Obama's torture memos release draws criticism

April 19, 2009 7:13:00 PM PDT
The Obama administration is being criticized for its decision to release so-called torture memos. Those memos detail interrogation techniques used by the CIA under President Bush.

Republicans called the release dangerous and irresponsible. Even President Obama's CIA Director Leon Panetta opposed the release.

A former CIA Director says half the information the government has about al Qaeda comes from those interrogations, and four former directors of the agency say this will make it harder for intelligence agents to battle terrorism.

"At the tactical level, what we have described for our enemies in the midst of a war are the outer limits that any American would ever go to in terms of interrogating an al Qaeda terrorist. That's very valuable information," said Michael Hayden.

"One of the reasons the president was willing to let this information out was that already the information was out. Go to the New York Review of Books. It's there," said White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

The Obama administration says the interrogation tactics were both illegal and ineffective.


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