Obama: Israeli Soldier Must Be Freed

In an expansive speech on Friday afternoon, President Obama addressed the U.S.’s torture of al Qaeda detainees captured after the 9/11 attacks. “We tortured some folks,” Obama said. “We did some things that were contrary to our values.” A Senate report criticizing CIA treatment of detainees is expected to be released soon, though Obama said he believes the mistreatment resulted from the pressures national-security officers felt to prevent future attacks. Obama also expressed confidence in CIA Director John Brennan, who came under fire this week after the release of an internal CIA report documenting the agency’s improper accessing of Senate computers. The report showed that “some very poor judgment was shown,” Obama said, but implied it wasn’t Brennan’s fault and praised him for ordering the inquiry at all. The president also called for the immediate release of an Israeli soldier who was captured by Hamas militants in Gaza, as a precondition for resolving tensions. “A ceasefire was one way in which we could stop the killing, to step back and try to resolve some of the underlying issues,” Obama said. “Trying to put that back together is going to be challenging, but we will continue to make those efforts.”