The president and the former vice president speak out on the Constitution, values, waterboarding and the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
2:46 PM PDT, May 21, 2009
President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney both addressed the war on terrorism in remarks delivered Thursday in Washington. Obama spoke at the National Archives, Cheney at the American Enterprise Institute. Some brief excerpts:
On the Constitution
Obama: I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution as commander in chief, and as a citizen, I know that we must never -- ever -- turn our back on its enduring principles for expedience sake.
I make this claim not simply as a matter of idealism. We uphold our most cherished values not only because doing so is right, but because it strengthens our country and keeps us safe.
Cheney: Torture was never permitted. And the methods were given careful legal review before they were approved. Interrogators had authoritative guidance on the line between toughness and torture, and they knew to stay on the right side of it.
Even before the interrogation program began, and throughout its operation, it was closely reviewed to ensure that every method used was in full compliance with the Constitution, with our statutes, and treaty obligations. On numerous occasions, leading members of Congress, including the current speaker of the House, were briefed on the program and on the methods.
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