I'm certain all of the CIA memorandums as referred to in this article can be relied upon as the truth and nothing but the truth.
Pelosi: CIA misled her on waterboarding
AP – Thursday, May 14, 2009.
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent
David Espo, Ap Special Correspondent – Thu May 14, 5:19 pm ET
WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bluntly accused the CIA on Thursday of misleading her and other lawmakers about its use of waterboarding during the Bush administration, escalating a controversy grown to include both political parties, the spy agency and the White House.
"It is not the policy of this agency to mislead the United States Congress," responded CIA spokesman George Little, although he refused to answer directly when asked whether Pelosi's accusation was accurate.
But the House's top Democrat, speaking at a news conference in the Capitol, was unequivocal about a CIA briefing she received in the fall of 2002.
"We were told that waterboarding was not being used," the speaker said. "That's the only mention, that they were not using it. And we now know that earlier they were." She suggested the CIA release the briefing material.
Pelosi also vehemently disputed Republican charges that she was complicit in the use of waterboarding, and she suggested the GOP was trying to shift the focus of public attention away from the Bush administration's use of techniques that she and President Barack Obama have described as torture.
Coincidentally, Pelosi spoke as the CIA rejected former Vice President Dick Cheney's request to release secret memos judging whether waterboarding and other harsh techniques had succeeded in securing valuable intelligence information.
CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said the request was turned down because the documents are the subject of pending litigation, which makes them not subject to declassification.
Pelosi has been the target of a campaign orchestrated in recent days by the House Republican leadership, which is eager to undercut her statements as well as stick Democrats with partial responsibility for the use of waterboarding — a kind of simulated drowning — in the Bush administration.
GOP officials secured the release of an unclassified chart by the CIA that describes a total of 40 briefings for lawmakers over a period of several years. Pelosi's name appears once, as having attended a session on Sept. 4, 2002, when she was the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Former Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., who at the time was the chairman of the committee and later became CIA director, also was present.
The notation says the briefing was on "enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah ... and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed."
Little, responding to Pelosi for the CIA, said the chart "is true to the language in the agency's records." But he did not say whether the information was accurate.
Instead, he pointed to a recent letter from CIA Director Leon Panetta to lawmakers saying it would be up to Congress to determine whether notes made by agency personnel at the time they briefed lawmakers were accurate.
The CIA has said it could allow congressional staff to review the notes made by briefers who spoke with lawmakers.
The chart specifically notes a discussion of waterboarding in 13 briefings between February 2003 and March 2009, most attended by Democrats as well as Republicans. Two Democrats, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, have challenged the accuracy of some of the CIA's chart.
Pelosi's decision to respond to her critics was something of a surprise, since most polls show Obama and his policies are popular, and Republicans have exhibited virtually nonstop political disarray in the six months since last fall's elections.
Pelosi renewed her call for a so-called truth commission to investigate the events in the Bush administration that led to the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques. While President Barack Obama has banned waterboarding, calling it torture, he has been notably cool toward an independent inquiry that might distract attention from his domestic agenda.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also has expressed opposition, as have congressional Republicans.
Pelosi was unusually harsh in describing the CIA.
"They mislead us all the time," she said. Asked whether the agency had lied, Pelosi said yes.
Pelosi contended that Democrats did what they could to stop the use of waterboarding. The senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, who received the 2003 briefing on the practice, sent the CIA a formal letter of protest, she said. That was a reference to Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.
But Pelosi said her focus at the time was on winning control of Congress from the Republicans so her party could change course.
"No letter could change the policy. It was clear we had to change the leadership in Congress and in the White House. That was my job — the Congress part," Pelosi said.
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the minority leader, said during the day that Democrats "want to have it both ways" on waterboarding by claiming they did not oppose it even though they criticize it.
Boehner also asked Obama in a recent White House meeting to release the CIA memos that describe the information gained through the use of waterboarding.
Cheney says the documents show that the tactics prevented terrorist attacks and saved lives.
In an embarrassment for the administration, the director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, told employees in a recent memo that interrogations that included waterboarding had secured useful intelligence. He later issued a public statement that said it was not known whether the same information could have been obtained without harsh techniques — the same position Obama has taken.
Associated Press writers Julie Davis and Ann Sanner contributed to this report.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim Thursday that CIA officials lied to her about waterboarding prompted a sharp rebuke from Republicans, some pushback from intelligence officials and a lukewarm response from at least one high-ranking member of her own party.
Hoping to quell a “what did she know and when did she know it” furor over so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, Pelosi told reporters Thursday that CIA officials “misled” her during a September 2002 briefing by telling her that waterboarding had not been used on terror detainees.
“The only mention of waterboarding in the briefing was that it was not being employed,” Pelosi said during a press briefing. The California Democrat said that the CIA briefers had given her “inaccurate and incomplete information.” Asked whether they’d “lied” to her, Pelosi nodded her head yes.
The Republican pushback came quickly.
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking member on the House intelligence committee, called Pelosi’s account “Version 5.0 from Nancy on what happened in that September meeting.”
Writing in POLITICO’s Arena forum, former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino said Pelosi had succeeded only in raising more questions.
“Is she suggesting that career government officials, those very CIA briefers, are the ones that ‘lied’ to her? What would have been their motivation for lying to her but others who got the same briefing not being lied to? Why does she suggest she was powerless?” Perino wrote.
A CIA spokesman said it is “not the policy of the CIA to mislead the United States Congress.”
And on the House floor Thursday evening, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) passed up a chance to back up Pelosi’s charge. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) asked Hoyer if he also believed that the CIA had intentionally misled the House.
Hoyer’s response: “I have no idea of that — don’t have a belief of that nature because I have no basis on which to base such a belief. And I certainly hope that’s not the case. I don’t draw that conclusion.”
Hoyer struck a more supportive tone when speaking to liberal talk show host Ed Schultz.
“I believe the speaker,” Hoyer said, calling the furor over Pelosi “a stalking horse” and “a distraction.”
“We know things were done. We know that the law — we believe, certainly — was broken, and we ought to find out whether the law was broken. ... I think she’s accurate when she says what she said.”
Pelosi also got support from other House Democrats, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), an Intelligence Committee member who said that CIA officials broke the law if they misled Pelosi in 2002.
“If they make a false report, absolutely it’s illegal,” Schiff told reporters. “If they fail to make a report when they’re obligated to, that is also illegal — a violation of the National Security Act.”
Pelosi called on CIA Director Leon Panetta to release full details on the 2002 briefing.
A spokesman for Panetta said the director has agreed to make the notes of Pelosi’s briefing “available at CIA for staff review” — saying aides with security clearances could review them at the agency’s Langley, Va., headquarters immediately.
A Pelosi aide said that wasn’t good enough, because the contents of the notes are classified and can’t be shared with the public.
“We think the best way for this to come out is to release the materials,” said the aide.
Panetta recently released a chart detailing 40 congressional briefings on interrogations — including the September 2002 entry reporting that Pelosi had been given details about “particular” interrogation methods used on detainees.
“The language in the chart — ‘a description of the particular [enhanced interrogation techniques] that had been employed’ — is true to the language in the agency’s records,” a CIA spokesman said in an e-mail.
Hoekstra, who has emerged as Pelosi’s chief critic on the issue in the House, also wants to see more material released. As for Pelosi’s claim that she was the victim of lies, he said: “That’s a very, very serious charge. If you’re the speaker of the House and you say you were lied to on a national security issue, that’s a serious charge.”
Pelosi began her news conference Thursday by reading a statement emphasizing her longtime support of human rights causes.
Then she fielded a barrage of interrogation-related questions from reporters — and continued to answer questions several minutes after her handlers declared the session over.
When asked why she didn’t protest about being misled when she learned in 2003 that the CIA was, in fact, waterboarding detainees, Pelosi replied: “They mislead us all the time.”
She called the entire line of questioning a “diversion” from more important questions about the behavior of Bush administration officials at the time.
“They misrepresented every step of the way, and they don’t want that focus on them, so they try to turn the focus on us,” she added.
Pelosi didn’t dispute accounts, first published in a December 2007 Washington Post story, that she lodged no protest when informed of the administration’s legal rationale for procedures she now regards as torture.
She also reiterated her calls for the creation of a “truth commission” to investigate the matter — an initiative opposed by President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Pelosi was the ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee at the time of the 2002 briefing. She was the minority leader when she says she first learned second hand in 2003 that the CIA was waterboarding detainees.
Pelosi reiterated Thursday that she supported a letter of protest sent in 2003 by Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), who replaced her as the ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee.
And she defended her decision not to confront Bush officials directly — even after she believed they misled her.
“No letter could change the policy. It was clear we had to change the leadership in Congress and in the White House. That was my job: the Congress part,” Pelosi said.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), speaking to reporters Thursday, repeated his call for an investigation into what members of Congress were told about the interrogations.
“I’ve dealt with our intelligence professionals for the last 3½ years on an almost daily basis, and it’s hard for me to imagine that anyone in our intelligence in our area would ever mislead a member of Congress,” he said.
“They come to the Hill to brief us because they are required to under the law. I don’t know what motivation they would have to mislead anyone. And I don’t believe — and don’t feel — that in the briefings that I’ve had that I’ve been mislead at any one point.”
But other members — including former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairmen Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Bob Graham (D-Fla.) — have backed Pelosi, saying the CIA chart was full of inaccuracies and mischaracterizations.
Graham, speaking to The Huffington Post on Thursday, said the CIA’s dates for his briefings didn’t gibe with a spiral notebook he used to keep track of important meetings.
“I went through my records and through a combination of my daily schedule — which I keep — and my notebooks, I confirmed and the CIA agreed that my notes where accurate; that three of those four dates, there had been no briefing,” he said.
Manu Raju contributed to this story.
Related Searches:house speaker nancy pelosi majority leader steny hoyer senate majority leader harry reid rep. jane harman minority whip eric cantor Recommend 3 users recommend Buzz Up Send Email IM Share Delicious Digg Facebook Fark Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Bookmarks Print
Last edited by BlueAngel : 05-14-2009 at 09:38 PM.
Re: IT'S CALLED TORTURE and NOT INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES!
"But he contended Pelosi has not done an adequate job of pointing out that her version of the September 2002 briefing was largely backed by public statements from former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla. (1987-2005).
Known for his detailed note-taking, Graham -- chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence in 2002 -- has said that he also does not recall the CIA informing him at that time that waterboarding was being used. Pelosi was ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in September 2002."
Pelosi, Surrogates Attempt to Outspin Republicans Over CIA Controversy
AP – By Edward Epstein, CQ Staff Edward Epstein, Cq Staff –
Mon May 18, 9:51 pm ET
Bruised by a controversy over what she knew about interrogation techniques in the previous administration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is drawing on an arsenal of not-so-secret weapons to beat back Republican critics.
With a new CNN poll showing a spike in Pelosi's disapproval ratings since mid-March, her team is trying to manage what is arguably the most serious crisis of her speakership.
To deprive the GOP of new fuel, staff members have stopped responding to the Republicans' increasingly pointed attacks. Pelosi herself has stayed off the public stage since her remarks at a May 14 news conference inflamed the controversy, though she is still scheduled to hold her weekly news conference May 21.
Surrogates tapped to handle the weekend talk shows were armed with talking points charging that the GOP was trying to divert attention from the Bush administration's controversial interrogation methods.
Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said Monday that GOP criticism of Pelosi only helps her with Democrats. "It's a badge of honor," he said. "It shows they know she is an effective Speaker. And it's all a diversion from the main issue of what the Bush-Cheney administration did."
On Monday, the Republican National Committee released a Web video in response to what it called the Speaker's "irresponsible and confusing responses to top secret CIA briefings." The video spliced her statements with theme music and images from James Bond movies.
Mike Simpson of Idaho cautioned fellow Republicans to stay out of the controversy. "We should keep our mouths shut," he said. "She seems to be doing enough damage herself."
At issue are comments she made at the May 14 news conference: During a September 2002 classified briefing, she reiterated, she was told that "enhanced interrogation techniques," such as waterboarding, had been authorized, but not that they had been employed on suspected terrorists.
And, she went on, the CIA misled Congress by not informing lawmakers at that briefing that the harsh interrogation techniques had already been used. Agency records indicate she was informed that the techniques were used; she said she did not learn of their use until 2003.
Pelosi and her team are counting on a busy legislative week and the Memorial Day recess to quell the controversy. If they succeed, they will help President Obama refocus attention on his agenda. But if she fails to divert attention from the issue or if new disclosures raise more questions, the controversy will persist.
'Credibility Dented' Nevertheless, it's hard to find anyone who realistically thinks that Pelosi's 2½-year tenure as the first female Speaker -- and the first Democrat to hold the post since 1995 -- is in jeopardy.
"I think the controversy eventually dies down, with her credibility dented but her speakership unthreatened," said John J. Pitney, a former GOP House staffer who is now a political analyst at Claremont McKenna College in California.
Peter Fenn, a Washington-based Democratic consultant, said: "Any time you take a pounding like she has over the past several days, you have to rebound. Democrats are standing by her, so she won't lose her speakership over this, that's for sure."
Fenn said that dispatching allies to argue the real issue is interrogation practices in the Bush administration, and not what Pelosi recalled at one meeting, was "wise."
But he contended Pelosi has not done an adequate job of pointing out that her version of the September 2002 briefing was largely backed by public statements from former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla. (1987-2005).
Known for his detailed note-taking, Graham -- chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence in 2002 -- has said that he also does not recall the CIA informing him at that time that waterboarding was being used. Pelosi was ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in September 2002.
On May 15, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, who served in Congress with Pelosi, issued a terse statement, seen as a rebuke to the Speaker: "It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress."
Even though Pelosi is likely to surmount her difficulty, barring any new disclosures, that doesn't mean she has been at her best, said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe of the University of Southern California.
"She hasn't handled it at all well," by seeming to change her story and by parsing words, Jeffe said. And if the negative fallout persists, it will be "bad news" for Obama, who has a close, admiring ally in Pelosi.
On Monday, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs declined for a second time to get drawn into the fracas but said the president has confidence in the Speaker.
Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R‑Ohio, said over the weekend that Pelosi should either produce evidence that the CIA misled her or apologize. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (1989-99) has called Pelosi's ability to remain Speaker into question.
Jeffe said such pointed criticism, especially from the controversial Gingrich, is music to Pelosi's ears.
"If I were Nancy Pelosi I'd send Newt Gingrich a big thank-you note for calling for her ouster," Jeffe said. "Democrats are not going to allow Newt Gingrich or any other Republican to throw their leader overboard."
Last edited by BlueAngel : 05-19-2009 at 08:11 AM.
Re: IT'S CALLED TORTURE and NOT INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES!
Bob Graham was the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002 when he and Nancy Pelosi were supposedly informed about "water boarding" and the "enhanced interrogation techniques" that the CIA would be using on inmates at GITMO.
Nancy Pelosi was a "ranking member" at the time on this committee and Bob Graham was the Chairman.
This means that Bob Graham held a higher position within this committee than Nancy Pelosi.
Therefore, Bob Graham should be called into this discussion.
I would like to know the names of the other members who comprised the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002 and those who were informed as to what "interrogation techniques" the CIA planned to use on the inmates at GITMO and those who weren't.
Just because Graham is no longer a politician doesn't preclude him from being questioned about this matter.
Last edited by BlueAngel : 05-19-2009 at 07:54 AM.
Re: IT'S CALLED TORTURE and NOT INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES!
What is the point of having a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence if the entire COMMITTEE is not involved in the INTELLIGENCE that is proposed?
Convenient for the CIA, I would suggest so they can have thier scapegoats and no witnesses.
Are we to believe that only Pelosi and Graham comprised this committee in 2002 or that, of all the members, only Pelosi and Graham were briefed by the CIA who sought their approval for the torture they inflicted on the inmates at GITMO so they could be the scapegoats when this became a public matter?
If only Pelosi and Graham were briefed and the committee is comprised of more members than these two, what is the point of having a committee?
To pick and chose thier scapegoats.
Graham is no longer a political figure since he lost his bid for presidential office.
Does that mean that he cannot be questioned as to this matter?
What are the names of the other members of this committee in 2002 and the names of those members who were briefed by the CIA as to their intents of the GITMO prisoners and those who weren't.
Are you telling me that Pelosi and Graham were the only members of the Intelligence Committee who were briefed by the CIA as to their intents and purposes of the inmates at GITMO?
Two people comprised this Committee?
If not, why were the other members not in the loop?
So the CIA could have a scapegoat?
It's not that difficult.
A list of the names of the members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in 2002.
Those who were present for the CIA's briefing as to what they would be inflicting upon the inmates at GITMO and those who weren't.
A list of names of every member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in 2002 is what I request.
Those who were briefed by the CIA as to the "torture techniques" to be used on GITMO inmates and those who weren't.
Last edited by BlueAngel : 05-19-2009 at 07:51 AM.
Re: IT'S CALLED TORTURE and NOT INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES!
"In the original column, Dowd wrote: "More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq."
In this file photo, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd speaks on 'Meet the Press' during a taping … Mon May 18, 12:13 pm ET
NEW YORK – New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has admitted to using a paragraph virtually word-for-word from a prominent liberal blogger without attribution.
Dowd acknowledged the error in an e-mail to The Huffington Post on Sunday, the Web site reported. The Times corrected her column online to give proper credit for the material to Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall.
The newspaper issued a formal correction Monday saying Dowd "failed to attribute a paragraph about the timeline for prisoner abuse" to Marshall's blog.
The error appeared in Dowd's Sunday column, in which she criticized the Bush administration's use of interrogation methods in the run-up to the Iraq war.
In the original column, Dowd wrote: "More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq."
Marshall last week wrote virtually the same sentence. But where Dowd's column used the phrase "the Bush crowd was," Marshall used "we were."
Dowd, who won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1999, told The Huffington Post that the mistake was unintentional. She claims she never read Marshall's post last week and had heard the line from a friend who did not mention reading it in Marshall's blog.
A spokeswoman for the Times late Sunday referred requests for comment from The Associated Press to remarks Dowd made to The Huffington Post.
In the updated version on the Times' site, Dowd's column had this note: "An earlier version of this column failed to attribute a paragraph about the timeline for prisoner abuse to Josh Marshall's blog at Talking Points Memo."
(This version CORRECTS that Dowd won the Pulitzer in 1999, not 1990.)
Pelosi seems to be weathering Republican criticism just fine
AP – By David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers
Fri May 22, 2009
4:56 pm ET
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has avoided serious damage from the relentless Republican effort to discredit her, though there's some evidence that the GOP is making small inroads.
Republicans have been battering the California Democrat over her assertion that the CIA misled her in 2002 about whether terrorism suspects had been tortured.
"This is a case where Republicans can't go much lower than they find themselves," said Steven Smith , a congressional expert at Washington University in St. Louis , "so they have to go after the other side with whatever they can."
So far, though, Pelosi remains a very strong House speaker. She can claim a string of major legislative victories since January, including this week's passage of bills to give consumers more protection against credit card abuses and to crack down on financial fraud.
Her Democratic Party has a 78-seat majority in the House of Representatives , and few if any of them are willing to criticize the speaker.
"At the end of the day, the focus will be on the torture policy," not Pelosi's recollections, said Rep. Xavier Becerra , D- Calif.
A May 19 Gallup Poll brought sobering news to Pelosi, however.
"Pelosi (is) largely losing the public relations game, as she gets a significantly more negative review for her handling of the matter than do the other major players in the controversy, including the CIA ," Gallup analyst Jeffrey Jones said.
Those who are paying close attention to the flap_ only 22 percent of Americans, the survey found — disapprove of her handling of the matter by 63 to 30 percent. That's a small sample, however, and Jones said that "if Democrats stand behind her, she's pretty safe, unless something else comes out that makes her story seem less plausible."
It appears that the public simply isn't very interested. Carroll Doherty , an associate director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press , which also conducts national surveys, found that last week the story was "getting some attention for an inside Washington story, but it's a modest number."
Last week's Pew survey found that 67 percent had heard about the closing of General Motors and Chrysler dealerships, but only 38 percent were aware of the Pelosi story.
Republicans are hoping to build a drumbeat of criticism that builds to a crescendo in time for the 2010 elections.
"She's certainly a more opportune target than President ( Barack) Obama ," said Peter Brown , a political analyst for the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute .
Republicans, including House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio , haven't always been so quick to take umbrage at those who question the intelligence community's credibility. In 2007, Boehner said the intelligence community had misled him about Iran . This week, he said, "We are mixing apples and oranges here. It's different" because when the national intelligence estimate with regard to Iran was released, "it contradicted most everything I had been told in the six months leading up to it, and that's why I questioned what was coming out of this group that put the report together."
In addition, in an opinion piece last month in The Washington Post , former Rep. Porter Goss , R- Fla. , former House Intelligence Committee chairman and later CIA director, said that "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," suggesting that briefers didn't explicitly inform top members of Congress that detainees already had been waterboarded. However, Goss went on to say that key Democratic and Republican lawmakers well understood what the CIA was doing and raised no objections to it.
House Republicans tried and failed Thursday to create a special congressional panel to "review and verify the accuracy of the speaker's" statements. Rep. Steve King , R- Iowa , called Friday for Pelosi's security clearance to be revoked.
Pelosi brushed it all aside Friday at a news conference that she called to announce that she wasn't going to talk about it anymore.
"I have made the statement that I'm going to make on this. I don't have anything more to say about it," she said. "I stand by my comment. And what we are doing is staying on our course, and not being distracted from it in this distractive mode."
ON THE WEB
Pew News Interest Index
Gallup poll on Pelosi and other topics
Boehner on Pelosi
House roll call vote on committee to investigate the speaker ("yea" vote kills the plan)
Re: IT'S CALLED TORTURE and NOT INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES!
'In the media, waterboarding is called "simulated drowning," but that's a misnomer. It does not simulate drowning, as the lungs are actually filling with water. There is no way to simulate that. The victim IS drowning'.
I know waterboarding is torture - because I did it myself
By MALCOLM NANCE
Wednesday, October 31st 2007, 10:52 PM