Nancy Pelosi is lying about not being briefed on enhanced interrogations. CIA memos show that Pelosi was briefed specifically on instances in which waterboarding had been used, contradicting even her hair-splitting denial. Fox News has the story:
The CIA now says that Nancy Pelosi was briefed about the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, like waterboarding, back in 2002, which seems to contradict what Speaker Pelosi said at a news conference two weeks ago:
We were not, I repeat, we were not told that waterboarding or any other of these other enhanced interrogations methods were used.
A CIA memo also describes an intelligence briefing where Pelosi was present when enhanced interrogation techniques (or EITs) were discussed. It reads:
Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of particular EITs that had been employed.
. . .
Until recently Ms Pelosi’s office had always acknowledged that she had been briefed in September 2002 on the enhanced interrogation techniques. It was only recently that she offered a different account suggesting that she knew they were going to be used but not that they had been used. But the official record of the briefings released by the Director of National Intelligence indicates the briefings were indeed on the particular techniques that had already been used on Abu Zubayda. . .
The bigger story here . . . is how many other lawmakers who are now critical of the program were fully briefed themselves and raised no objections at the time. . .
There were 40 briefings in all, starting early on with the top Democrats and Republicans on the intelligence committees. Sen. Jay Rockefeller for instance was repeatedly briefed, as was Jane Harman who took over Pelosi’s spot on the House intelligence committee. In one briefing after another, . . . the official log shows the techniques were “described in considerable detail including how the waterboard was used.” . . .
In fact, from the beginning of the program in 2002 until it became public in the fall of 2006, . . . the house held 13 votes to authorize intelligence funds without anyone demanding changes or even raising objections. Only when it leaked out did those who already knew about it start saying how horrible it had been.
Glenn Reynolds has a roundup.
President Obama’s decision to release the “torture memos” is looking like a major political blunder (and it is clear it was a political decision). Soft on terror but standing on high moral principle may be a workable position. Soft on terror but dishonest and hypocritical is not.
And don’t forget, this isn’t the last revelation. The administration is still refusing to release any of the results of those interrogations. That has allowed the administration to cling to the second leg of their two-legged stool, the idea that the interrogations didn’t accomplish anything anyway. How long until that information leaks?
UPDATE: Even more busted, if that’s possible:
A top aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended a CIA briefing in early 2003 in which it was made clear that waterboarding and other harsh techniques were being used in the interrogation of an alleged al-Qaeda operative, according to documents the CIA released to Congress on Thursday. . . Michael Sheehy, a top Pelosi aide, was present for a classified briefing that included Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), then the ranking minority member of the House intelligence committee, at which agency officials discussed the use of waterboarding on terrorism suspect Abu Zubaida.
A Democratic source acknowledged yesterday that it is almost certain that Pelosi would have learned about the use of waterboarding from Sheehy.