Democrats were routinely briefed on Bush torture techniques, document
By John Byrne
May 8, 2009
The CIA has leaked a devastating document detailing the dates and explicit details
of secret Congressional briefings in which members of Congress were told of the
Bush administration’s torture techniques and when they had been used.
The document is explicit (PDF here). Most damningly, perhaps, is its description
of a meeting held between CIA staff and then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman
Porter Goss and now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which shows that Pelosi was
briefed on the Bush Administration’s torture techniques in 2002 —
even though she’s publicly said she was never told about the use of waterboarding.
Equally striking, however, are the volume of the briefings that have been conducted
on the CIA’s interrogation practices since 2002. The document runs ten
pages, with up to four briefings a page.
Briefings given to Democrats are of particular significance because the party
has been the most vocal about the Bush Administration’s torture practices.
Apparently, however, they had known about the practices for years. At least
19 Democrats were briefed about the techniques in detail by end of 2006.
Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding in 2002, despite saying she wasn’t:
May 7, 2009
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the Bush Administration’s torture
techniques in 2002 — even though she’s publicly said she was never
told about the use of waterboarding, according to a new report.
ABC News’ Rick Klein revealed Thursday evening that a report from the
Director of National Intelligence fingered Pelosi as having been briefed in
2002, even though she denied last month ever having knowledge of the Bush administration’s
so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
“The report, submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee and other
Capitol Hill officials Wednesday, appears to contradict Pelosi’s statement
last month that she was never told about the use of waterboarding or other special
interrogation tactics,” Klein writes. “Instead, she has said, she
was told only that the Bush administration had legal opinions that would have
supported the use of such techniques.”
Holder says he approved Clinton-era renditions
By Stephen C. Webster
May 7, 2009
Under fire from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, Attorney
General Eric Holder revealed that he had approved of rendition — essentially,
legalized kidnapping — apparently more than once during his tenure as
President Bill Clinton’s deputy attorney general.
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.”