President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the Senate report on the CIA’s intelligence gathering techniques shows the spy agency rushed to respond to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with sometimes “brutal” tactics that lacked "forethought to what the ramifications might be.”
Obama told Telemundo he is concerned of possible backlash against Americans overseas, but the report needed to be released to “make sure that we don’t make those mistakes again.”
“In the aftermath of 9/11, I think in the midst of a national trauma and uncertainty as to whether these attacks were going to repeat themselves, what’s clear is that the CIA set up something very fast, without a lot of forethought to what the ramifications might be, that the lines of accountability that needed to be set up weren’t always in place,” Obama told José Díaz-Balart of Telemundo/MSNBC.
He added that the prisoner abuse not only hurt American credibility overseas, but proved ineffective in gathering intelligence.
“We need to acknowledge that, in part, to put in place systems that, if heaven forbid, we find ourselves under the types of threats that have occurred in the past, that we recognize the dangers ahead of time and do better,” he said.
Some Republicans have decried the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying the document is incomplete and are being released unnecessarily at a time when tensions are especially high throughout the globe.
The president said there is “no perfect time” to make the report public.
“It was important for us to release this so we can account for it...and hopefully make sure that we don’t make those mistakes again,” he said.