Pelosi, Other Democrats, Briefed on Interrogations in 2002

Say it ain’t so.

Previous posts:

http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/obamas-intel-chief-harsh-interrogations-work/
http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/obama-open-to-possible-prosecution-of-bush-era-officials/
http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/cheney-to-obama-how-bout-releasing-the-other-cia-reports/

From a 2007 WaPo article:

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.

Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism effort. The CIA last week admitted that videotape of an interrogation of one of the waterboarded detainees was destroyed in 2005 against the advice of Justice Department and White House officials, provoking allegations that its actions were illegal and the destruction was a coverup.

……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).

……Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a former Vietnam War prisoner who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, took an early interest in the program even though he was not a member of the intelligence committee, and spoke out against waterboarding in private conversations with White House officials in late 2005 before denouncing it publicly.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/08/AR2007120801664.html

Scuse me Senator McCain, how many of your North Vietnamese captors were ever “brought to justice” or castigated by indignant Leftwing groups like the ACLU?¬† Yeah, I thought so.

We’re at war. This isn’t a Field Training Excercise. We’re fighting excrement that doesn’t play by the Marquis of Queenberry Rules and can’t find Geneva on a map.

We used appropriate torture on some of the worst Islamic terrorist scum on the planet.¬†They weren’t run-of-the-mill peons; they were al Qaeda leaders. As a result, we got information that revealed the specific names, locations, and plans pertaining to future attacks.

This one-sided hand-wringing isn’t helping, unless you’re Ayman al Zawahri.

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