The report purportedly focuses on a meeting on Sept. 4, 2002, between US intelligence officials and Pelosi, then Minority Leader, then-House intelligence committee chairman Porter Goss (who later became CIA director) and two aides. Pelosi was, at the time, the ranking member on the intelligence committee.
“The meeting is described as a “Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of particular EITs that had been employed,” — with EIT referring to “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Last month, Pelosi denied having been told of the techniques or waterboarding.
“In that or any other briefing,” she said, “we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used,” Pelosi said at a news conference in April. “What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel . . . opinions that they could be used, but not that they would.”
Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said Pelosi didn’t remember the meeting as it was described in the report.
“The briefers described these techniques, said they were legal, but said that waterboarding had not yet been used,” Daly told ABC. He said “the report backs up Pelosi’s contention that she was briefed only once on “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
There is a problem, a lack of analyisis and a sin of omssion so to speak with ABC’s original report. As The Plumline points out in a screen capture from the unclassified CIA briefings it does not say that Speaker Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding ,
member briefings EITs – those interested can get the original pdf at the Plum link. What it shows is that as Pelosi has previously described she was told that EITs ( Enhanced Interrogation Techniques – the word torture is never used in the briefing memo) were being discussed, but not being used and no one remembers, including her staff that water boarding was being used. Democrats.com also notes the dates,
Abu Zubaydah was the first prisoner waterboarded by the CIA. He was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002. Pelosi received her first briefing on “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” (EIT) on September 4, 2002. But the CIA didn’t tell her they had just waterboarded Abu Zubaydah!
Here’s what Pelosi said on April 23:
“We were not, I repeat, we were not told that waterboarding or any of these other interrogation methods were used. What they did tell us was they had some legislative counsel opinions. And if and when they would be used, they would brief Congress at that time.”
Emptywheel notes that the CIA is not even vouching for the accuracy of this very down and dirty version of events,
First, there’s this paragraph the CIA included in the letter they sent with the briefing list to Crazy Pete (which ABC didn’t think important enough to include when they first posted this story):
This letter presents the most thorough information we have on dates, locations, and names of all Members of Congress who were briefed by the CIA on enhanced interrogation techniques. This information, however, is drawn from the past files of the CIA and represents MFRs completed at the time and notes that summarized the best recollections of those individuals. In the end, you and the Committee will have to determine whether this information is an accurate summary of what actually happened. We can make the MFRs available at CIA for staff review. [my emphasis]
The Right and a few liberals are ready to send Pelosi off to Seberia based on information the CIA admits might not be accurate. Petty the poor slob that has these people on their jury. Yes it is possible that Speaker pelosi is a an over flowing fountain of dark secrets, its just that thus far the proof that she has lied is lacking.
Not everything that politicians do is a paragon of logic, but the Speaker strikes me as too smart to hold to lying about what she knew or did not know about the specifics of the ‘EITs”, but according to an interview she did with Rachel Maddow she is for both a full scale congressional inquiry and prosecutions ( though with immunity on the table), Pelosi criticizes Truth Commission as inadequate, advocates criminal prosecutions
MADDOW: Then in terms of your report, if the inspector general report that comes out this summer suggests that there has been criminal activity at the official level on issues like torture, or wireless wiretapping, or rendition, or any of these other issues…
PELOSI: No one is above the law. I think I have said that.
MADDOW: … you support a call for a criminal investigation, potential investigation.
If this was all one big poker game and Pelosi is lying and bluffing, she deserves credit for nerves of steel. The pro torture/anti rule of law bloggers, also known as Republicans swear they’ve got something,
From Flopping Aces, Pelosi LIED About Interrogation Briefings!
Will she be held the the same standard of accountability the left demands of Republicans?
From Glenn Reynolds or at least a post from another blogger that he drools over, PELOSI LIED, THE ATERBOARDING ISSUE DIED: CIA Says Pelosi Was Briefed on Use of ‘Enhanced Interrogations’.
Judging from this sample which pretty much sums up the gothca attitude of the Republican punditry, one would assume they would be salivating at the opportunity to have all kinds of investigations. Bring down Pelosi and maybe Rockefeller, plus really dominate the news cycle with all the potential spin. Who knows maybe even break out as a rallying cry for the mid-terms with a twofer – Pelosi and Dems are hypocrites and wedge in some of the usual national security chicken-little show and dance. No, Republicans are threatening to reopen investigations into Clinton era policies from the 90s if there are any large scale Congressional or DOJ investigations into Bush/Cheney law breaking,
Cautioning Holder that any potential investigation into the Bush administration’s torture program could result in Democrats being roped in, “Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Richard Shelby of Alabama pressed Holder on the CIA’s ‘rendition’ program that moved terrorism suspects from one country to another,” reported Domenico Montanaro with MSNBC.
“Didn’t that happen during the Clinton administration?
“Yes, Holder said.
“‘How many did you approve?’ they asked.
“Holder said he’d check the record.”
Despite frequent condemnation of the practice around the world, rendition — the secret capture, transportation and detention of suspected terrorists to foreign prisons in countries that cooperate with the U.S. — remains in the CIA’s playbook, thanks to a Jan. 22 executive order issued by President Obama.
Under President George W. Bush, renditions became “extraordinary renditions,” in which suspects were handed over to nations where torture was not illegal. Rendition under Presidents Clinton and Obama has not been linked to torture.
Why make such ridiculous threats to stop investigations when the Right thinks that Democrats would be snarled up in those investigations. Could be, to a marginally rational person they know there are degress of culpability and legal responsibility and the vast majority of that rests with Bush, Cheeney and the OLC torturteers. At Largely points out the obvious. If Republicans want to bring back investigations into past behavior, bring it on,
Sorry? Are Alexander/Shelby saying that if you investigate our (Republican’s) current crimes, then we will investigate alleged crimes from nearly a decade ago when you (Democrats’) had the presidency? Yes, that is exactly what they are saying. Now I have a few questions for Lamar Alexander and for Richard Shelby, who should both be marched out of government and escorted back to whomever is putting pressure on them:
1. If Clinton committed crimes, why did the Republicans not go after him then (aside from the oral sex issue), when he was in office?
2. Are you saying, Mr. Alexander/Mr. Shelby, that the rule of law means that you won’t investigate Democrats as long as they don’t investigate Republicans?
3. What is your oath of office Mr. Alexander/Mr. Shelby? Do you recall?