Pelosi: CIA Told Us Waterboarding “Was Not Being Employed”

Pelosi has confirmed something I’ve been pointing out for weeks. When the CIA briefed Pelosi and Goss on September 4, 2002, it told them that waterboarding was not being employed.

The CIA comes to Congress and withholds information about the timing and the use of this subject. We later find out that it had been taking place before they even briefed us about the legal opinions and told us that they were not being used. This is a tactic–a diversionary tactic–off of those who conceived, developed, and implemented these policies, which all of us long opposed. 

[snip]

Of all the briefings that I have received at this same time, earlier, they were misinforming the American people there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and it was an imminent threat to the United States. I, to the limit of what I could say to my caucus, told them, the intelligence does not support the imminent threat that this Administration is contending. Whether it’s on the subject of what’s happening in Iraq, whether it’s on the subject of techniques used by the intelligence community on those they are interrogating, every step of the way, the Administration was misleading the Congress.

And that is the issue. And that is why we need a truth commision.

[snip]

Yes, I am saying that they are misleading–the CIA was misleading the Congress. And at the same time, the Administration was misleading the Congress on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  

Hello!?!?!? Press corpse!?!?! This has been clear–at least to one Dirty Fucking Hippy Blogger–for weeks (and Porter Goss’ statements–which speak of waterboarding prospectively, do not refute them). You think maybe it’s time to report on the crimes CIA and Dick Cheney covered up finally, rather than masturbating over what you consider a simulating partisan spat?


Here’s Pelosi’s prepared statement–I’ll post the questions when they get it done:

Throughout my entire career, I am proud to have worked for human rights, and against the use of torture, around the world.

As Ranking Member of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee in the 1990s, I helped secure the first funding for the Torture Victims Relief Act to assist those suffering from the physical and psychological effects of torture.

I unequivocally oppose the use of torture by our government because it is contrary to our national values.

Like all Members of Congress who are briefed on classified information, I have signed oaths pledging not to disclose any of that information. This is an oath I have taken very seriously, and I have always abided by it.

The CIA briefed me only once on some enhanced interrogation techniques, in September 2002, in my capacity as Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee.

I was informed then that Department of Justice opinions had concluded that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques was legal. The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed.

Those conducting the briefing promised to inform the appropriate Members of Congress if that technique were to be used in the future.

Congress and the American people now know that contrary opinions within the Executive Branch concluded that these interrogation techniques were not legal. However, those opinions were not provided to Congress.

We also now know that techniques, including waterboarding, had already been employed, and that those briefing me in September 2002 gave me inaccurate and incomplete information.

At the same time, the Bush Administration was misleading the American people about the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Five months later, in February 2003, a member of my staff informed me that the Republican chairman and new Democratic Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee had been briefed about the use of certain techniques which had been the subject of earlier legal opinions.

Following that briefing, a letter raising concerns was sent to CIA General Counsel Scott Muller by the new Democratic Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, the appropriate person to register a protest.

But no letter could change the policy. It was clear we had to change the leadership of the Congress and the White House. That was my job.

When Democrats assumed control of Congress in 2007, Congress passed legislation banning torture and requiring all government agencies to abide by the Army Field Manual. President Bush vetoed this bill barring the use of torture. An effort to overturn his veto failed because of the votes of Republican Members.

We needed to elect a new President. We did; and he has banned torture.

Congress and the Administration must review the National Security Act of 1947 to determine if a larger number of Members of Congress should receive classified briefings so that information can be utilized for proper oversight and legislative activity without violating oaths of secrecy.

I have long supported creation of an independent Truth Commission to determine how intelligence was misused, and how controversial and possibly illegal activities like torture were authorized within the Executive Branch.

Until a Truth Commission is implemented, I encourage the appropriate committees of the House to conduct vigorous oversight of these issues."

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103 replies
  1. klynn says:

    Made this comment in the last post.

    And, Bob Graham is now in a position to demand the name of the CIA supervisor who compiled the briefing dates because CIA has hurt his professional image, they have started to walk into defamation of character or maybe libel.IANAL bmaz can give a better call on this.

    An organization like CIA, which is tasked with keeping records straight in terms of documentation, cannot state one day that someone was definitely at this meeting and that attendance at this meeting casts doubt on the person’s character, especially if it involves dialogue about torture.

    He should raise a big stink and people in his former district should back him on it too. He deserved names of his accusers yesterday.

    The name of who supervised the compilation of that list will begin the unfolding of the lies.

    Ditto that for Pelosi too.

  2. MadDog says:

    Hey EW, I thought I pass this on from over at Secrecy News:

    …Mr. Zelikow cited two noteworthy official documents in his testimony, though these were not published on the Judiciary Committee web site. Copies were obtained by Secrecy News…

    A June 2005 memorandum (pdf) prepared by Mr. Zelikow and Gordon R. England, the acting deputy secretary of defense, proposed a comprehensive approach to detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists, that the authors said would be compatible with existing legal standards. But their approach was rejected by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Mr. Zelikow recalled in his testimony. The memorandum was reported in the New York Times (Tim Golden, “Detainee Memo Created Divide in White House,” October 1, 2006) and elsewhere, but has not been made publicly available until now. See “Elements of Possible Initiative,” June 12, 2005, marked Sensitive But Unclassified.

    A second memorandum, authored by Mr. Zelikow and John Bellinger, offered an alternative legal framework predicated on acceptance of the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” treatment. See “Detainees – The Need for a Stronger Legal Framework” (pdf), July 2005…

    The 2nd memo is the one I mentioned yesterday via Laura Rozen.

  3. Kitakata says:

    The Press corpse isn’t listening. They went immediately to Boehner to see if they could get any fanning of the flames and switched off as soon as questions turned to health care. As big blogs have learned well, the Press Corpse knows that meta and flame wars get eyeballs and sell. They also make a great distraction. In absence of partisan spats they’ll find a missing white girl, a weather disaster, hype a flu, anything but get to the machinations of the war machine that runs this country.

    I’m new to this blog as a member, but have been reading your work a long time. I’m encouraged by your focus and dedication. I will be contributing to support your continued efforts to uncover the truth the press corpse obfuscates.

  4. MadDog says:

    And I had to put on rubber gloves in order to get this for a comment, but The Weekly Standard (ugh!), has this:

    Obama Administration to Cheney: Request Denied

    The Obama administration has turned down former Vice President Dick Cheney’s request for the declassification of two CIA reports on the effectiveness of the Agency’s detainee program, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned. A letter dated May 7, 2009, from the CIA’s Information and Privacy Coordinator, Delores M. Nelson, rejected Cheney’s request because the documents he has requested are involved in a Freedom of Information Act court battle.

    “In researching the information in question, we have discovered that it is currently the subject of pending FOIA litigation (Bloche v. Department of Defense, Amnesty International v. Central Intelligence Agency). Therefore, the document is excluded from Mandatory Declassification Review,” Nelson wrote in the letter to the National Archives, the agency responsible for handling Cheney’s request…

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, now that’s delicious. Dick can’t have it bc the ACLU asked first.

      Not only that, but I betcha if the ACLU gets those reports, they’re going to be getting the CIA IG report which pre-refutes those documents ahead of time.

      • Aeon says:

        Not only that, but I betcha if the ACLU gets those reports, they’re going to be getting the CIA IG report which pre-refutes those documents ahead of time.

        Don’t forget that Feingold said at yesterday’s hearing that he had read the two documents in question, and that Cheney was misleading the American people about their content.

        • Aeon says:

          In keeping with the scholarly rigor that makes EW and this place a treasure, I supply a link verifying my @31:

          Feingold:

          I am a member of the Intelligence Committee. Nothing I have seen – including the two documents to which former Vice President Cheney has repeatedly referred – indicates that the torture techniques authorized by the last administration were necessary, or that they were the best way to get information out of detainees. The former vice president is misleading the American people when he says otherwise.

    • Citizen92 says:

      And the author of that Weekly Standard piece about Cheney being denied his FOIA request?

      Stephen F. Hayes.

      Stephen F. Hayes, that is, who also moonlights as Cheney’s official biographer.

      Any bets on who the grumbling “former Bush Administration official” quoted in the story is anyone other than Dick?

  5. BoxTurtle says:

    Oddly, while I believe that Pelosi is lying about what she knew when, I believe her when she says she learned none of it from offical briefings.

    This is OBAMAS CIA doing the lying now. And the Democrat Speaker of the House is calling them on it. How can Obama remain quiet?

    Boxturtle (Been away for a few. Marcy, please accept my belated Congrats!)

  6. klynn says:

    EW,
    Are you in a position to find out from Graham who gave him the briefing dates and told him he was there when he was not?

  7. orionATL says:

    specifics aside, what pelosi is doing is what democratic leaders have needed, but failed, to do for years – confront head-on cheney-bush operatives, the legions of the republican congressional obscurantists, or, in this case, a lawless lying cia bureaucracy.

    for reasons that have baffled me for years, the democrats have ALWAYS turned the other cheek –

    the better to receive yet another kick in the butt.

    i hope pelosi’s counterattack means dem leaders are changing from their passive, conflict-avoiding past, but i wouldn’t put money on it.

    if pelosi does keep up the pressure and continue with accusations the cia mislead congress, this may keep the matter before the public long enough for the specifics of individual acts of torture to become know to the public.

    that’s when the shit will hit the fan for the cia and that arrogant bunch of perpetually bumbling spooks will come to rue the day it decided to intimidate and silence a speaker of the house.

  8. yellowsnapdragon says:

    Anybody see the presser on MSNBC? Contessa Brewer completely and totally missed the news. She yammered on about what Pelosi was briefed on and whether she knew about torture. Shuster had to come on to say that Pelosi accused the CIA of lying to Congress.

    That woman (Brewer) is an embarassment to MSNBC.

  9. Peterr says:

    Hello!?!?!? Press corpse!?!?! This has been clear–at least to one Dirty Fucking Hippy Blogger–for weeks (and Porter Goss’ statements–which speak of waterboarding prospectively, do not refute them). You think maybe it’s time to report on the crimes CIA and Dick Cheney covered up finally, rather than masturbating over what you consider a simulating partisan spat?

    Don’t hold back, Marcy. Tell us what you really think.

    But shouldn’t it read “at least to one Hillman Award-winning Dirty Fucking Hippy Blogger”?

  10. Citizen92 says:

    On the subject of records hidden and denied, but OT.

    Would unhinged Michael Steele be crazy enough to release the notorious gwb43.com files supposedly collecting dust in the RNC’s attic? He seems to want to do things *his way.* I get the sense that these records were forgotten about after the EOP’s missing e-mails case started moving.

  11. klynn says:

    I thought after winning the Hillman she can only type F——?

    Really though, the last two posts are great and snarktastic.

  12. CanuckStuckinMuck says:

    EW!
    Also, belated felicitations on the award. Well deserved. Kitikata sounds an awful lot like Katty Kay (spelling probably not right on that name). My comment is aimed at Cheney’s line re: torture–that it has kept us safe, lo these many years since Giuliani’s apotheosis. Notice how not one public, non-DFH, non-blogging person has stepped up to point out that he and his chimp couldn’t keep the country safe before 9-1-1, indeed, actively remained inactive in the face of attack.
    Funny ol’ world, now, isn’t it?

  13. Arbusto says:

    Pelosi is still buck passing. 1) “I was informed then that Department of Justice opinions had concluded that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques was legal.” The fact that it was immoral, unethical, was against common decency, or contravened international treaties was OK because DoJ said so. 2) … “Following that briefing, a letter raising concerns was sent to CIA General Counsel Scott Muller by the new Democratic Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, the appropriate person to register a protest.” It wasn’t my job or interest to followup, cosign or write my own letter of protest. 3) “But no letter could change the policy. It was clear we had to change the leadership of the Congress and the White House. That was my job.” Of course calling for impeachment investigations were off the table because that wasn’t my job, and remained not my job when I became Speaker of the House. Christ on a Cross (NOT TORTURE I’m sure) when will we get Democratic Leaders (oxymoron).

      • Arbusto says:

        What Graham initially stated was he didn’t recall CIA briefing him on “EIT”, not that he wasn’t told. Too many memory problems inside The Beltway to give me warm fuzzy feelings on the quality of governance.

      • Arbusto says:

        What I was saying, in a snide way, was that Congress failed in their oversight responsibilities and the opportunity was there for the minority party to step up and lead the issue. They instead aided lawlessness at the same time diminishing their co-equal powers. Now it’s plausible dependability time. This whole affair has, I believe, permanently diminished our Republic.

    • rsie says:

      Yes she is. I also found this rather telling: “I unequivocally oppose the use of torture by our government because it is contrary to our national values.” How about contrary to our LAWS? Does Nancy know that torture (stop calling it enhanced interrogation techniques) is against International and U.S. law? This is our Speaker of the House of Representatives? Congress just makes the laws, they don’t feel they should have to abide by them. That would be too messy.

      • perris says:

        Yes she is. I also found this rather telling: “I unequivocally oppose the use of torture by our government because it is contrary to our national values.” How about contrary to our LAWS?

        EXCELLANT point

        nancy could have been far more effective had she said;

        “I unequiciocally oppose the use of torture by our government because it NOT ONLY breaks our laws but HARMS our national security, creating FAR more enemies and helping those enemies recruit terrorists who will be EAGER in attacking this country’

        or something similar

    • yellowsnapdragon says:

      Was just reading that. I’ve gotta say…I’m really starting to wonder if 9/11 was a set up to start a war in Iraq.

      I can almost hear Cheney saying, “Let ‘em attack us. We’ll blame Iraq. We’ll establish a military presence in the Middle East to protect Isreal and oil.”

  14. perris says:

    pelosi gives the cia a direct confrontation and calls them out

    I believe she could not say that as forcefully if marcy hadn’t already layed the ground work demonstrating the cia never said she was at a briefing where it was mentioned

    pelosi owes a debt of gratitude to this marcy wheeler and I sure hopes she realizes it

  15. tanbark says:

    Now let’s wait and see how hard Pelosi pushes for an everything’s-on-the-table investigation that will include who-knew-what-and-when-did-they-know-it?

    If we get that, then her (delayed) outrage will be more convincing.

  16. tanbark says:

    One possible side benefit of this, and Marcy deserves some cred, is that the CIA’s “intelligence” is being gone over with a fine-tooth comb.

    NEVER a bad thing. :o)

  17. tanbark says:

    But this still devolves back on Obama. And so far, he is clearly not out in front of it, but seems to prefer that it go away.

    Which brings us back to the question of “is it worth it?”, with what he’s going to be facing, down the road. And he is certainly weighing, or has weighed, the question.

    Remember, indictments may be a nice little progressive h’ordeouvre, but they don’t mean convictions, and they WILL be dragging on for years, in the courts. And with no foreseeable makeup in the change of SCOTUS, if I were Cheyney, Rice, etc., I wouldn’t be too worried.

    And again, in the meantime, the clock is ticking away on Obama’s promise to get us out of La Brea east.

  18. tanbark says:

    The danger here is that if some spook comes up with accurate records (if they exist) of a briefing in which Pelosi or other top dems were told of the waterboarding, then this will all backfire. In fact, it’s hanging by enough of a thread that it might put an end to the push for going after the bushturds for doing it.

    And Obama increasingly looks like he wouldn’t mind that.

    • emptywheel says:

      Uh, except that (as I keep pointing out) Pelosi’s take is completely consistent with Porter Goss’). So if you’re so worried about that, you’d have to explain why Porter Goss also tells of being briefed prospectively?

  19. klynn says:

    Just thinking of Maddow’s show when she walked us through the disambiguation of torture policy from two different agencies CIA and Pentagon. Now we have Bush Administration and CIA.

    The CIA comes to Congress and withholds information about the timing and the use of this subject. We later find out that it had been taking place before they even briefed us about the legal opinions and told us that they were not being used. This is a tactic–a diversionary tactic–off of those who conceived, developed, and implemented these policies, which all of us long opposed.

    I, to the limit of what I could say to my caucus, told them, the intelligence does not support the imminent threat that this Administration is contending. Whether it’s on the subject of what’s happening in Iraq, whether it’s on the subject of techniques used by the intelligence community on those they are interrogating, every step of the way, the Administration was misleading the Congress.

    More disambiguation:

    CIA, Military = same torture policies (different, separate but the same)

    CIA Bush Administration (different, separate but the same)

    There is a place where these two connect. These things link at the top…This was a program.

    Perhaps Rachel will will do disambiguation II.

    The ambiguity is vanishing.

  20. plunger says:

    The “Poppy Inc.” (Private) Division of the CIA is being exposed.

    Somehow, some way, the “good guys” who either remain within the CIA or were forced out – will reveal the shadow operatives who were taking their lead from the GHW/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Chertoff contingent (The Shadow Government).

    • Waccamaw says:

      Ah, you’re a member of the “hope springs eternal” brigade. Wish I had a brighter outlook but *IF* such people exist, it’s gettin’ long past time for them to start letting go of the buried treasure. Isn’t it Sy Hersh who’s been promising something along the same lines for donkey’s ears now?

  21. tanbark says:

    I have to laugh about one thing. You know the CIA is writhing in discomfort about all the spotlight on them now. They do NOT like it when people start talking about their “oversight” (Okay: very nearsighted “oversight”) meetings with congers.

  22. maeme says:

    Natch, Nora OD has Joe Lieberman on raving about his trust of the CIA and their briefings. In the meantime, does anyone have any contact with Senator Graham — he needs to do more pressers. Definitely agree that he needs to request names — and more specifics on briefings.

    If Pelosi gets a change of attitude – my bet is she got a call from Rahm — they may let her be the fall guy – just like Dodd with banking bill to get this off the news cycles.
    Cause they are all quoting CIA sources — about the briefings.

    Hoping she bucks them!! (The credit card bill should be such a wake-up call to all of us on how much of a gravey train some of these folks ride. Time to tell Mary Landreiu to get the hell off and let the Republicans have her – $2million bucks from the banksters.)

    Big CONGRATS to you Marcy.

    • Dalybean says:

      Significant elements of her own caucus would like to see Pelosi fall as she is trying to stand in the way of a war on Iran pushed by AIPAC. That is why Pelosi has more than the usual number of punks, pundit, commenters and riff raff calling for her head. I know I say this in every thread but it is a crucial factor.

  23. GregB says:

    We could save billions by just abolishing the CIA. The biggest lot of overpaid hacks on the planet.

    They must have blown their wad back in the 60’s with the poison cigar trick on Castro because they have been snoozing and losing ever since.

    Collapse of the Soviet Union? Missed it by that much.

    Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990? Oops.

    A decade of Bin Laden’s attacks? Snooze.

    9/11? Next time.

    Jesus, the only thing they seem to be efficient at is intimidating Americans.

    Fuck ‘em.

    -G

  24. tanbark says:

    As the article on Pelosi’s presser says, the CIA neither denied nor confirmed her account of their briefing(s) were there more than one?) with her. But George Little, the head of the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs says the notes from their briefings of lawmakers could be made available for “staff review”.

    Will Pelosi or Graham ask for them to be reviewed? At the least, that would sharpen the dispute.

    • Waccamaw says:

      But George Little, the head of the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs says the notes from their briefings of lawmakers could be made available for “staff review”.

      Will Pelosi or Graham ask for them to be reviewed? At the least, that would sharpen the dispute.

      If they’re filled with lies/inaccuracies, that’ll not help in the least.

  25. tanbark says:

    Marcy: and as I keep pointing out, Obama, himself, is obviously not keen on pursuing this. And if Pelosi is so wronged, then surely she will totally get behind a full investigation on this, with everything on the table, and so far I don’t see her doing that. Nor, even talking about it, very much.

    And there’s the thing of how it will help us, down the road.

    Will there be indictments?

    Can prosecutors get convictions?

    How long will it take?

    If there are convictions, might they not wind up with SCOTUS, with that same old voting bloc there?

    And with the timeframe of it, if it comes to trials, they will almost certainly be going on in the middle of the crunch about Obama’s making good on his campaign promise to get us out of Iraq. I think that will not be good.

    And I think that rabid pursuit of the torture issue, despite the morality of it, without considering these things, is a mistake.

    • emptywheel says:

      You may be pointing out that I would argue that–photograph decision yesterday notwithstanding–you are wrong.

      Obama’s team has always said no one is above the law. They have already changed the debate on this. And I think if possible, they will prosecute–though I’m not sure they can, given SOLs and the letter of the law.

      You may be mistaking Obama’s efforts to appear like he’s being forced to do this, which is politically convenient. But that doesn’t change that this is moving forward.

      • TheraP says:

        I like your last phrase:

        this is moving forward

        My bold.

        Boy, this has taken on a life of it’s own here! I can hardly keep up!

  26. dmac says:

    I just wrote msnbc a letter about their last half hour of obfuscation about all of this, followed by lyin’ joe…Now Grassle is on there lying his ass off.

    here’s the letter, was in a hurry, tone could have been better and lotsa typos,oh well, but gotta run..just wanted you to know-i wouldn’t have known about graham’s interview without you..so thought i would pass it on, like usual…keep up the good work, marcy….

    Dear MSNBC;

    (and others, to give you the links in the posts at the end)

    You are misleading people when it comes to reporting the CIA’s misinformation about meetings with members of Congress.

    They have repeatedly said that in 2002 they were told the techniques were not yet in use.

    Bob Graham also has stated that he did NOT attend briefings that the CIA said he did.

    The list grows longer, yet you do not report it. You continue to fan the flames of doubt and mistrust to enflame where they do not belong. They belong around who is really lying. The Bush Administration and now the CIA.

    Then you followed up the segment with Senator Lieberman, the King of Misinformation. Proclaiming ‘let’s all get along’ while lying about facts already released that directly conflict with what he is disfiguring. He never did answer a direct question about it because he knows the truth already and isn’t going to verify it. ‘It’s already taken care of by law and executive order’. Behind closed doors, without the knowledge of Congress. He left that little part out. The part under contention right now. And so did you. At least three members of Congress are telling you the CIA is lying. Their schedules prove it. They were told after the fact.

    ‘It’s over, it’s over”. No, Joe, it isn’t.

    What a way to taint a story rather than report it. Your anchor and reporter said they wondered why the coverage is on this and not the credit card reform, well, it’s a good way to draw it out by misreporting it. Will take a lot longer to get around to reporting the facts. Fill a lot more air time, but then it would be done and over with and you would have to fill your airwaves with boring things like credit cards forcing people into agreements without their consent and the real things that are taking place in washington and in our world.

    Pretty funny that a blogger, Marcy Wheeler, who just won a Hillman Award for Journalism, repeatedly has more facts than the ‘professionals’…read her blog, she really is that good. Full of Fun Facts.

    Just today, she already has more facts than you have reported to date.
    Here is the info on Senator Graham-it links to a radio interview today where Graham again states his first-hand information that is not being aired on your program. I haven’t heard you even mention his name yet.
    http://emptywheel.firedoglake……-sessions/

    Here is one on Pelosi and Goss, she has written many others.
    http://emptywheel.firedoglake……-employed/

    Get it together, and quit misleading the public. The more you do it, the more we are turning you off. And your advertisers.

    A half an hour later, and your anchor and yet another ‘expert’ is going further and further away from shore.
    Anchor’s Aweigh. Bon Voyage.

    ‘Waving’

    Sincerely,
    D
    —ohio

  27. oregondave says:

    Here’s the NYT lede on the website, 20 minutes ago:

    Under fire from Republicans for what she knew about harsh questioning of terror detainees, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday acknowledged that she had learned as early as 2003 that the C.I.A. had subjected suspects to waterboarding.

    “Stimulating partisan spat” and Pelosi was told, even though she says CIA misled– yeah, that’s the lede.

  28. NCDem says:

    If you haven’t read the short article by Lawrence Wilkerson at the Washington Note, I would recommend it for a few other points.

    He states that once Abu Ghraib broke, the CIA shutdown all torture programs. His point and question to Cheney. “If the torture program was working so well and now you are claiming that Obama has harmed the national security of this nation by disavowing the program…Why did you allow the program to stop in mid-2004?”

    I also find it curious that Lawrence would write this now. If you read carefully, it is as much an attempt to support his former boss and Sec. of State as it is to help our nation move forward on actionable information on the torture program.

  29. fatster says:

    Way O/T but promising development:

    Carlyle Group Admits Role In “Pay to Play” Scandal
    Politically-Connected Firm Admits Payments of $13 Million to Indicted Middleman to Get New York State Business
    By RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS
    May 14, 2009

    “The Carlyle Group, a giant Wall Street firm best known for its ties to former President George H.W. Bush and other prominent public officials, made more than $13 million in payments to a indicted political fixer who arranged for the firm to receive business from a New York pension fund, New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo said today.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/…..038;page=1

  30. emptywheel says:

    From the transcript here’s a journalist discovering the English language. (Seriously, this is the point I’ve been making for weeks):

    QUESTION: May I ask one last question?

    : Sure.

    QUESTION: OK. The question is: At the end of April, you had a press conference with us and you said very clearly we were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.

    : That’s right. We, in that — in that meeting, in the briefing that I received, we were not told that — in fact, we were told that waterboarding was not being used because that’s sort of one that stood out.

    QUESTION: So in that press conference, we were all fairly trying to get at the broader question of whether — whether you knew about waterboarding at all. And the idea that we got from you was that you were never told that waterboarding was being used. But now we know that, later, in February, you were told. It wasn’t in that briefing, but you were told. So…

    : No. By the time we were told, we are finding out that it’s been used before. In other words, that was beyond the…

    QUESTION: Well, why did you tell us at the press conference

    : Well, I told you what our briefing was. And our briefing was…

    QUESTION: That you had been told, just not at that particular briefing.

    : No.

    QUESTION: You’ve been very adamant that you didn’t know that waterboarding was used.

    : No, that is right. We were told — in the briefing that I received, we were told that they had legal opinions that this was legal. We were not told that it was — that there were other legal opinions to the contrary in the administration. And we were told specifically that waterboarding was not being used. When my assistant told me that the committee had been briefed — now, I’m not on that committee any more. I’m now out of it. We have a new — that ranking member wrote the appropriate letter to protest that. And then we find out just slightly more subsequent to that that, perhaps, they were using waterboarding long before they tell us.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible).

    : No. But the point is is that I wasn’t briefed. I was told — informed that someone else had been briefed about it. I’m only speaking from my — I’m only speaking from my own experience. And we were told that it was not being used. Subsequently, the other members of the committee were informed.

    QUESTION: So were you.

    : No, I wasn’t informed. I was informed that a briefing had taken place. Now, you have to look at what they briefed those members. I was not briefed that. I was only informed that they were briefed, but I did not get the briefing.

  31. tanbark says:

    [email protected]: (Mighty good river, that one…:o) )

    Sorry, but I have to disagree. I think that if the CIA notes claim that Pelosi and/or any of the other dems who were briefed were told that waterboarding, or some “extreme interrogation techniques” were being used, and Pelosi says flatly that they are specifically lying about that, then that would be a congressional-CIA confrontation about truth-in-briefing, that would be quite helpful. Especially, since it would be the Speaker of the House who is saying it.

    Of course, what if the CIA briefing went something like this:

    “Madam Speaker, we HAVE been using stronger interrogation techniques than in the past, but we feel they’re justified by the situation.”

    Then Pelosi’s claim that the CIA did not tell her about waterboarding would be technically true. But if that is what’s in the notes, then she certainly let the sleeping dog lie, and showed little or no interest in pursuing the possibility of a governmental agency’s torturing prisoners.

    In any governmental dispute (really, any dispute at all) there is a desire from presumably “innocent” people for a level of disclosure that would resolve the issue. So far, I just don’t think we’re seeing that from Pelosi.

    We have, or course, seen much, much, worse from the people who’ve done so much damage to us over the past 8 years, but if we want to exonerate Pelosi from any charge of going along with the torture, there is some disclosure left to do. Let’s see if she gets behind that.

    • Waccamaw says:

      Hey, fella –

      How’s the state south of me? Were you close to the fire? There was all this horrible black carbon-ie stuff washed up on the beach after the worst of it…..figured out it was dog only knows what accumulation of gunk burned up down your way that blew into the ocean and back to land.

      What I meant about the lies/inaccuracies is the stuff about Graham’s briefings…….the ones that never happened. Given the so-called MSM’s propensity for stoopidity and poor reporting (unlike a certain investigative reporter who just won an award *G*), the public never finds out about Graham and the thugs keep on asserting anything coming from the CIA is the word of Dog.

  32. billinturkey says:

    tanbark: And if Pelosi is so wronged, then surely she will totally get behind a full investigation on this, with everything on the table, and so far I don’t see her doing that. Nor, even talking about it, very much.

    PelosiI have long supported creation of an independent Truth Commission to determine how intelligence was misused, and how controversial and possibly illegal activities like torture were authorized within the Executive Branch.

    Until a Truth Commission is implemented, I encourage the appropriate committees of the House to conduct vigorous oversight of these issues

    Looks very much like she’s saying she wants investigations to me…

    • billinturkey says:

      that said it would be interesting to hear someone ask whether she’d be getting behind he California Dems calls to impeach Bybee.

  33. tanbark says:

    [email protected]:

    This is the article I used for my thoughts on Pelosi. It’s her press conference.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200…..si_torture

    In it, she says nothing specific about the CIA releasing it’s notes of it’s meeting with her. Nothing.

    Instead: “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.”

    Asking for a commission to investigate the Bush administration is not the same as asking for a commission to ALSO investigate the clear difference of opinion on what she was told in the CIA briefing. Increasingly, Pelosi is parsing her words carefully.

    Her problem is that the CIA, rightly or wrongly, earlier said that she had been briefed on their interrogation techniques. She insists that they gave her no information that would indicate they were using waterboarding, and in fact, she claims that they said they were not. Since the CIA evidently has notes on the briefing, the least she could do in trying to resolve this, is to ask that the notes be made public, or failing that, that they be reviewed by some appropriate parties, as to what the the CIA claims they told her. This, she has patently not done.

    I think you misjudge what Obama is doing. He understands perfectly that the release of new photos of the abuses at Abu Grahib, will create some new outrage and revulsion, and that it would certainly add fuel to the call for a thorough investigation of the Bush administration’s use of this.

    Barak Obama does not want this. Anyone who thinks differently, I think is misreading the signals. The generals ARE, no doubt, opposed to it. But they are being used by Obama to help AVOID “moving this forward”, as you put it. And I suspect that the reasons for his doing this, are the ones I’ve listed before, about the fact that he’s not keen on using political capital for this, when he’s looking at push-coming-to-shove in Iraq, in the same time period of any trials of Bush, Cheyney, etc.

    Back to Pelosi. If she learned as early as 2003 that the Bush administration had been subjecting prisoners to waterboarding, what difference does it make when the CIA told her? Did she come out THEN, in righteous anger? I seem to remember that she didn’t. In point of fact, she’s been far more critical of waterboarding since the information about the briefing came out, than ever before, when it would have mattered most.

    I would like to hear your thoughts on the chances of obtaining, first, indictments on this; and then what you think the possibility of convictions would be, and of how long it might take to get them.

    And of course, what do you think the Supreme Court, with it’s basic 5-4 conservative make-up still in place, might do with any convictions of Bush and his cronies? Thanks, tb.

  34. tanbark says:

    Let her call for an investigation that covers, not just the Bush administration, but all of the briefings with congressional members, on the issue of waterboarding and torture. I mean, if we’re going to gin up a commission, let’s not restrict it.

  35. tanbark says:

    Okay, I see in the clip of her, that she says she would like to see the briefing notes released. All to the good. Since they are, to some extent, the only hard “evidence” (I use the quotes, because it is, after all, the CIA…) I think that any resolution of this dispute should REQUIRE that they be released.

    I also note, in the text of her presser, that she changed her story about the briefings and said, in late April, that the CIA had not told her of any waterboarding, and then said in the more recent statement, that they directly told her that they were NOT doing it. It all sounds like parse city, to me. As I’ve said, very Bushian.

    But at this point, I think it’s clear that as early as 2003 she knew it was going on, and had little or nothing to say about it.

    If she had come out and said that she made a bad mistake in not calling the CIA and the Bush administration to task as soon as she became aware of what they were doing, this could be handled as more or less normal damage control. With her now expressing her opposition to waterboarding, etc., which she evidently sat on for years, the repubs would be idiots to not point this out. They ARE idiots in many important respects, but they know a media bone to chew when they smell one.

  36. njr83 says:

    some new dates for EW’s timeline…

    and where might this (from wiki) fit…
    On December 14, 2004, President Bush awarded Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    I’m hoping Obama renames the coin.

  37. nadezhda says:

    Priceless quote today:

    Boehner also defended the CIA. “It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone in our intelligence agencies would mislead a member of Congress,” said Boehner, who has received regular intelligence briefings since becoming leader about three years ago.

    “I don’t feel I’ve ever been misled,” he added.

    You know, there are certain things the American public may be gullible about when it comes to national security matters. But believing that it’s hard to imagine the CIA misleading members of Congress surely isn’t one of them. Boehner’s going to have to come up with some better spin than that.

    And a belated but very enthusiastic “hip hip hooray” for the Hillman Award, Marcy. Looks like the matching grant gave a good boost to the fundraising process. Maybe we can find another non-profit or two to do a couple of other matching fundraisers to get you up to your goal.

  38. Leen says:

    Yes EW you trumped the mainstream press corp again. Because you “do your homework”

    Pelosi “misleading the congress of the United States” “misleading”

    Hey she took that reporter from the Nation’s bait who appeared on MSNBC and threw out the suggestion that she call Cheney’s bluff on the CIA briefings
    “release the briefings”

    The other suggestion was that she come on out and state that she would be more than willing to testify.

  39. orionATL says:

    tanbark –

    it seems perverse of you to focus so much moral and analytical energy on pelosi’s knowledge.

    for one thing it does not seem reasonable that pelosi would have ever personally supported water-boarding.

    for another, the entire question being raised by the washington mediaocracy is NOT did pelosi EVER learn about water-boarding, but rather when did she learn, within a short time frame, that water-boarding was a part of u.s.policy – that it was actually being used.

    the disguised proposition in this entirely trivial little game which wapoop is playing is this:

    if pelosi learned about water-boarding, even merely hearing the word “water-boarding”, a few months earlier rather than a few months later, then she is a responsible supporter of water-boarding as u.s. policy.

    this proposition is transparently stupid.

    it is also precisely the kind of stupid proposition leading to a tempest-in-a-teapot that both republican obscurantists AND big journo’s love to ask.

    do i really need to point out that only cheney’s office, the n.s.c, the doj, the dod, and the cia designed, facilitated, supervised, and administered the torture of (mostly) arab nationalists AS OFFICIAL AMERICAN POLICY.

    do i need to point out that at no point did pelosi support water-boarding within the congress, authorize water-boarding on any prisoner. at no time did she supervise water-boarding. at no time did she apply water-boarding.

    this entire story is a diaphanous concoction of those deeply engaged in torture then and deeply worried now about the consequences to themselves of the torturing they authorized, supervised, and administered

    and

    of a group cynical and willfully ignorant big journo’s.

  40. tanbark says:

    [email protected]: Depends on what you mean by “support”.

    Does “acquiesce” work for you?

    Let’s cut to the chase.

    Because, as I read it, she’s admitted that she knew it was going on way back in 2003. And had jackshit to say about it.

    No one is saying that PELOSI should be indicted, but if she knew about this, why did she wait for years, to grow some anger about it? Whether some people will admit it or not, this little fact kind of makes it hard for a lot of people to get worked up over Pelosi’s recently discovering the immorality of torturing prisoners.

    While I’m at it, can you tell me how many briefings she got from the CIA?

    That is, in which interrogation techniques were even whispered about?

    I think that would be relevant to know…unless someone just enjoys getting beat over the head by the assholes who’ve nearly wrecked the country, with what is looking more and more like Bush-style parsing of the truth.

    • frankly0 says:

      I agree with most of your sentiments here, tanbark.

      I find the outrage expressed on this blog — including even Marcy’s — just bizarrely misplaced.

      Somehow we are supposed to get worked up into a lather over the CIA’s lying about exactly when they briefed the Democrats on their use of torture, but forget about any outrage that Pelosi heard about it in early 2003 and refused to register a formal protest of any kind.

      Why should any progressive leap to the defense of Pelosi under those circumstances? Why should they care to defend her from claims by the Republicans that she knew about it and didn’t say a word? Why breathlessly report on the CIA’s lies, when what Pelosi now admits to herself is not a particle better than what they are alleging?

      Sometimes I think that people are so consumed with hatred for Republicans that it truly makes them blind to the evils made possible by other parties. That hatred really does sometimes seem like a kind of derangement.

      Our problems are systemic. There’s no hope in improving our country if we don’t hold all parties accountable, both Democrats and Republicans. If we only can allow ourselves to pay attention to the evils of one side, and refuse to attend to the evils perpetrated by the other side, then we will never work ourselves out of our current mire.

      • Dalybean says:

        I am a progressive that will leap to Nancy Pelosi’s defense. Nancy Pelosi voted against the Iraq war and she is holding up a further war on Iran. That is the agenda behind the “Get Pelosi” movement and it is AIPAC’s agenda. Let’s get that clear right now.

    • sanandreasfaults says:

      For the sake of discussion, lets assume your 100% correct. She (Pelosi) has known from day one about the torture. Do you really believe progressives are going to say, tanbark, that changes everything! WTF were we thinking? If that premise is true, and it still could prove to be. This bus will only make a bump, bump noise as we drive to the truth.

  41. JasonLeopold says:

    great, great work. Just wanted to let you know and give you the kudos you have earned and deserve.

  42. pmorlan says:

    They just had a former CIA agent on MSNBC say that this could now move into a more serious setting like that of Iran/Contra because of the Pelosi charge that she was told by the CIA that they had not waterboarded when other documents show they waterboarded prior to her briefing.

    Did everyone see the video of Don Rumsfeld being called a war criminal at the Washington Correspondent’s dinner. It’s great.

  43. Stephen says:

    Nancy is looking out for Nancy as usual, not the American People. Also now she has the balls to bring up being mislead about Weapons of Mass Destruction in her own defense to put forward another example of misinformation by the CIA. Nancy better be careful, I think there is still a lot of past wiretapping info out there that can come back to bite her. Just ask Jane Harman about that scenario.

  44. orionATL says:

    tanbark,

    “No one is saying that pelosi should be indicted, but if she knew about this, why did she wait for years, to grow some anger about it? Whether some people will admit it or not, this little fact kind of makes it hard for a lot of people to get worked up over pelosi’s recently discovering the immorality of torturing prisoners.”

    you’re looking thru the wrong end of the telescope – and seeing things in small scale.

    suppose that pelosi had been briefed from day-one on terrorism in all its gory details.

    your argument –

    “…but if she knew about this, why did she wait for years, to grow some anger about it?”

    implies that no person who, at an earlier point in time, acquiesced to illegal or immoral behavior can, at some later point in time, change their beliefs or support for that behavior(discontinue their “acquiescence”). this type of arguing seems to serve more as a “gotcha” of your own design than as an argument that enlightens.

    the main point for me in all this is that the media pursuit of pelosi is

    – about an utterly trivial matter

    – capable AT WORST only of proving that people change their minds and/or that pelosi is yet another hypocritical politician.

    – one of those utterly pointless herring hunts involving an “easy target” politician which the media love to pursue

    – clearly supported by and probably devised by the cia and those of its partners in crime involved directly with approving, supporting, and administering torture.

    – aimed at discrediting the highest ranking u.s. official to call for a truth commission.

    i would like to point out, too, that pelosi is not asking for a moral tribune, so her putative morality is irrelevant.

    she is asking for a “truth commission” which will find out what happened with regard to torture, including the the connection between torture and the black ops that cheney and rumsfeld and gang visited on the u.s. in order to justify invading iraq.

    she is talking about calling into account the legality of the in-office behavior of american officials.

    to repeat, your high dudgeon with regard to pelosi seems misplaced, at best.

  45. tanbark says:

    San [email protected]: I certainly do think it will change things. In fact 100% or not, it’s already changing them. If you think it isn’t, then a little more focus is called for. Obama is clearly backing off the idea of trying to prosecute any of the bushturds for their misdeeds, at least, relative to the torture issue.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05……html?_r=1

    And that is because he understands a few things that some of us progressives don’t:

    It’s not going to be easy to get indictments.

    (Boy is it not going to be easy; the DOJ is moving to block the release of any more photos of prisoner abuse. I believe that’s about 180 degrees off what they would be doing if Obama wanted to go after someone…)

    Convictions are going to be even harder to get.

    The effort to get them would be coming at a crucial time for Obama and the dems and US, as Iraq begins to rear it’s ugly head again, vis-a-vis his campaign promise to get most of our troops out in that plus-or-minus 18 months.

    It will cost him political capital that he is going to need, very badly, in the not too distant future. It won’t help him, or us, for that matter, if he goes haring off after convictions on these people. They deserve to be punished, but the simple truth is, that most people are not overly concerned about it. It’s just not a hot-button issue.

    And for some strange reason, practically none of the progressive blogs where I hang out, or just read, want to talk about these things. It’s full steam ahead, and damn the reality.

    Back to Pelosi. If you think Pelosi’s knowing about the torture from 2003 on (which IS a fact, and not just “me”) and keeping quiet about it until she got backed into a corner over her tentative support for making it an issue, doesn’t degrade any moral indignation she may express, or that WE may express, if we champion her, then just watch the media feeding frenzy that’s going on, as we talk.

    Understand; if this thing had taken off like a rocket, with an innate sense of outrage from mainstream americans, I’d be right with you guys that are working hard to gin that up. I’d love a good fishing expedition.
    We could drag up some large, smelly, bottom-feeding carp to put on the table. But folks, it aint happening, and if it did, all of those questions I asked about indictments and convictions and the SCOTUS, which no one seems to want to talk about, would come right into play.

    The capper is Obama triggering the DOJ to prevent the release of more photos. We can rack his ass for all we’re worth, on that, and I won’t argue much about it. But I think he’s planning this game of 8-ball a shot or two ahead, and that’s something that some well-intentioned but tunnel-visioned progressives should be doing.

    • sanandreasfaults says:

      tanbark the more msm or R’s point the finger at Pelosi, it doesn’t deflect the torture. It highlights it. Keep it coming. Do you really think Cheney is changing anyone’s mind. It’s like a convicted rapist saying “well others have done it”. Rings really hollow to me. But goodluck/ not with that.

  46. tanbark says:

    Orion, where has Pelosi spoken a syllable about changing her mind about the evils of waterboarding, etc?

    Maybe I’ve just missed that.

    “She is talking about calling into account the in-office behavior of american officials.”

    Which she has just admitted she knew about since 2003, and said and did nothing about it.

    And I’m still wondering how many briefings the CIA gave her, in which the subject of interrogation techniques came up. I expect that if and when she holds another presser, some reporter will ask her about that. I think it’s a good question, just for starters. How about you?

  47. tanbark says:

    [email protected]: Thanks for asking. :o)

    I’m about 10 miles south of Myrtle Beach, and we got nothing from the fire except one night of smoke when we had a northerly wind, and then it switched back to SW the next morning, and pushed it back up to North Myrtle, where the fire was centered inland. All those acres burnt and the homes lost were tragic, but this was predictable. The building boom down here was going like…a house afire, and it covered up some wetland and pine flatwoods that should be closed to that, for their sake and the sake of anyone buying a home there. As you probably know, when we get into a drought situation, it’s a tinderbox in the wooded areas.

    What can we say? Lindsay Graham is an embarassment. Nouveau Strom.

    But the Waccamaw is beautiful. Dark and lovely…full of mystery and history. Fairly healthy, too, although not quite as much so as the Edisto, Combahee, and Ashley, which are pretty well protected, and where the wildlife is vibrant and varied.

    No big pig farms, so far. Rap, rap.

    You must be up near Little River.

  48. tanbark says:

    SanAndreas: Absolutely, it doesn’t. whenever did “You’re one too!” exonerate the doers AND creators of this misery?
    Besides, Pelosi wasn’t, and isn’t “one”, but my sense of it is that she knew about it and slid it, for years. Where she got the knowledge is pretty much irrelevant, my 2C. And I think she’s trying to word-futz her way back to the high ground. I’m sorry, but I’m tired of it.
    It’s strange, coming from someone who had the moxie to vote against the authorization of the invasion, when so many people were drinking the koolaid like it was their mother’s milk.

    But it’s been a good thread, and for the record, I think Ms. Wheeler is the best. Simply, the best. Keep on diggin’ Marcy. :o)

  49. timbo says:

    Again, Pelosi is not demanding any legal consequences here. As the Speaker of the House, she could have done that by insisting on impeachment when the Dems got back control of the US House of Representatives and made her Speaker. But, as she admitted today, she was more interested in winning political power for her party than in standing up against disasterous foreign adventuring by the Bush Regime. And, what now, Madame Speaker? A “Truth Commission” who you and the Republicans hand pick to lead us to “the truth”?! Yeah, right. The truth is before us and that truth is that the Speaker of the House doesn’t really mind being lied to by the CIA…because that gives what? Plausible deniability for complicity?

  50. orionATL says:

    tanbark-

    you’re just another spook.

    tanbark said @87:

    “where has pelosi spoken a syllable about changing her mind about the evils of water-boarding, etc?

    Maybe I’ve just missed that.”

    no, tanbark, you did not “miss that”.

    you chose to misinterpret my comment.

    i did not state and nor do I care whether pelosi has changed her mind or not. i raised a hypothetical for purposes of argument- a hypothetical that destroys your argument. hence your evasion.

    my hypothetical was:

    orionATL’s comment @85:

    “your argument [tanbark] …implies that no person who, at an earlier point in time, acquiesced to illegal or immoral behavior can, at some later point in time, change their beliefs or support for that behavior(discontinue their “acquiescence”).”

    this comment of mine gets to the crux of the pelosi dunking. she’s being dunked because she MAY (but may NOT)may have changed her mind on torture.

    on another matter:

    tanbark says @87

    “She is talking about calling into account the in-office behavior of american officials.”

    Which she has just admitted she knew about since 2003, and said and did nothing about it.”

    so what’s wrong with this, tanbark?

    so she calls for an accounting of behavior?

    you have a problem with that?

    you’d rather NOT have an accounting?

    you’d rather not have an accounting unless initiated by the virgin mary?

    sham morals, tanbark; sham concern; sham commentary.

    the key point to this tempest-in-a-teapot is that even IF pelosi knew all about w-boarding she can still call for an investigation and a legal accounting.

  51. orionATL says:

    frankly0 @ 88 –

    ah, yes.

    when i read tanbark’s screed, frankly0, i thought immediately of you.

    the two of you share a rather obvious style – appearing to be concerned and outraged, but not really being so.

    this particular comment of yours was revealing

    and priceless:

    “Sometimes I think that people are so consumed with hatred for Republicans that it truly makes them blind to the evils made possible by other parties. That hatred really does sometimes seem like a kind of derangement.”

    so thoughtful.

    so sweet.

    so concerned with the welfare of the nation.

    so republican.

    you boys got to be SMOOTHER, man.

    you boys got to co-ordinate better.

    you boys got to learn to lie like a republican – convincingly.

  52. Civlibertarian says:

    Did everyone see the video of Don Rumsfeld being called a war criminal…It’s great.

    All, here’s the direct link to msnbc for the above-mentioned video.

    pmorlan, nice work on the link to your blog, where you completely miss the point. Unless “it’s great” as a member of the choir to get preached to, there’s nothing interesting about the clip involving Rumsfeld. No matter how truthful, “shrill” voices screeching and calling Rumsfeld a war criminal does nothing to convince anyone.

    You state:

    But at least he showed these video snippets on air which is more than most of the establishment media has done.

    Let’s see, the first of these snippets is from Larry King Live, which is both “on air” (live, even!) and can be considered part of the MSM.

    Because Matthews only excerpts a tiny portion of the Jesse Ventura interview (and notably omits his background as a Navy SEAL), one needs to see a more complete version to appreciate it, like this one on Youtube: Jesse Ventura On Larry King Live Part 1 Of 2 May.11, 2009

    King keeps trying to steer the discussion away from Bush and to light, inconsequential topics such as Obama’s joke from the White House Correspondents dinner, and that’s “he’s very likable”. Regardless of what one may otherwise think of Jesse Ventura, you must give him credit for seizing control of the interview to ensure his important points were made:

    I’m bothered over Guantanamo because it seems we’ve created our own Hanoi Hilton…

    The interplay between King and Ventura is riveting, particularly as Ventura makes the Guantanamo/Hanoi Hilton comparison: King first rears back and then voices an interjection sounding like a cross between “oh” and “eeuuw”.

    Ventura goes on to say very emphatically:

    It’s a good thing I’m not President, because I would prosecute every person that was involved in that torture, I would prosecute the people that did it, I would prosecute the people that ordered it, because torture is against the law.

    That Ventura can thwart King’s attempts at diversion and make these points in the first two minutes of the interview makes for compelling video. Thanks to the live format, Ventura is able to avoid the normal media filters that preclude airing viewpoints like these. The Youtube version linked above has over 110,000 views.

  53. tanbark says:

    [email protected], you may not care whether Pelosi’s changed her mind (Was it you who offered that lamo excuse as an out for her not mentioning that she knew of the waterboarding for nearly 6 years, before she objected to it publicly?) Actually, it doesn’t matter, since you’re buying into it.

    As far as myself, or anyone else, being a republican or a “spook”, as you call it, I’ll just point out one more time that today, Eric Holder said that the DOJ will block the release of any more photos of prisoner abuse.

    If you want to impeach Obama for doing that, go ahead, but as I’ve been saying for a while now, we are going to have bigger fish to fry, and very soon.

    So, Mr. integrity, why don’t YOU answer the questions:

    Do you think we can get indictments?

    Do you think we can get convictions?

    And how long do you think it will take to do that?

    Is there any chance that IF convictions happen, that the conservative majority of the Supreme Court might overturn them?

    I’ll shorten it up here by saying that if you don’t think that Pelosi sitting on the information about waterboarding for all those years degrades any objection she’s made in the immediate past then you’re simply not smart enough to lecture anyone about ethics.

    • Leen says:

      I am with Orion and Jonathon Alter on this one. Obviously Pelosi is not responsible for the torture policies or employing them. Although she should have pushed back hard at the time. hard

  54. orionATL says:

    tanbark,

    you’re either obtuse or a fake.

    i have seen your duck-and-dodge style of thinking (and writing) hundreds of times on the internet. it almost always comes from folks working from a hidden agenda – or one they think they are hiding.

    as for this comment of yours:

    “So, Mr. integrity, why don’t YOU answer the questions:”,

    it is childish and a projection.

    the “mr integrity” in this series of comments is so clearly yourself.

    what an ostrich you are.

  55. tanbark says:

    Orion, I’ll take that as a “NO! I don’t want to talk about the political cost to us of trying to indict the bushers for their misdeeds.”

    Thanks for your candor. :o)

    As for my other posts, I assume you’re talking about the fact that I, along with one HELL of a lot of other good progressives, was outraged by Hillary Clinton’s sucking up to the right wing in the primaries, and said so, in no uncertain terms. If that’s what’s bothering you, have another xanax.

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