April 16, 2009
"The exceptional circumstances surrounding these memos should not be viewed as an erosion of the strong legal basis for maintaining the classified nature of secret activities. I will always do whatever is necessary to protect the national security of the United States."
President Obama, on the release of CIA memos regarding harsh interrogation tactics used during the Bush Administration
"Its effect will be to invite the kind of institutional timidity and fear of recrimination that weakened intelligence-gathering in the past, and that we came sorely to regret on Sept. 11, 2001."
Michael Hayden and Michael Mukasey, former CIA director and former Attorney General, in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, criticizing the release of the CIA memos
Obama justifies the controversial release of four memos detailing harsh techniques like waterboarding and sleep deprivation against al-Qaeda, saying it's "required by the rule of law" and should help address "a dark and painful chapter in our history." But at the same time, the White House tries to reassure CIA agents by telling them they won't face charges for any of the previous interrogations.
Meanwhile, Obama arrives in Mexico for a bilateral meeting with President Felipe Calderón, telling reporters afterward that he promises to help slow U.S. arms flow across the border and taking some of the responsibility for the drug crisis. As part of his commitment, he announces he'll push the Senate to ratify a treaty curbing inter-American arms-trafficking.