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BBC: Obama reaffirms support for CIA

April 21, 2009

If the CIA is so worthy an institution, why have those responsible for 9/11 not yet been punished?


US President Barack Obama has told the CIA it remains key to protecting the country, days after releasing memos on its harsh interrogation techniques.

In a visit to CIA HQ to boost morale, he acknowledged recent “difficult” days but told staff they were needed to fight threats from al-Qaeda and piracy.

Mr Obama has already said CIA staff would not be prosecuted for the methods, which critics say are torture.

It was revealed earlier two al-Qaeda suspects were waterboarded 266 times.

On his first visit to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Mr Obama said he would “vigorously” protect the agency, just as it protected the US.

“Don’t be discouraged by what’s happened in the last few weeks,” Mr Obama told a large audience who applauded and cheered when he first appeared before them.

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About the author

Clare Swinney

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