US President Barack Obama pledges no repeat of harsh interrogation methods

US President Barack Obama answers questions at a recent news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
US President Barack Obama answers questions at a recent news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday that harsh US interrogation methods will not take place on his watch, saying the techniques did significant damage to American interests abroad without serving broad counter-terrorism efforts.

Obama issued a written statement in response to a Senate report that detailed interrogation procedures carried out on terrorism suspects in the years after the Sept 11, 2001, attacks.

"Rather than another reason to refight old arguments, I hope that today's report can help us leave these techniques where they belong, in the past," Obama said.

Obama said the Senate report documents a troubling program involving enhanced interrogation techniques on suspects in secret facilities outside the United States.

"It reinforces my long-held view that these harsh methods were not only inconsistent with our values as nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests," he said.

The methods did significant damage to America's standing in the world and made it harder to pursue U.S. interests with allies and partners, Obama said.

"That is why I will continue to use my authority as president to make sure we never resort to those methods again," he said.