Top Dems: CIA trying to shift torture blame to us
“I think there is so much embarrassment in some quarters [of the agency] that people are going to try to shift some of the responsibility to others — that’s what I think,” Levin said Tuesday. The former chairman of the senate intelligence committee was briefed on interrogation techniques multiple times between 2006 and 2007.
Feinstein said the timing of the documents’ release showed the CIA wanted to deflect blame, while Durbin said he finds it “interesting” that the document detailing briefings was released as “some of the groups that have been responsible for these interrogation techniques were taking the most criticism.”
[ ]…Tuesday, Intelligence Committee member Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said that the 10-page CIA document released late last week, which lists 40 times members of Congress were briefed on CIA interrogation practices between 2002 and 2009, “appears to come from the executive branch itself… I think it’s unbelievable.”
Politico reported that the document was prepared after an April 20 request by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.).
The Right’s spin on this is too predictable – Democrats, by questioning the accuracy and timing of the reports are suggesting the CIA is out to get them. That might fly if you’re one of those rare animals in politics or business or whatever that is filled with utter joy at the prospect of taking blame for someone else’s wrong doing. Its more of the same, much of the media, along with some conservatives who seem to be on permanent mental recess like Pete Hoekstra(R-MI), Dick Cheney, Redstate and Rush Limbaugh among others, are trying a little propaganda jujitsu. Never mind that no member of The House or Senate can order torture, develop a program of torture or order the President’s Offgice of Legal Council to draw up some legal quackery to provide cover for said historically illegal activities. No, pay no attention to that America, look over here at whether Nancy Pelosi knew someone’s lug nuts were loose and didn’t force the car off the road and force the driver to tighten them immediately. Once again Republicans are treating America like a nation of bubble brained morons, i.e. whats important is not who did the deed, but who had knowledge after the fact. Furthermore, all us Democrats are supposed to be cowering in fear that Democrats might be forced to testify under oath. My only question is, why isn’t C-Span broadcasting the investigations right now, with those that lie under oath being found in contempt of Congress. If Speaker Pelosi or Jay Rockefeller get caught in a lie, OMG, they might get voted out of office and live in nice houses enjoying their free time. There is no legal penalty for keeping a secret the CIA tells you. Republicans, the grand pooh-pahs of national security should know that, but we are talking about the same people that were and are still are happy they sent thousands of Americans to their deaths based on cooked intelligence. Another Dem casts doubt on CIA briefing memo
Second, the senator takes issue with the description of the briefing as providing details of IETs.
Senator Rockefeller has repeatedly stated he was not told critical information that would have cast significant doubt on the program’s legality and effectiveness. With more information coming to light in 2004, Senator Rockefeller became increasingly concerned about the program, and in early 2005 he launched a full-scale effort to investigate. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s review is ongoing and he believes it is critically important that there be a full accounting of the Bush Administration’s interrogation policies.
Another very basic problem in this cooked up debate is the inability of Republicans and some members of the media to read a calender, CIA Says It Briefed Congressional Leaders
A recently declassified Justice Department memo on the CIA program dated May 30, 2005, states the CIA used waterboarding to interrogate Mr. Zubaydah “at least 83 times during August 2002.”
Note the dates in which Zubaydah provided the last good intel, before he was tortured and before a few members of Congress got some kind of briefing,
One of the most striking parts of the memos is the false premises on which they are based. The first, dated August 2002, grants authorization to use harsh interrogation techniques on a high-ranking terrorist, Abu Zubaydah, on the grounds that previous methods hadn’t been working. The next three memos cite the successes of those methods as a justification for their continued use.
It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August.
The CIA briefed or did not brief or only partially briefed or waved at Pelosi as they passed by her office after the fact of EITs being used.
Ms. Pelosi’s spokesman Brendan Daly said of the September 2002 briefing, “The briefers described these techniques, said they were legal, but said that waterboarding had not yet been used.”
September stills comes after August in the reality based community. If the CIA said waterboarding until Pelosi’s ear drums shattered in September, after the torture had already been done, the Right seems to feel she was complicit because she didn’t chain herself in protest to the fence in front of the White House.