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Pelosi Lied About CIA Briefing on Waterboarding

Confirmed: Pelosi Lied About  CIA   Briefing on Waterboarding

By Guy Benson 5/1/2012


Three years ago, I wrote a satirical column "defending" Nancy   Pelosi  against accusations that she had lied publicly about being  briefed  by the CIA  about the use of Enhanced Interrogation  Techniques (EITs) -- including  waterboarding -- on enemy detainees as far  back as 2002.   Here's her  infamous denial:





The evidence against Pelosi was so strong that her tale   could  only be explained one of two ways: Either (a) she was lying, or  (b)  a vast  conspiracy had constructed a web of deceit to ensnare  her.   Occam's Razor  revealed the truth, of course, but my  column was premised on  describing just how  implausible the  'anti-Pelosi witch hunt' theory really  was.  As of that   writing, we knew that two separate members of the  House Intelligence  Committee  had personally attested to her presence at   a  private 2002 briefing, at which EITs were thoroughly  described.   A  contemporaneous CIA report also confirmed Pelosi's   presence  at the briefing, specifying that members were informed about  the  existence and use of these EITs.  A 2007 Washington Post account   corroborated  these facts.  And yet, Pelosi stuck to her  story.   She claimed that  she was not -- repeat: was  not -- told about any  of this, further  asserting that the CIA  had lied by explicitly assuring  her that waterboarding  had not been used.  In case any  shadow of doubt remained, a  final  piece of this puzzle has fallen into  place.  The former  CIA  counterterrorism chief who conducted the  briefing in  question has at  last spoken out:

In his new book, “Hard Measures,” Jose Rodriguez reveals   that  he led a CIA briefing of Pelosi, where the techniques being used  in  the  interrogation of senior al-Qaeda facilitator Abu Zubaida  were  described in  detail. Her claim that she was not told about  waterboarding  at that briefing, he  writes, “is untrue.” “We  explained that as a result  of the techniques, Abu  Zubaydah was  compliant and providing good  intelligence. We made crystal   clear that authorized techniques,  including waterboarding, had by then  been used  on Zubaydah.” Rodriguez writes that he told Pelosi  everything, adding, “We held back nothing.” How did she respond when presented  with this  information? Rodriguez writes  that neither Pelosi  nor anyone else in the  briefing objected to  the techniques being  used.

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Re: Pelosi Lied About CIA Briefing on Waterboarding


That's not merely Rodriguez's personal recollection; his memory is affirmed by yet another document:

Six days after the meeting took place, Rodriguez reveals, “a cable went out from headquarters to the black site informing them that the briefing for the House leadership had taken place.” He explains that “[t]he cable to the field made clear that Goss and Pelosi had been briefed on the state of AZ’s interrogation, specifically including the use of the waterboard and other enhanced interrogation techniques.”

To recap: Roughly one year after 9/11, Nancy Pelosi and   other  select members of Congress were told in great detail about a  program  of EITs  that US interrogators were employing to wring  actionable  intelligence out of  captured terrorists.  No one  objected.   Years later, when Democrats  were indignantly  denouncing "torture" as an  inexpiable sin of Bush and the Republicans, Pelosi disavowed any knowledge of the meeting she had   attended.  She deliberately lied about a sensitive national  security question in order to score the cheapest of  political  points, tossing the American intelligence community under the  bus in  the process. This is  absolutely shameful.  House   Democrats' code of Congressional conduct  features the following  passage, describing the grounds on which a member may  be censured:

The authority to discipline by way of censure, reprimand or other such rebuke, however, has come to be recognized and  accepted  in  congressional practice as extending to cases of “misconduct,” even  outside of Congress, which the House finds to be reprehensible, and/or to reflect  discredit on the  institution, and which is,  therefore, worthy of condemnation or rebuke.

If lying -- knowingly and repeatedly -- about a matter   of  national security in pursuit of a purely partisan end doesn't fit  the  bill for  "reprehensible" behavior that "reflects discredit on  the institution, I don't  know what does.  Her mendacity in this case is far more damaging  to Congress and the nation than anything for  which Anthony Weiner, for instance, was responsible.  Pelosi remains the highest ranking Democrat in the  House  of Representatives.   Disgraceful.

UPDATE - Rodriguez sheds more light on how the use of EITs led to the eventual  location and  liquidation of Osama Bin Laden:

An al-Qa’ida operative was captured in 2004. He was quickly  turned over to the CIA. He had computer discs with him that showed  that he was relaying information between al-Qa’ida and Abu  Musab Zarqawi… Initially, he  played the role of a tough mujahideen and  refused to cooperate. We then received  permission to use some (but not all) of the  EIT procedures on him. Before long he became  compliant and started to  provide some excellent information…. He told us that bin Ladin  conducted business by  using a trusted courier with whom he was in contact  only sporadically. He said that the  Sheikh (as bin Ladin was referred to   by his subordinates) stayed completely away  from telephones, radios,  or  the internet in an effort to frustrate American  attempts to find  him. And  frustrated we were. We pressed him on who this courier was and he  said all he knew was a pseudonym: “Abu Ahmed  al-Kuwaiti.” This was a critical bit of information about the  identity of the man  who would eventually lead us to bin  Ladin.

Also, the mere existence of the elusive courier was   confirmed  by 9/11 mastermind KSM, who was initially broken usin waterboarding.  Barack Obama "righteously" opposed these  methods,  without which he wouldn't be spiking the bin Laden football and  casting aspersions for political gain today.