April 23, 2009

Just for the record...

You might keep in mind this article from the Washington Post, December 9, 2007, Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002. (From a good piece by Hugh Hewitt.)

This is similar to the abu Ghraib scandal, in which members of Congress knew of the problem months before it hit the news, knew it was being corrected and the guilty were due to be punished...then, when those pictures surfaced, they suddenly discovered that betraying their country with fake outrage would be a big partisan winner.

Same with "torture." Democrat leaders never gave a damn about waterboarding. Not until America was in difficulties. Then the dirty turncoats jumped-ship to what looked like the winning side—al Qaeda.. Leftist fake outrage about torture is treason pure and simple.

And any talk or action now about prosecuting Bush administration officials for things Congress was in agreement with at the time, and declined to make illegal....is not only vile injustice, but treason.

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. ...

...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...
Posted by John Weidner at April 23, 2009 8:18 AM
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