Obama: Waterboarding Is Torture

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2009 9:31 PM CDT
President Obama speaks during a neWs conference in the East Room at the White House, Wednesday, April 29, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – President Obama said tonight that waterboarding and harsh interrogation techniques may have yielded useful information, but he said "we could have gotten this information in other ways—in ways that are consistent with our values," Politico reports. The techniques—"I do believe that it is torture," Obama said of waterboarding—damage America's moral standing, he added. “Over time that corrodes what’s best in a people," the president said in a wide-ranging news conference. "It corrodes the character of a country."

On other issues, Obama:

  • Said closing the border with Mexico would achieve little now that we already have swine flu cases here.
  • Said he's "gravely concerned" about Pakistan but doesn't think its nuclear arsenal will fall into the hands of terrorists.
  • Said he "would like to get the US government out of the auto business as soon as possible. I’ve got two wars to run already."
  • Said he's "under no illusions that suddenly I’m going to have a rubber-stamp Senate" because Arlen Specter has jumped ship.
  • Advised Republicans that “simply opposing our position on every front, is probably not a good political strategy.”