Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Liar, liar pants on fire: Pelosi knew what the CIA was doing

Of course that should come as no surprise to anyone. Granny Rictus couldn't recognize the truth if it came up and shook her hand. ABC's The Note backs up the op-ed written by Porter Goss for the WaPo that basically called her a shameless liar in the first place:

The report details a Sept. 4, 2002 meeting between intelligence officials and Pelosi, then-House intelligence committee chairman Porter Goss, and two aides. At the time, Pelosi was the top Democrat on the House 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.”

EITs stand for “enhanced interrogation techniques,” a classification of special interrogation tactics that includes waterboarding.

Brendan Daly, a Pelosi spokesman, said Pelosi’s recollection of the meeting is different than the way it is described in the report from the DNI’s office.

“The briefers described these techniques, said they were legal, but said that waterboarding had not yet been used,” Daly said.

Daly pointed out that the report backs up Pelosi’s contention that she was briefed only once on “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Of course, of course. Yeah, she didn't know squat about what was going on, right? Let's see what Porter Goss said in his op-ed:

Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as “waterboarding” were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:

The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

We understood what the CIA was doing.

We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.

– We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.

– On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues.

And let's take a look at a WaPo story from December 2007, and compare it to Granny Rictus's memory:

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange. ...

Yet long before "waterboarding" entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

Individual lawmakers' recollections of the early briefings varied dramatically, but officials present during the meetings described the reaction as mostly quiet acquiescence, if not outright support. "Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing," said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. "And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement."

See, this is what's really irritating about this little mess. The Democrats were just as informed as the Republicans were. They knew exactly what the CIA was engaging in, and as Mr. Goss states in the latter WaPo story, they encouraged the CIA to carry out the interrogations in the manner they were briefed on. But will the media ever cover this? Will the media report on this?

No, they won't. Not only are they protecting Barry's backside, they're protecting any powerful Democrat who might be embroiled in this, like Granny Rictus. God forbid they actually start digging into what these people knew and when they we informed about it. But we're used to media hypocrisy by now. It's nothing new to us. And we're also used to the lies that come rolling out of Washington, DC, too. I mean, let's face it folks, if a politician's mouth is moving, chances are they're lying to you.

Is this really that big of a deal? Yes and no. No in the fact that these people will lie about what they knew and when they knew it to protect their political hides. Yes in the fact that if Attorney General Eric Holder is going to go forward with prosecutions on lawyers who put forth memos defending these practices, then it's time to start lining up those in Congress who were aware of what was being done. Most members of Congress are ((GASP)) lawyers. I'm willing to bet that nearly every member on both Intelligence committees are, and as they knew what was being done, and they gave enthusiastic, tacit approval, they should face the same sort of consequences.

Publius II

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking for Thomas in Mesa, who regularly comments on the Hugh Hewitt show.

I may need someone who's willing to file some FOIA requests. This is in reference to the public arrest of a GOP official in Phoenix. I think this is an abuse of state power for partisan purposes. It warrants a response.

But, I'm a DOD contractor, and I need to keep a low profile. Could you, or someone you know, be the one to actually file the FOIA requests?

I'll watch these comments for a response---how can I get in touch with you?

May 9, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Syd And Vaughn said...

Anonymous,

This is Thomas in Mesa. I blog under the pseudonym of Publius II.

I'll be honest with you. The only recent arrest of a GOP person in Arizona is the arrest of Don Stapley, and based on what I've read about it, he's a dead duck; that is, he's going to go to jail.

I haven't heard of any other party official being arrested, but then again, as you know from hearing me on Hugh's show, I deal with national and international politics, not local stories.

Before I file anything, I need to know specifics. Who they are, when the arrest occurred, and the supposed charge he/she is facing. You can leave that information here.

Publius II

May 11, 2009 at 11:34 PM  

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