Speeches

Obama: 'We Do Not Torture'

Speaking today at the National Archives, President Obama said that the United States “went off course” in fighting terrorism during the Bush administration and that his new policies will “better protect” the country. Waterboarding and other harsh techniques, Obama argued, "did not advance our war and counter-terrorism efforts–they undermined them." He also defended his decision to close Guantanamo Bay. Rather than keep us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security," Obama said. "It is a rallying cry for our enemies. It sets back the willingness of our allies to work with us in fighting an enemy that operates in scores of countries. By any measure, the costs of keeping it open far exceed the complications involved in closing it.” The start of Dick Cheney’s speech, which was scheduled for 10:45, was delayed until Obama’s ends.