportionality. No more force should be used than is necessary, and casualties should be kept to a minimum. The response should be in proportion to the level of the threat.
                  Civilians. Should not become victims of the war and have the right to be protected and their safety ensured.
                  Children. Are not to be treated as combatants; medicines, food and clothing should be allowed through.
                  Targets. Only military targets should be attacked and indiscriminate bombing is forbidden.

                  It’s wrong when Hamas does it. It’s also wrong when Israel does it.

                  “Even more fundamentally, the Neturei Karta Jews believe that the very idea of an Israeli state goes against the Jewish religion. The book of Jewish Law The Talmud, Cohen said, teaches that believers may not use human force to create a Jewish state before the coming of the Messiah. Not violence, even human force is not allowed!

                  Jewish commentator William Webermann has said, “My mission is to clear up the confusion that mixes Judaism with Zionism. Judaism is a religion and does not need sovereignty over any land. We can live anywhere and be loyal citizens… our religion forbids us to have land.””


                  Unfortunately, energy looks to be a factor in Israel’s policies.

                  “IDF’s Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis
                  Israel’s defence minister has confirmed that military plans to ‘uproot Hamas’ are about dominating Gaza’s gas reserves”


                  When war broke out, Israel’s messaging was all about Hamas’ rockets. That shut down their airport and hurt tourism. That’s when they switched messaging to the tunnels.

         is side-by-side photos of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and Palestinians in the Gaza ghetto, both using tunnels to bring in food.

                  Since World War II, Jews and especially the Zionists have praised the violent resistance that the Warsaw ghetto employed against Nazi’s. Palestinians are using that to support Hamas’ efforts.

                  One of the reasons for Hamas popularity with Palestinians is Israel’s “settler movement.” I’m no expert in the region, but that’s probably a big reason why no one will “take” the Palestinians in as refugees. It would be seen as conciliation to Zionist expansion.

                  Another is the Zionist hatred of Arabs.

                  “Terrifying tweets of pre-Army Israeli teens”


                  Now that Israel has destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure, starvation, lack of water, disease, will kill many more in Gaza. All that does is increase the chances of another attack on U.S. soil. The target will likely be a synagogue.

                  IMHO, BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement is gaining traction.

                  It took the Marshall Plan to help Germany leave its anti-semitism behind. Think it will take something similar in Gaza.

                  1. John, thank you, thank you for your insight and educational sources.

                    The long enmity and violent actions between the two parties is not easily understood nor lends itself to a solution acceptable to both. Meanwhile, the innocent on both sides suffer. I condemn the use of “excessive force” and targeting or military use of schools, hospitals, and neutral or refugee areas.

                    The violence by both parties has some application to the moral dictum that torture is not justified to achieve a good which may conflict with the moral reasoning that a nation or a person has a right to defend them self.

                2. If “…false assertion…” is not clear enough for you, then your problem seems to be of a purely personal nature and beyond my ability to assist you with.

                  Thanks for the links J Casper, yes, there were other choices in the presidential election and I’m aware of several people voting, none of the above. How I voted is first, irrelevant to the discussion, and seconndly, none of your business, Duane.

                  Seeking the truth about anything through the Washington Post is frequently a highly questionable exercise and generally dependent on one’s personal beliefs refuting real evidence.

  5. He’s a “progressive” torturer — he thinks it’s not “practical” to end it completely, but he reached a “compromise” with the torturers to reform their methods to be more “humane”. Nothing exposes the hollowness of present-day liberal “human rights” rhetoric more than these efforts at “torture reform”.

    I’ll be impressed once Obama says something like “We tortured hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, and we’re going to shut down ALL of the facilities immediately, and bring all of the US torturers to justice (including the government officials who oversaw it).” … But I’m not holding my breath.

    1. Jesse, apologies if I’m misreading your comment. I don’t in any way mean to relieve liberals of their responsibilities.

      But, where’s the Republican party? Where are all the so-called “conservatives?” Where’s most of the federal judiciary, especially the Supreme Court?

  6. I voted green/Jill Stein in 2012, because I was confident Wisconsin would go for Obama. Had I not been so confident I would have voted for Obama, only because Romney and the GOP were so adamant about destroying voting rights. The further damage Romney would have done to the federal judiciary and the Supreme Court was another concern.

    Absent those issues, however, it’s tough imho to make a case for Obama. Among a long list of failures, “Michael Hudson: The Fracking/World Bank/IMF/Hunter Biden Dismantling Plan for Ukraine”

    could turn out to be the dumbest, most dangerous.

    The Vice-President’s son (Hunter Biden) is running (or is at least a significant player) in a Ukranian natural gas company.

    And we’re willing to risk war with Russia so Hunter Biden can sit at a table with the oligarchs.

    “Russia to hold war games in show of strength near Ukraine”

    Both parties are in on this. Were that not the case, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News would be talking about something else besides “Benghazi.”

    Any discussion of the Obama presidency has to start with his and the Democrats decision not to push for DC state hood in 2008 – 2010. We the voters gave them the House, the Senate and the White House.

    Vermont and Wyoming both have fewer voters than the District of Columbia.

    In 2014 the Democrats are suddenly “worried” about losing the Senate. With two Democrats from Washington, DC, in the upper chamber, that wouldn’t be a concern. One way to combat the re-districting that the GOP has done in Wisconsin and the rest of the country is to increase the size of the House of Representatives by a 1/3. IMHO, that makes it more expensive for the oligarchs to buy government and that’s a good thing. Giving each State three U.S. Senators is likewise an idea that I think should be explored.

    When all the younger generation can see is Republican and Republican light, it forces them into Socialist parties, Green parties, or Anarchist parties.

    1. John, I applaud your independence and logic in not voting for Obama. In the 2008 primary, I voted for the white gal because I believed the black guy, with only limited political experience and no business background wasn’t ready for prime time. Now some could falsely deduce that my choice was racist. In the final I chose the black guy over the white guy since Obama’s shortcomings were minor compared to the gross inhumanity of Romney’s abysmal record with labor closing plants and sending jobs overseas. I suppose some of those who secretly voted for Romney would rashly judge that my choice was racist along with all the black, brown, or whatever color who voted overwhelmingly for the winner in two presidenetial elections or…twice!

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