Hoyer Statement on President Obama’s National Security Speech

For Immediate Release:

May 21, 2009

Contact:Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after President Obama delivered a speech outlining our national security strategy:


“Today, President Obama made a strong case for a national security strategy that is consistent with American values. For too long, the interrogation and detention policies pursued by the previous Administration endangered our troops, damaged our standing in the eyes of the world, and did little to enhance the security of America. These policies were a radical departure from the principles that have served us well for more than two centuries and through several wars, and I am glad that President Obama is working to set us back on the right path.


“For one, he has repudiated inhuman interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. As the President argued, these techniques ‘serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists, and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America. They risk the lives of our troops by making it less likely that others will surrender to them in battle, and more likely that Americans will be mistreated if they are captured.’


“President Obama also reiterated his intention to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, which has undermined our moral authority while only allowing for the conviction of three terrorist suspects in seven years. The best means of closing Guantanamo and dealing with its inmates remains under debate and I look forward to vigorous discussions with the Administration on these questions.


“The balance between our values and our security is a difficult one, and it will challenge every American President. But I believe that President Obama is striking a sound balance for our times.”
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