President Barack Obama does not believe the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques after 9/11 were justified, regardless of whether they helped lead to Osama bin Laden's killing, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.
Earnest, reiterating Obama's view ahead of Tuesday's planned release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report, said: “There were a variety of views whether information that was gleamed from enhanced interrogation techniques led to the eventual capture of Osama bin Laden.”
“What we have been clear about, and what the president has been clear about, is that he does not believe the use of these enhanced interrogation techniques is justified. He does not believe that makes us safer. He does not believe that is in the core national security interest,” Earnest said.
Earnest said differing views about the CIA's tactics surfaced after the death of bin Laden in 2011 and after the release of the film, “Zero Dark Thirty.”
“The president’s view, wherever you come down on this equation of, yes it yielded information that was helpful, yes it yielded information that was crucial, or no it didn’t yield any helpful information, the president believes that regardless of what the answer to that question is — that the use of these techniques was not worth it because of the harm that was done to our national values and the sense of what it is we believe in as Americans,” Earnest said.
The Senate committee report is expected to provide explosive details if how the CIA treated terrorism suspects after the 9/11 attacks.
Earnest said the U.S. is taking extra precautions to keep American facilities around the world safe after the report’s details become public.
“The administration has for months been preparing for the release of the report that could lead to a greater risk posed to U.S. facilities and individuals all around the world,” Earnest said. “The administration has taken the prudent steps that the proper security precautions are put in place at U.S. facilities around the globe.”
“The administration strongly supports the release of this declassified summary of the report,” Earnest said. “The president, on his first or second day in office, took the steps, using executive action, to put an end to the tactics that are described in the report. And the president believes that on principle, it is important to release that report so that people around the world and people here at home understand exactly what transpired. ”