WASHINGTON - White House officials refuted Sunday a wave of criticism that US President Barack Obamas decision to release the Bush administration memos authorising torture in interrogation had undermined national security. We are absolutely confident that we have the tools necessary to get the information we need to keep this country safe, White House senior adviser David Axelrod said in an interview with CBS television. And we dont believe and the president of the US does not believe that this is a contest between our values and our security. He thinks we can honour both and execute both. And thats what hes going to do. In a separate interview with ABC TV, Obamas chief of staff Rahm Emanuel also said that with the release of the memos, weve enhanced Americas image abroad. These were tools used by terrorists, propaganda tools, to recruit new terrorists, he said. And the fact is, having changed Americas image does have an impact on our security and safety and makes us stronger. Obama ordered last week the release of four memos that were authored by lawyers for former president George W Bushs Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, saying that the interrogation tactics, which have been widely denounced as torture, undermine our moral authority and do not make us safer. According to the memos, interrogators were authorised to keep detainees naked, in painful standing positions and in cold cells for long periods of time. Other techniques included depriving them of solid food, slapping them, depriving them of their sleep, prolonging their shackling and threatening their family. However, some past and present CIA officials are opposed to the release of the memos, claiming that the move would make the United States less safe. Michael Hayden, former CIA director who served the Bush government, told the Fox TV on Sunday that Obamas decision last week would make it harder to get useful information from suspected terrorists being detained by the United States. I think that teaching our enemies our outer limits, by taking techniques off the table, we have made it more difficult in a whole host of circumstances I can imagine, more difficult for CIA officers to defend the nation, he said.