More Evidence CIA Briefing Timetable Is Worthless Lies

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Well it seems like there is more evidence that Speaker Pelosi for all her failings is not actually complicit in the Bush era State Sponsored Torture program. Zach Roth of the Talking Points Memo Muckraker section has found a former Intel official who points out that the Orwellian euphemism of “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” was only coined in 2006 when the Bush administration started to get worried (sensibly) that their war crimes would come back to haunt them. You can find the whole article here.

Why is this news for Speaker Pelosi’s credibility? Because the CIA document the Republicans are seizing on to try to make the case she was complicit uses that term all over the place. This makes it seem as though they were using this term back then and the State Sponsored Torture program was more controlled and measured than it really was. From the TMP article:

The former intel professional said that by using the term in the recently compiled document, the CIA was being “disingenuous,” trying to make it appear that the use of such techniques was part of a “formal and mechanical program.” In fact, said the former intel pro, it wasn’t until 2006 that — amid growing concerns about the program among some in the Bush administration — the EIT program was formalized, and the “enhanced interrogation techniques” were properly defined and given a name.

This is of course an anonymous source so we do have to be a little careful how much credibility to put on this report. If it were the only instance when the CIA was inaccurate the Dog might be tempted to let it pass. However we have both the fact of the Sen. Graham with his anal retentive note making disputing ¾ of the dates the CIA said they briefed him. One point that has come out but not gotten the level of attention the Dog would like is that the date that Sen. Graham does accept could not have been a Gang of 8 briefing as there were staff present.

We know that the really secret stuff, the stuff that Senators and Reps are never ever allowed to talk about, are no staff briefings. The Senators and Reps are not even allowed to take notes about these meetings nor discuss them with their staff. This means there is no chance that something as, lets say it bluntly, illegal as waterboarding or other torture would be discussed at a briefing with staff present.

If this were not enough to bolster this anonymous Intel official, there is his own statements not letting Speaker Pelosi off the hook:

“The extent to which members ask questions should drive what’s going on,” said the former intel pro. “It’s your job to ask.”

This is exactly right. The Dog does not believe the Speaker was complicit in that she had knowledge that there was torture being ordered and carried out, however that does not in any way make her blameless. She committed what the Nuns would call the “Sin of omission” she did not probe, she in fact failed to exercise the Congressionally mandated oversight she was in place to provide. In this failing Speaker Pelosi is not unique, but that is also not an excuse.

Even though the Dog finds this to be a problem, now is not the time to hammer her on it. She is moving our direction as the Republicans try to make a silk purse out of the CIA reports sows ear. We want her to feel she can wash away some of the stain, but not necessarily absolve herself by calling for and facilitating investigations.

Still, it is good to know pretty damned conclusively that this CIA briefing report is bullshit and our Democratic leaders while fairly spineless are not also war criminals.

The floor is yours.

Cross Posted At Square State


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  1. but this seemed like something folks would want to know about.  

    • Edger on May 19, 2009 at 19:53

    Thanks. I hope you’ll crosspost it as well?

  2. Not only didn’t she probe. She impeded probing by others when she took impeachment “off the table.”

    • quince on May 20, 2009 at 00:42

    *Correction: A Nexis search which we should have done earlier shows that the term “enhanced interrogation techniques” was used by CIA from June 2004 onwards.

    I know that date specifically doesn’t invalidate the article, but if they missed that…

    • Bagman on May 20, 2009 at 02:25

    I’ve lurked here the last few weeks and decided to join.  Seeing familiar diarists here after clicking Bhudhys link is cool.  I’m bagman at DKos. Something the dog said is one of my favorites at DKos as well as BD and Big Al.


    And I threw my support behind you for Netroots Nation!

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