On torture, Obama's hands aren't entirely clean

President Barack Obama departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14, 2014. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty)
President Barack Obama departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14, 2014.

As Democratic lawmakers lined up on Tuesday to denounce the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) over a damning Senate report on the agency’s torture program, President Obama offered a more nuanced response.

The harsh techniques “did significant damage to America’s standing in the world,” Obama said in a statement, but he added that he saw no reason to “re-fight old arguments.” And he went out of his way to show sympathy for former President Bush and his team, under whom the practices described in the report took place, noting that after 9/11, the previous administration faced “agonizing choices” about how to stop another terror attack.