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Obama Emphasizes Values in Speech to FBI

By Michael D. Shear
President Obama squarely confronted critics of his decision to prohibit torture, telling members of the Federal Bureau of Investigations that the country is stronger when it upholds its values.

Speaking to employees after meeting privately with FBI Director Robert Mueller, the president said the United States can be protected without sacrificing what its people stand for.

"We are always stronger when we act in concert with our most deeply held values," he said. "What makes the us so special is precisely the fact that we are willing to uphold our values and our ideals, not just when it's easy, but when it's hard."

Obama did not directly mention the controversy over enhanced interrogations. His decision to ban the practice on his first full day in office exploded into public debate after he released Bush-era memos detailing the authorization of the harsh techniques.

But his comments to the FBI made clear that he gives no quarter to the critics, including former vice president Dick Cheney, who claim his decisions have made the country less safe.

He said the country does not have to become like the terrorists America is fighting in order to be safe.

"That is why America is unique, because of that fundamental belief," he said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 28, 2009; 12:09 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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President Obama is right. Nobody wants to torture. Problem is Obama is also damaging us by releasing classified CIA information.
He is also wrong in convincing our enemies we are wimps and wusses and will be harmless to people we capture!
Obama is welcome to his world vision, but I live here to and am a War Veteran and a citizen who is forced to survive his administration somehow! I wish Obama would get a more realistic mature view of what our enemy is doing before it is too late for all of us. I also am sick of his changes to our government. Obama needs to learn more real life before he leads us all to ruin with college social idealism.
Listen to the U.S. Constitution Sir!

Posted by: USDefender | May 2, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote: "(unless you believe the WTC conspiracy theorists)"

That's really rich, coming from someone who repeatedly posts about Obama's birth certificate.

Yup, let's all keep an eye on those conspiracy theorists! Wouldn't want to listen to one of them now, would we?

Posted by: nodebris | April 29, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote: "Bush did not KNOW that terrorists were coming for us."

What a pathetic comment.

I guess Bush was confused by the report on his desk the week before the strike saying terrorists were coming for us. And the unprecedented special trip by two CIA agents specifically warning him about the imminent likelihood of attacks (to which he responded "Ok, you've covered your asses now."). Perhaps the warnings of the previous administration were unclear, or the example of the previous attack on the WTC center didn't register on him. Maybe the Cole attack struck him as an oddity, or the announced intentions of Al Queda to attack us seemed like empty threats to him, despite the recent bombings of our embassies.

No, I guess it took 3,000 lives on his watch for the message to sink in and for him to KNOW that terrorists were coming for us.

That's the best excuse you've got?

Posted by: nodebris | April 29, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

The prosecution will proceed.

If you have not done so already there are many petition sites, please sign one of them.

Posted by: epremus | April 28, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I have combed the internet and the local papers. Two days ago all you heard and read was the call for an investigation into Bush torture policy. Now, nothing! Could it be that once it was learned that Ms.Pelosi and other top Democrats knew about the procedures, the matter was dropped? Not to worry - as soon as the new pictures are released, the calls for Bush's head will begin again. The fact remains, top Democrats knew, so keep that in mind when you ask for a tribunal. If we have one, then the whole story needs to come out not just selected salacious anti-Bush tidbits.

Posted by: saelij | April 28, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse


Bush did not KNOW that terrorists were coming for us and then affirmatively STOPPED our intelligence services from preventing it (unless you believe the WTC conspiracy theorists). This time, it will be ALL Obama's fault.

Posted by: JakeD | April 28, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"If there's another 9/11 attack (or worse), at least we will all know who's to blame."


Yup, the same people who we blamed last time, when that happened on President Bush's watch. The people flying the planes into the buildings.

President Bush remains the only president who had a catastrophic large-scale terrorist attack occur on his watch, but I blame the terrorists, not him.

In your logic, where such an attack is always the fault of the president, apparently you blame Bush for September 11. It's not like it was new information that there were anti-American terrorists in the world funded by Osama bin Laden, or even that terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center before.

I'm guessing you give him a mulligan for that one, though.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | April 28, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse


In case you haven't figured it out by now, the FBI is running the "government-enabled domestic terrorism"!!! Your "request" to the Philadelphia field office has been duly noted.

Posted by: JakeD | April 28, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Where is the FBI civil rights investigation into THIS -- government-enabled domestic terrorism? The request has been made multiple times to the Philadelphia field office.

Bush-Cheney- spawned torture -- NOT just a foreign affair.

The "Extrajudicial Punishment Network" created or expanded during the Bush years STILL enables citizen vigilantes affiliated with federally-funded volunteer community policing and public safety groups to stalk, harass, terrorize -- and YES, torture.

With microwave radiation "directed energy weapons" -- apparently OK'ed for use on detainees AND U.S. citizens by still-secret Bush "torture memos."

This "American Gestapo" has co-opted and corrupted local law enforcement nationwide -- a grassroots-based authoritarian apparatus "hiding in plain sight."

And a related array of secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction" decimates the finances of "targeted" persons and their families -- who are denied due process of law as their personal wealth is slowly expropriated.

Please, White House staff, read this. Your Bush holdovers already know all about it.

What have they told YOU?

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 28, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse


Why just the lawyers that provided the legal cover? Why not everyone from Bush down to the CIA agent? And, don't forget about impeaching Obama when he refuses to do so ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 28, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

We executed Japanese for waterboarding American soldiers after WWII. We led the world into signing treaties that would enforce the Geneva Conventions and support the International Red Cross in making sure that such atrocities never happened again.

The lawyers that provided the legal cover for the despicable acts of the Bush Administration need to be held to account. Failure to do so is shameful.

Posted by: thebobbob | April 28, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

If there's another 9/11 attack (or worse), at least we will all know who's to blame.

Posted by: JakeD | April 28, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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