President Obama's abysmal, legacy-killing response to the CIA torture report

The president could have made sure that torture will never happen again. Instead, he let the perpetrators off the hook.

Barack Obama
(Image credit: (Mark Wilson/Getty Images))

In a remarkable coincidence, the government of Brazil released its own official torture report last week, only a few days after the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee published its findings on the CIA's use of torture during the Bush era. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced the results of the National Truth Commission, which produced a 2,000-page report detailing the torture inflicted by the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.

Rousseff broke down in tears at one point, prompting the audience to offer a standing ovation in solidarity. The presentation made for a sharp contrast with President Obama's breezy remarks about American torture during a press conference in August. Obama made no reference to the fact that torture is blatantly illegal, sympathized with its perpetrators, and topped it off with an instantly infamous whitewash of war crimes: "We tortured some folks."

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