"I understand that it’s hard when you are asked to protect the American people against people who have no scruples, and would willingly and gladly kill innocents. Al-Qaida’s not constrained by a constitution. Many of our adversaries are not constrained by a belief in freedom of speech or representation in court or rule of law. But I’m sure that sometimes it seems as if that means we’re operating with one hand tied behind our back, or that those who would argue for a higher standard are naive. I understand that. You know, I watch the cable shows once in a while. What makes the United States special and what makes you special is precisely the fact that we are willing to uphold our values and our ideals even when it’s hard, not just when it’s easy; even when we are afraid and under threat, not just when it’s expedient to do so. That’s what makes us different. So yes, you’ve got a harder job and so do I. And that’s OK, because that’s why we can take such extraordinary pride in being Americans. And over the long term, that is why I believe we will defeat our enemies because we’re on the better side of history."
President Obama in remarks to CIA employees -- 4/20/2009