Obama Says CIA Report Reveals ‘Terrible Mistakes’ After Sept. 11

President Barack Obama said the U.S. government made “some terrible mistakes” in authorizing the torture of suspected terrorists in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

While there was a real fear of additional terrorist strikes, “we did some things that violated who we are as a people” in trying to head off that possibility, Obama said in an interview with Spanish-language network Univision.

“We engaged in some brutal activity after 9-11,” the president said in his first public remarks after the release of a Senate report on Central Intelligence Agency interrogation tactics. He said the techniques used, which included waterboarding and sleep deprivation, don’t extract better information than what could be gained “the right way.”

Obama said anyone using torture since he ordered those practices halted when he took office would be in violation of both his directives and the law.

When the public is afraid and clamoring for action, “that’s when we have to be most on guard,’” he said.

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