The CIA’s Comedy of Briefing List Errors

Now that we know of another problem with the CIA’s briefing list, I thought I’d collect all the known problems with the list in one place so those trying to claim the CIA has any credibility on this issue can see just how wrong CIA has been on this issue.

CIA has made errors on at least seven different briefings, there are at least two briefings for which some of the attendees contest the CIA’s version, and CIA claims to be unable to provide full details on seven other briefings. [Update] Crazy Pete Hoekstra also notes the CIA is missing a few briefings. [Update, h/t sailmaker] And the CIA consistently uses the term "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" in the list, even though it did not use that term until 2004. No wonder Leon Panetta continues to say that "it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened." The CIA’s own version of when it briefed and whom is riddled with errors. 

April 2002 (two briefings), September 2002: When Bob Graham first asked the CIA when they had briefed him on torture, they gave him a list of four dates, two in April 2002, and two in September 2002. However, when Graham reviewed his famously detailed notes, he discovered he had not attended any briefing on three of those dates (both April dates and one September date). The CIA conceded he was correct on the issue.

September 4, 2002: According to the CIA, it briefed Nancy Pelosi and Porter Goss on the "use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah" and "the particular EITs that had been employed." While that description does not say clearly that the CIA told Pelosi and Goss they had already used these EITs, including waterboarding, on Abu Zubaydah, it implies it. However, both Pelosi’s and Goss’s description of the briefing indicates they were told torture might be used in the future, not that they were told it had already been used. And now Crazy Pete Hoekstra, after having reviewed the CIA notes, admits that, "when [those documents] are made public it won’t be crystal clear as to exactly what went on in the briefing."

September 27, 2002: According to the CIA, it briefed Bob Graham and Richard Shelby on the "use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah" and "the particular EITs that had been employed." Bob Graham does not remember anything like this and finds it implausible that they discussed torture techniques themselves, given that the briefing occured in the Hart Office Building, not the White House (where highly classified briefings occurred), and two staffers were included in the briefings. Richard Shelby, however, was less clear about what was said. In a formal statement, he says they were briefed on "what was purported to be a full account of the techniques." Only in a follow-up does Shelby say this included mention of waterboarding specifically. In addition, Graham says they were briefed by Stan Moskowitz of the Office of Congressional Affairs, rather than by the briefers from CounterTerrorism Center the CIA claims conducted the briefings.

February 4, 2003: The CIA claims that, along with Pat Roberts and two staffers, it briefed John Rockefeller on EITs "in considerable detail" including "how the water board was used." Rockefeller says, however, that he "was not present and was not later briefed individually by anyone in the intelligence community."

July 15, 2004: CIA claims Christopher Mellon, Democratic Staffer, attended briefing. But Mellon left the Senate in April 2004 and did not attend the briefing.

March 7, 2005; March 8, 2005; October 18, 2005; Late October 2005; November 1, 2005; November 8, 2005; September 19, 2006: CIA claims information on who briefed Congress for all seven of these briefings is "not available."  Public reporting suggests the "Late October, 2005" briefing of John McCain included Porter Goss (as Director of CIA) and Dick Cheney. And David Obey reports that Michael Hayden briefed on September 19, 2006.

March 8, 2005: CIA claims someone ("not available") briefed the following Members of Congress: Pat Roberts, Jay Rockfeller, Porter Goss, and Jane Harman. That’s impossible. Porter Goss was not a member of Congress on that date. Rather, he was the Director of the CIA. In fact, Crazy Pete Hoekstra, who insists these records are accurate, was the Chair of HPSCI at the time, and so probably attended the briefing. I have called CIA three times to inquire whether they mistook the role Goss had in that briefing (that is, whether he was the briefer, rather than the briefee), but have received no response.

September 6, 2006: After Michael Hayden first briefed the full Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Feingold wrote a letter to Hayden objecting to the program on several counts, including the inadequate briefing CIA had given the intelligence committees. A year later, however, Hayden claimed, “the techniques that we use have been fully disclosed to appropriate members of the United States Congress," even though Feingold had objected on precisely those grounds in his letter the year before. In support of a July 20, 2007 OLC memo, John Rizzo claimed that no Members "expressed the view that the CIA detention and interrogation program should be stopped, or that the techniques at issue were inappropriate," thought John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, and Russ Feingold objected to aspects of the program, particularly the use of sleep deprivation.

September 19, 2006: CIA claims that, in addition to Bill Young and John Murtha the latter of whom did not stay for the torture part of the briefing), it also briefed Appropriations staffer Paul Juola. According to Appropriations Chair David Obey, however, Michael Hayden and "Mr. Walker" told Juola he could not attend the briefing. 

Update: Added 7/15/04 briefing on 5/20/09.

Update: Updated 9/6/06 briefing on 9/1/09.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

196 replies
      • sailmaker says:

        Yes. Almost those words have been used for a long time: Sullivan pointed that out in 2007. To paraphrase Molly Ivins, ‘it sounds better in the original German.’ “Verschärfte Vernehmung”.

        What the spook former intelligence officer who spoke with TPM was getting at (IMO) was that there was no formal recognition of a torture program or system of torture in September 2002: they had done it, gotten it ‘legalized’ and were ‘reporting’ it to Congress, but they had not gotten down to making up the marketing term of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ . IMO that came in 2004 with the Taguba report on Abu Gharib – when they had to name what they were doing.

  1. WilliamOckham says:

    I was about to post a comment on your last thread about this, but went to lunch instead. I would just add that the 4 briefings listed on 6 Sept 2006 can’t all be right. Briefings 22 and 23 are both supposedly of the full HPSCI (except Mike Rogers missed #23). Got to run to another meeting, but there’s some additional documentation to support Rockefeller’s contentions about the 2 Feb 2003 meeting.

    Also, where’s the Feb 2005 meeting where the IG reported that somebody lied to Congress about the detention and interrogation program?

    • klynn says:

      Also, where’s the Feb 2005 meeting where the IG reported that somebody lied to Congress about the detention and interrogation program?

      I ditto that question.

    • emptywheel says:

      Are you talking about documentation besides Jello Jay’s SSCI narrative?

      Also, I wouldn’t post the IG lie report until McCarthy surfaces again, bc it is mediated through the WaPo (so they might have the dates wrong or she could have been remembering wrong.)

      I think it’s POSSIBLE there were two HPSCI briefings on 9/6/06, for example if they broke for a vote and then reconvened.

      • Mary says:

        And a separate briefing of just Harman? It all seems weird. And why did Nelson get his own briefing later.

        Anyway – great timeline. I had missed the story that Feingold sent a letter after the 06 briefing. Why can’t we ever get someone like that as President? Why do we only have one or two like that in the whole of the Senate?

        • Mary says:

          Good. This is what Hoekstra needs to get hit in the teeth with, imo. It was my first reaction to Hoekstra’s bleat and Schakowsky almost came out with it last night too. She talked around it a bit more than Roth does. but she did raise it, that Congress is looking into charges of CIA lies to Congress that even one of Pelosi’s critics believes are clear instances of the agency lying.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        In re: the IG “problem report”. The WaPo report has the timeline screwed up, but something happened related to the detention and interrogation report that required the CIA director to make a report to Congress within 7 days of 17 Feb 2005.

        Document 5 from the CIA’s sample Vaughn Index in the ACLU Torture FOIA

        Document Number: OGC M/R 0009
        Date of Document: February 17, 2005
        Document Type: Memo
        Classification: SCI, Secret
        From/To: From the CIA Inspector General to the Director of Central Intelligence
        Subject: Potential problem reporting

        Document Description: This is a two-page memorandum from the CIA Inspector General to the Director of Central Intelligence making a statutorily-required report. The memorandum contains facts and analysis and discuss the reporting obligations of the Inspector General and the Director of Central Intelligence. The document is dated February 17, 2005 and bears the classification SECRET//SCI.

        If you read the statute authorizing the CIA IG, you will see that there’s only one thing that the IG is statutorily required to report to the DCIA (and then the DCIA is required to report to Congress).

        The Inspector General shall report immediately to the Director whenever he becomes aware of particularly serious or flagrant problems, abuses, or deficiencies relating to the administration of programs or operations. The Director shall transmit such report to the intelligence committees within seven calendar days, together with any comments he considers appropriate.

        I suppose that Porter Goss might have just forwarded the IG report to Congress (with comments?) and not done a briefing, but that seems unlikely. I think they left this one out on purpose.

        • maryo2 says:

          The WaPo article ew linked to mentions Manadel Jamadi, and wiki says:

          The cause of his death was not generally known until February 17, 2005, when it was revealed that he had died after a fruitless half-hour interrogation, during which he was suspended from a barred window by his wrists, which were bound behind his back.

          • BoxTurtle says:

            For the record, that technique is called strappado.

            It was certainly considered torture in the Middle ages. But I suppose it could be argued that Witches, like Arabs, aren’t actually “people”.

            Boxturtle (Wiccan and I sure THINK I’m people!)

          • Mary says:

            And then there was this Dem. Coroner who mentioned that the death was a homicide and the next thing you know, Mary Beth Buchanan is on Cyril Wecht like white on rice.

            But it’s kind of ez to see from that story by Time why putting together the briefing schedule was so difficult. Seems the “CIA unit chief who supervised interrogators” took Jamadi’s bloody hood and “disposed” of it, never imagining that it might be needed for anything.

            The unit chief said in a military legal proceeding that he had undergone training in forensic science, TIME reports

            I’m guessing that our problem is that someone at CIA had undergone training in compiling schedules of Congressional briefings. Apparently, like CIA forensic training (where you destroy evidence as a part of forensics) and interrogation training (where you kill the interrogee and also get lots of nifty info on al-Qaeda training camps in Iraq and make a crazy guy say crazier things), CIA schedule compiliation training has its own unique aspects.

            • maryo2 says:

              Article on the topic dated four days ago by Scott Horton:

              Yesterday, Judge Sean J. McLaughlin issued a 55-page ruling that all but eviscerated the case Buchanan has been attempting to bring. In the three year war of Buchanan versus Wecht, it’s increasingly looking like a decisive win for Wecht.

              http://www.harpers.org/archive…..c-90004997

              This is important. It answers why she won’t offer her resignation. I thought it was to hide something about the US Attourney purge, but it is to hide the cover up of torture by the CIA.

              • Mary says:

                And she dug in and went after Murtha in a big way, right before the elections, to try to wedge herself in and make it look like, if Obama tosses her butt, it will be bc of her pursuit of Murtha.

        • emptywheel says:

          Ah, I agree. And it makes sense that taht would be the one McCarthy was complaining about. Remember that McCarthy was working on ghost detainee issues at the time, not abuse per se (as if you can separate them). So presumably that’s what the report was, and when he went to COngress to report it, he lied about what it was.

          And then didn’t include it in the briefing schedule.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Also from the Vaughn Index:

        Document Number: OGC M/R 0045
        Date of Document: February 4, 2003
        Document Type: MFR
        Classification: SCI, Top Secret
        From/To: Prepared by the CIA Office of Congressional Affairs
        Subject: Congressional briefing

        Document Description: This document is a two-page memorandum for the record summarizing a briefing to Congress on a particular set of issues. The document is dated February 4, 2003 and bears the classification TOP SECRET//SCI.

        If the briefing was memorialized on 4 Feb 2003 and Rockefeller wasn’t at that meeting (which even the CIA admits), the quotes in the CIA briefing timeline were written before Rockefeller was briefed. They tell us nothing about what Rockefeller was told.

  2. klynn says:

    That goes to the heart of a point I’ve been making for a while, the use of spook speak. And that spooks may have use jargon that was clear to them but perhaps not quite so clear to those briefed. Therefore, you get the he said-she said with an added dimension.

  3. perris says:

    No wonder Leon Panetta continues to say that “it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.” The CIA’s own version of when it briefed and whom is riddled with errors.

    then there’s klynn who adds

    the use of spook speak

    my fanatasy is that the cia is using “spook speak” as there message to request but not go on record for that request, that they are begging congress to investigate these proceedings

    I feel they want a purge of all that is left behind from cheney/rumsfeld

    • oldtree says:

      an excellent point. But look who we have jailed the last few years. Their leaders and sponsors. I wonder if anyone will speak with Rizzo still there? Who is senior enough to step up and ask Congress to investigate? It doesn’t seem Leon Panetta can do more than babble, though his words do not confirm what the loud party wants them to right now.

      • perris says:

        don’t forget, the cia has some bones to pick with on dick cheney

        that bone’s name is valery

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

        I believe this is spooke speak for;

        “PUHLEEZE investigate!!!

        get these DEPRAVED “team b” leave behinds of cheney OUT of this place

        PUHLEEZE”

        they can’t go on record asking for an investigation but they have some BONES to pick against cheney and again, on of those bones is named “valery”

  4. JThomason says:

    What really irks me is that Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment were repleat with allegations of executive and agency misrepresentation to Congress but in the circles of mendacious power where the right of abuse of the Constitution is now traded off term for term by the major parties no one lifted an eye brow. Pelosi had to be cornered for this to begin to even emerge as a story beyond the walls of the DFH cognoscenti.

  5. victoria2dc says:

    Thom Hartman adds this point: Panetta came back on Pelosi, saying she’s wrong. He said, “No, we briefed her on EITs.” However, they are saying they have documents that say that she was briefed on EIT’s in 2002 but the term “EIT” wasn’t even used until 2006!

    I hope this is a point that could be useful.

  6. maryo2 says:

    I think the CIA list of briefings was written between April and May of this year in response to a request in April from Rep. Pete Hoekstra.

    “EIT” is 2009-speak, not 2002-speak, so we don’t really know exactly what techniques were discussed.

    This is reminiscent of trying to figure out if there was more than one “program” in Gonzales’ testimony.

  7. Citizen92 says:

    This Washington Post article from December 2007 describes a September 2002 briefing where 4 Members were briefed (together, in the same room) about the CIA’s waterboarding/torture program.

    So here’s another inconsistency. The untrustworthy, ballyhooed CIA’s briefing list does not list a session where four Members, together were briefed. So is the article wrong? Or do we have another unaccounted for briefing, involving Nancy Pelosi?

    The authors, Dan Eggen and Joby Warrick, attribute most of the article to, alternatively, “two officials present” and “two U.S. officials” and “a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange (which occurred during the briefing).” The authors also differentiate between the Members, the briefers, and the “two officials.” I’m guessing the “officials” are Goss’ people. (Probably sewing seeds early on to get Nancy Pelosi in trouble?)

    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.

    “At least two lawmakers” would tell me that there were more than two lawmakers in the room at the time.

    According to the article, Nancy Pelosi was one of those four lawmakers present.

    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.

    WHY DOESN’T ANY ONE OF THESE MEMBERS REMEMBER A BRIEFING WHERE THEY, ALONG WITH THREE OTHER MEMBERS, WERE BRIEFED? Is this story wrong?

    • emptywheel says:

      I disagree strongly with the contention that the WaPo is right and CIA wrong on this point.

      Warrick is a spook beat writer. And the term “official” sort of rules out Goss’ people (who would be called “aides” or staffers”) or Goss or any other Member of Congress (who would be described as such). So the most logical read is that this is propaganda from the CIA trying to suggest they did a proper (albeit still short of legal) Gang of Four briefing.

    • Mary says:

      I tried to get at some of this in a comment on another thread, but I think we have an issue here of how these programs are being “defined” now and, to give CIA a smidge of benefit of the doubt, that might also make the timeline a little precarious.

      I think bit from your link helps highlight the issue:

      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.

      [I’d really like to know what that meant, too, a virtual tour – is there a digital file with video or what on that?]

      Back on point, the CIA may have been treating, at one point, the whole overseas gulags for disappearing people and the torture once they got them there as one program at one point, but with the releases of info and declassifications of memos etc. they are now trying to treat the disappearing people (using bounties and other non-battlefield related capture techniques as well as battlefield captures) and the establishment of overseas gulags and the torture of the disappeared at the gulags all as separate, severable “programs” now, so that state’s secrets applications can stil be claimed for things like the disappearance programs (including Jeppeson’s role and other contractors as well as foreign intel services and govs) and the establishment of gulags (including contractors and foreign intel services and govs) even while the techniques themselves as described in the memos and as will likely come out in connection with offering evidence to the new Military Obamissions are being declassified.

      So now people have to remembers which aspects of the programs they discussed when and where, and with some of the briefers dead and you know who wasn’t around to help with that schedule? Tenet. & who probably should have been the one putting it together to start with and certifying its accuracy? Tenet.

      I’m guessing Warwick etc. had something like Tenet and someone (McLaughlin, Kappes, Rodriguez?) as the “officials” who were present and probably if the members of Congress were being given a virual tour of the gulats (big IF there) Tenet and McLaughlin bc they seemed to be the deal sealers Bush liked to use. Tenet for the appeal to emotion, McLaughlin for the analytic, calm air of reflective wisdom.

      all fwiw, jmo

      • bmaz says:

        new Military Obamissions

        Kewl, that sounds fundamental, fair and full of due process. I am sure that a benevolent Constitutional scholar/perfesser will make us all so proud because, you know, he is a brilliant dimensional chess playing Constitutional scholar/perfesser. Makes me all warm and fuzzy. These are truly Norman Rockwell times we live in!

        By the way, it was a two way street, Joan fooled around too it turns out (one of my college roommate’s father was one of her “friends”).

      • Citizen92 says:

        Speaking in coded tongues, it would seem.

        Paging through Angler, we’ve got another briefing on the record, involving Cheney and the Gang of Four. Cheney was peddling the discredited aluminum tubes story… hard… and himself.

        Maybe that Dec 07 Post Article was referring to a briefing Cheney conducted himself… About tubes… And maybe waterboarding came up then… No CIA record of the meeting because cheney briefed, not the CIA… After all, the article claims four Members in the meeting. And I found four Members meeting with Cheney to be briefed in September…

        From Angler, p220:

        Cheney barely mentioned to Armey the central point of his briefing three weeks earlier for the Gang of Four – the Senate majority and minority leaders, the Speaker of the House and the House Minority leader. Cheney had asked to see them on September 3, immediately after the Labor Day recess with utmost urgency. There was alarming new intelligence about Iraq’s unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV’s… (which Cheney said were being fitted for biowarfare; Air Force intel said they were solely for reconnaissance).

        Cheney personally briefing the Gang of Four would seem like a big deal. Any ideas how often he met with the Gang?

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Cheney had asked to see them on September 3, immediately after the Labor Day recess with utmost urgency. There was alarming new intelligence about Iraq’s unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV’s…

          Could you please confirm this is 2002 you are referencing?

          Because if so,
          26 Aug 2002: Cheney tells Vet of Foreign Wars, “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has [WMD].” His speech not cleared by CIA.

          4 Sept 2002: Pelosi briefed, but not accurately, by CIA.

          5 Sept 2002: Sen Bob Graham, head of Sen Intell Comm, learns that Bu$hCo has not planned to produce an NIE. He requests one.

          8 Sept 2002: Judith Miller and Michael Gordon NYT front page article about [Iraqi attempts to acquire aluminum tubes, WMD]

          If it is 2002, then my iCal puts the 3rd as a Tuesday (so the end of the Labor Day weekend; it is always the first Monday of Sept, so it would have been Mon, 2 Sept 2002). So the 4th would have been a Wed, and the meeting with Sen Bob Graham on Thurs, 5 Sept 2002 sure sounds like a likely candidate for Cheney’s meeting with Gang of Four — and a time for Graham to very likely discover no NIE was in the works.

          However, I didn’t hear any reports of Graham stating Cheney’s presence at the 5 Sept 2002 meeting, nor it’s location. So just tossing this out in case anyone else can confirm or disconfirm.

          Again, would need more confirmation for my info.
          All my dates are from p. 131 of “Anatomy of Deceit


          And might I just give a shout out for the fact that klynn and I have company in the ‘grab that book off the shelf and dig out those dates and data!’ mode.

          • Citizen92 says:

            This meeting occurred in September 2002.

            The chapter is “Demonstration Effect” which opens with Cheney’s September 2002 visit with Dick Armey, then Majority Leader, in Cheney’s Senate hideaway office, following Armey’s intransigence on supporting a war with Iraq. Armey walked away from the meeting feeling bullshitted.

            Gellman’s segue from the Armey story to the G4 story tells us when the meeting occurred… “Cheney barely mentioned to Armey the central point of his briefing three weeks earlier for the Gang of Four… Cheney went to see them on September 3…

            Gellman’s footnote on this meeting (p 442) – “The account of the meeting with the Gang of Four – Trent Lott, Tom Daschle, Dennis Hastert, and Richard Gephardt – draws on confidential interviews with two participants in July and August 2002, and sumultaneous reporting by my colleague Walter Pincus at the Washington Post. See also Isikoff and Corn, Hubris, p 23.

            Coincedentally, the Armey briefing occurred “the same week Addington flew to Gitmo.”

  8. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    At this point, I have no idea what ‘C’, ‘I’, and ‘A’ actually stand for.
    Mind boggling.

  9. fatster says:

    Note that this is from the Washington Times. Nonetheless, interesting that the heat is being turned up.

    Former White House lawyer: Cheney dares US to indict him

    BY RAW STORY 

Published: May 19, 2009 
Updated 5 hours ago

    “Vice President Cheney is daring the Obama administration to indict him for authorizing torture, according to a former White House lawyer, and it’s time to call him out on his bluff.

    ” . . . former Special Counsel to the President for Bill Clinton Lanny Davis writes in a column published by the Washington Times Monday. “I have agreed with President Obama on the need to look forward, not backward.”

    “Davis continues, “But … I have changed my mind about the need to indict former Vice President Dick Cheney for complicity in illegal torture.”’

    http://rawstory.com/08/news/20…..-dares-us/

    • Teddy Partridge says:

      Recall that Lanny Davis was hired as Jane Harman’s spokesperson for wiretapping when she was in the hotseat last month. Funny, isn’t it, how Democratic ladies seem to be targeted serially by the GOP?

      • fatster says:

        As Freepatriot noted just a couple of days ago, the whole thing is like a three-ring circus with the Repugs in the Clown Car. I’d change that to cars, and right now I am particularly amused by the one Michael Steele is driving (though he seems to have very few passengers).

        As for picking on wimmin, well, that’s what Repugs do. I’m waiting on Jones to come along and take care of this messin’ with wimmin thing (brace yourself: it’s from the ’50s):



    • bobschacht says:

      This is what Al Gore said in his powerful speech in January 2006. The Bush regime has been daring us to indict them for years.

      Please note that failure to indict them will be viewed in the future as tacit approval (Hey, if Cheney can get away with THAT, then we can do THIS!)

      Our generation will be judged by what we do, or don’t do, about this.

      Bob in HI

  10. maryo2 says:

    Does “briefer Not Available” mean that that information is classified? If so, then under whose authority? I’m feeling a Fourth Branch moment.

      • Peterr says:

        That was one of the folks I was thinking of as I read Citizen92 @ 15. That portion of the Post story reads like a WH talking point — so maybe Cheney, Addington, National Security adviser . . . They were putting on the big show for Congress, and would have wanted it to look as impressive as possible.

        (I’m remembering Comey’s visits to the WH, right before the hospital visit and the almost-resignation of the top levels of the DOJ.)

        • emptywheel says:

          Frankly, given my speculation that the CTC marked in the briefing list means Jose Rodriguez (then head of CTC) was the briefer, and the article was just days after it was disclosed taht the torture tapes were destroyed (we now know, by Jose Rodriguez), I’d bet a good deal of money one of those people was either Rodriguez or someone really close to him.

          • Peterr says:

            Sounds right to me.

            As for the other “official,” I still think it would have been someone from the WH. Who would have been Rodriguez’ counterpart/contact at the WH? Someone at NSC? Addington at OVP?

            • emptywheel says:

              You might be able to fudge and call Goss an official, since he was later one (at least in the Judy Miller school of Scooter Libby stenography). Goss is the other big suspect for the torture tape destruction. Or, it could be Jonathan Fredman, who was CTC Counsel at the time and is the guy who said, “if the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong.” THough I think Fredman may have still been in Gitmo training them to torture on September 27, 2002.

            • bobschacht says:

              I’m betting on Addington, Cheney’s pit bull. At Abu Ghraib, they used dogs to threaten prisoners. In Washington, they used Addington.

              Bob in HI

    • cinnamonape says:

      It’s very odd since Obey states that General Hayden and [Mary?] Walker were present…yet the CIA doesn’t, or can’t tell who was even briefing at that meeting? Why would this be classified?

          • Raven says:

            Asleep at the Wheel

            Johnny Walker sat
            At a table in a bar
            Minding his own affairs

            Drinking his namesake
            Over the rocks
            He was drunk

            Too drunk to care

            When a girl in the bar
            Walked up beside him
            And this is what she said

            She said, a woman came by
            With a letter for you
            And this is what the letter said

            [CHORUS]
            Dear, John, please, Johnny
            Please come home
            I need your love and
            The kids, they gotta be fed
            And John, if you don’t
            Hurry back, I’ll be gone
            Yes, that’s what the letter said
            The letter that Johnny Walker read

            • Mary says:

              The thread makes me think of childhood – and songs like this:

              Suffocation,
              You’ll like suffocation.
              Suffocation,
              Here is what you do:

              1. First you take a paper bag,
              Then you put it on your head.
              Go to bed — wake up dead.
              Oh-oh-oh-oh …

              Chorus:
              Suffocation,
              You’ll like suffocation.
              Suffocation,
              Here is what you do:

              2. First you take the garden hose,
              Then you stuff it up your nose.
              Turn it on — then you’re gone.
              Oh-oh-oh-oh…

              Chorus:
              Suffocation,
              You’ll like suffocation

              Not so funny to think that the Department of Justice of the United States of America turned it into a reliance memo for the CIA.

  11. Peterr says:

    March 7, 2005; March 8, 2005; October 18, 2005; Late October 2005; November 1, 2005; November 8, 2005; September 19, 2006: CIA claims information on who briefed Congress for all seven of these briefings is “not available.”

    When the CIA says “We know who was there from Congress, but not from Langley,” you kind of have to wonder.

    “Briefings were held.” Yep. And mistakes were made.

    Personally, I’d like to see less anonymity and use of the passive voice. I’m a big fan of proper nouns — like names — and active verbs.

  12. LabDancer says:

    Perhaps I’m missing the thrust of the one point on the term “enhanced interrogation techniques: Note Dana Priest reported the use of the specific term BY the CIA in a story published in the WaPo June 27, 2004:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..ge=printer

    I don’t feel confident on how to perform a reliable search of the toobz as to the first date on which this term first was used in public; but expect some here are. If it’s going to be employed as some smoking gun, I think we should get it right as early as possible.

      • MadDog says:

        Hey EW, I thought you’d get a kick out of this.

        Actually, TPM says June 2004, but I’ve found that even TPM missed it by at least a month. From the CIA’s OIG Special Review Report on Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities (September 2001 – October 2003) dated 7 May 2004 Page 2:

        The Capture of Abu Zubaydah and Development of EITs…….12

        (My Bold)

        Also of note, see this on Page 14:

        The DCI briefed appropriate senior national security and legal officials on the proposed EITs. In the fall of 2002, the Agency briefed the leadership of the Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of both standard techniques and EITs.

        (My Bold)

        Notice again the use of the word EITs (again the reported is dated 7 May 2004), but also notice the use of the word proposed with respect to a briefing.

        FWIW, the word “proposed” may in fact only be in reference to a briefing for “national security and legal officials” because the follow-on sentence uses the words “the use of” in regards to the Congressional briefing(s) that fall on standard techniques and EITs.

  13. maryo2 says:

    Thanks. Receive and ye shall ask.

    More from the WaPo article about the October Cheney/McCain meeting:

    Cheney’s meeting with McCain last week was his third attempt to persuade the lawmaker, to accept a less broad legislative bar against inhumane treatment. Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride declined to comment, saying, “the vice president does not discuss private conversations that he has with members [of Congress] . . . or information that may be exchanged with members.”

    Is a CIA briefing the same thing as a private conversation? Where did this take place? If not in a safe room, then what does “Interrogation Techniques briefed” mean in that CIA table listing this as a “briefing” of Congress?

  14. Loo Hoo. says:

    The Hill:

    Sen. Edward Kennedy’s brain cancer is in remission, and the Massachusetts Democrat is expected back in the Senate after the Memorial Day recess, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he spoke with Kennedy’s wife and was told the 77-year-old lawmaker will return to work full time during the first week of June.

    That is wonderful news.

    • emptywheel says:

      It’s utterly amazing news. My dad died of the same cancer, at 56, after only 8 months, and they said he had beat the odds. For a man of Kennedy’s age to be in remission is nothing short of astonishing.

    • esseff44 says:

      Senator Kennedy’s return will be a good thing for the health care reform. He wants a good program to be part of his legacy. His return is double good news.

      • Leen says:

        It should be part of his legacy. Kennedy has dedicated years of his life to the health care issue.

  15. reader says:

    Thanks for this, ew. This is spectacular work, like your Salon Article on the ”Torture 13.”

    I agree; I never believed the WaPo article about briefings. It was too clean and self-serving with too many clues that the actual process was not that clean.

    I think the spooks are saying ”we are prepared to use eit if necessary as necessary.” They MEAN ”in the stream of techniques already being employed and underway, as in 3-2-1 go.” Congress hears and has been ’prepared’ to understand ”we aren’t using them now but if there’s a ticking bomb we can swing into action to save the world.” And in fact they had already used eit.

    I think the flap over the term eit is a red herring. Once the ”neutralized” term (and that is the purpose, neutralization of ghastly stuff) is introduced it will be adopted as a cultural matter and used to describe the package in the past, present, and future. If the term was introduced before the elections in 2004 then it was part of a propaganda effort to neutralize the torture debate, make it sound technical and official while obscuring the truth.

    How can they give repeated singular briefings without being open to charges of selective content for selective briefees. Even if only by ”accident” or carelessness or different briefers. If questions are supposed to be asked, they leave the amount of information in any briefing to vary by the specific questions that are asked. This is another way to keep the truth from being assembled.

    Given the time that all this takes over months, I see no evidence of ANY operationalized readiness or response to ticking time bomb(s).

    • DWBartoo says:

      Your ‘points’ are spot on, and your very clear ‘reading’ and description of the ‘meaning’ of each ‘point’ is much appreciated.

      Spook-speak and political-parsing have rendered much of the language which surrounds the brutal inhumanity of torture and its consequence, the equal dehumanization of the society which embraces it, into (obviously) intentionally trite triviality.

      So?

      Thank you, reader.

      DW

  16. plunger says:

    Enhanced interrogation techniques

    Wiki excerpts about the term and its use:

    a February 2002 memorandum signed by President George W. Bush, stating that the Third Geneva Convention guaranteeing humane treatment to prisoners of war did not apply to al-Qaeda or Taliban detainees, and a December 2002 memo signed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, approving the use of “aggressive techniques” against detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, as key factors that lead to the extensive abuses.[27]

    and more precisely:

    Senate investigators said the seeds of the policy originated in a Feb. 7, 2002, memo signed by President Bush declaring that the Geneva Conventions, which outline standards for the humane treatment of detainees, did not apply to captured al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.[27]

    Responding to the report, Vice President Dick Cheney admitted that the CIA asked his advice regarding these techniques less than a year after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and he helped get the “process cleared.”

    Internal FBI memos and press reports have pointed to SERE training as the basis for some of the harshest techniques authorised for use on detainees by the Pentagon in 2002 and 2003

    Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, several memoranda[43] were written by John Yoo, analysing the legal position and possibilities in the treatment of prisoners. The memos, known today as the “torture memos,”[44][45] advocate enhanced interrogation techniques, while pointing out that avoiding the Geneva Conventions would reduce the possibility of prosecution under the US War Crimes Act of 1996 for actions taken in the War on Terror.

    A third memo instructs interrogators to keep records of sessions in which “enhanced interrogation techniques” are used. The memo is signed by then-CIA director George Tenet and dated January 28, 2003.

    • DWBartoo says:

      “… sharpened interrogation …”

      Yes, so much more ‘honest’, auf Deutsch, Lab Dancer.

      I suppose we are lucky that it is not termed, “enhanced conversational exchange modalities on perceived critical, connected nexus points …”

      Molly is missed, but her words (and her wisdom) live on …

      DW

      • bobschacht says:

        I miss Molly Ivins, too. You can bet she’d have something to say about the current situation in Washington. Many somethings, I suspect.

        Bob in HI

    • bobschacht says:

      Thanks, LD; Sullivan’s piece is important. If this isn’t clear evidence of the Nazification of the Bush administration, then they independently invented the same hideous administrative culture. A rose by any other name is still a rose. Or, to paraphrase, a skunk cabbage by any other name stinks as badly.

      Bob in HI

  17. plunger says:

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when
    everything the American public believes is false.”

    – William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)

    Controlling the media is a classic Nazi tactic. “Propaganda”
    Hitler once said, “is the most effective form of terrorism.”
    Despite the efforts of the Ford-Rockefeller White House, the
    Senate and House each established their own Select Committee on
    Intelligence Activities, chaired by Frank Church and Otis Pike (re-
    spectively). Rockefeller, with the assistance of Kissinger, Rumsfeld,
    and Dick Cheney, began obstructing Senate and House inquir-
    ies, particularly those which in any way concerned the training and
    employment of CIA assassination teams (10,15,19) or terrorist at-
    tack squads, such as Operation Gladio.

    (The Pike Committee finally issued a contempt of Congress
    citation against Henry Kissinger for his refusal to provide information.

    Despite the efforts of the Ford-Rockefeller White House, the
    Senate and House each established their own Select Committee on
    Intelligence Activities, chaired by Frank Church and Otis Pike (re-
    spectively). Rockefeller, with the assistance of Kissinger, Rumsfeld,
    and Dick Cheney, began obstructing Senate and House inquir-
    ies, particularly those which in any way concerned the training and
    employment of CIA assassination teams (10,15,19) or terrorist at-
    tack squads, such as Operation Gladio.

    THE CIA-CONTROLLED MEDIA: PROPAGANDA AS
    TERROR

    In 1974, there were only the grossest hints as to the CIA’s
    involvement in assassinations, torture, mind-control
    experiments, and the manipulation of the media. It was to be the job of
    Rockefeller, as well as Rumsfeld and Cheney, to cover all tracks
    and to stop any House or Senate investigation, or at least throw it
    off the track .

    For example, there is only a brief mention of “Operation Stay Behind” within the Church reports (Pike’s report being suppressed). Operation Stay
    Behind was a CIA terrorist operation aimed at the citizens and politicians of European countries and their democratically elected leaders.

    According to the 1976 Senate report on the CIA by the Church
    Committee, this program was first conceived by the US Joint Chiefs
    of Staff was staffed and funded by the CIA, and put into operation
    in 1948 by the National Security Council.

    Essentially, the CIA was using Nazis, Neo-Nazis, SS-officers, and CIA-trained terrorists to indiscriminately murder European men, women and children, and to assassinate or otherwise remove or eliminate communist, socialist, and left-wing politicians.

  18. oldtree says:

    I for one hope that Ted will now speak long and loud to the people, and to the president about how wonderful his health care is and how it is every American’s right.

  19. Mary says:

    If only he’d just been a coked up drunk driving draft dodger who engaged in serial, non-marriage ending affairs with women named Peony and Veronica.

    Oh well.

    • MaryCh says:

      serial, non-marriage ending affairs with women named Peony and Veronica.

      Huh? My googlemachine doesn’t help here, can you enlighten?

      • Mary says:

        Just grousing – adding up some of the Bush and Clinton (substitute Flowers for Peony and Monica for Veronica) foibles that didn’t seem to cause much problem to being elected and wondering why Feingold couldn’t have “only”/snark had those kinds of issues.

  20. WilliamOckham says:

    Also, on the use of the phrase “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”, Tenet’s memo from 28 Jan 2003 uses the following:

    Unless otherwise approved by Headquarters, CIA officers [redaction] may use only Permissible Interrogation Techniques. Permissible Interrogation Techniques consist of both (a) Standard Techniques and (b) Enhanced Techniques.

    That’s not quite EIT, but it’s pretty close and suggests the phrase may have been used internally even earlier.

  21. GregB says:

    Is it time to rename the CIA with a more fitting acronym? KGB anyone?

    Time to dig up Frank Church and prop him up in a committee chair.

    -G

    • YYSyd says:

      Could save on re-branding cost by just getting a bunch of stickers with “Y” on it so as to make it C.Y.A.

  22. Mary says:

    Oops – that 47 was supposed to be in response to EW’s 11.

    The dangers of minimizing a screen for too long.

  23. ezdidit says:

    Leon Panetta continues to say that “it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence.

    There it is: Pappy and CIA are now officially on the outs. Panetta is a nice man, but he is absolutely warring for CIA creds distinctly apart from Obama. Steve Kappes will get it right back on track.

    And the evidence will finally be submitted per subpoena.

  24. fatster says:

    Judge who ordered journalist jailed appointed to spy court

    BY JOHN BYRNE 

Published: May 19, 2009 
Updated 7 hours ago

    “Justice who jailed Whitewater witness also picked

    “The judge who ordered former New York Times journalist Judith Miller jailed for refusing to reveal her sources has been appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    “Thomas F. Hogan, a federal judge serving on the District of Columbia District Court, was tapped Monday by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.”

    [The “Whitewater witness” was Susan McDougal]

    http://rawstory.com/08/news/20…..ler-judge/

  25. Citizen92 says:

    Looking back on the John Kiriakou interview… recall Kiriakou was on the team that captured Abu Zubaydah… but Kiriakou did not waterboard him (training was offered, but he opted not to do the training…)

    ROSS (3:08): And with Zubaydah you think it (using waterboarding to “disrupt future attacks”) was successful?

    KIRIAKOU: It was

    Makes me think that Dick Cheney should ask Kiriakou for his evidence proving torture disrupted future attacks.

  26. Leen says:

    Have folks read Jeremy Schahill’s latest
    “they hog tie, squeeze their testicles, spread feces from one prisoner on the face of another prisoner”

    The ‘Black Shirts’ of Guantanamo routinely terrorize prisoners, breaking bones, gouging eyes, squeezing testicles, and ‘dousing’ them with chemicals.

    As the Obama administration continues to fight the release of some 2,000 photos that graphically document U.S. military abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, an ongoing Spanish investigation is adding harrowing details to the ever-emerging portrait of the torture inside and outside Guantánamo. Among them: “blows to [the] testicles;” “detention underground in total darkness for three weeks with deprivation of food and sleep;” being “inoculated … through injection with ‘a disease for dog cysts;’” the smearing of feces on prisoners; and waterboarding. The torture, according to the Spanish investigation, all occurred “under the authority of American military personnel” and was sometimes conducted in the presence of medical professionals.
    http://www.alternet.org/rights…..der_obama/
    ————————————————————————

    Amy Goodman interviews Scahill (incredible interview)

    http://www.democracynow.org/20…..itary_thug

  27. Leen says:

    “AMY GOODMAN: Why do you say Nancy Pelosi knew about the torture?

    JEREMY SCAHILL: Right. I mean, the fact is that Nancy Pelosi was fumbling in her press conference through a statement that someone else clearly wrote for her. This is not some secret that Nancy Pelosi was briefed on this. In fact, the Washington Post reported on this in 2007, that she had been briefed and that other Democrats that were senior figures in the Democratic leadership, particularly on the Intelligence Committee, had received briefings about the tactics that were being used at Guantanamo.

    I think what’s going to be important is that we know that some of the members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, who were briefed actually pushed for stronger tactics to be used during these briefings. I think one of the reasons why the Democrats are—the Democratic leadership is not pushing for a special independent prosecutor in this case is because if you actually examine the record, you will find that the Democrats funded these programs, supported these programs, and refused to speak up when it actually mattered. That’s the pattern we saw through the eight years of the Bush administration. Now that the Democrats are in power, you see Obama—the right wing tries to say flip-flopping—you see Obama upholding the consistent one-party system in this country when it comes to foreign policy.”

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, let’s see

      Scahill takes anonymous sources over Porter Goss, forchrissakes
      Scahill ignores the comments about funding going through Appropr
      Scahill ignores that Nancy, at least, wants an inquiry

      • Mary says:

        I’m with you on two of three, and I know I make fun of Obama and 11 dimensional chess, but I’m not that impressed by Pelosi’s call for an investigation. She knows that Reid and Obama, who don’t have their finger in the torture pie, aren’t going to let it happen. Whether as a favor for her or for other reasons and I think she is playing chess here some.

        She can look like she is the lone fighter for the truth. otoh Obama won’t get tarred much by not going along with the commission bc he came out with that stance before she was under fire and is supposedly doing it to “move forward” and “protect the Speaker CIA patriots” and “keep the country safe” and since he’s not in the torture scandal himself and he even got some right wing love for it and Dems have no one else to turn to, he’s unscathed. Reid has been happily chirruping away enabling torture, illegal eavesdropping, assaults on the Constitution etc. and no one in the Dem party has given a rats ass for this long – plus, he doesn’t have a CA constituency. Reid could be Cheney and still get elected from his base.

        So there’s not risk to Obama beyond the ones he has already taken and there’s no risk to Reid period in being the “blockers” of the commission and Nancy can look good, pretending she wants one. So now it’s my turn to be heaped with scorn on 11 dimension chess, but I have to say – I don’t think Nancy really wants it. I’ll love it if I’m wrong.

      • Leen says:

        Do you dispute what he claims to be learning about these torture teams?

        JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I discovered these teams, because I’ve been covering the investigation being done by Judge Baltasar Garzon in Spain into the Bush torture system. What’s interesting is that the most aggressive investigation at this point into the Bush war crimes is being done an ocean away in Madrid.

        ——————————

        I don’t understand this comment
        “Scahill takes anonymous sources over Porter Goss, forchrissakes”

        • emptywheel says:

          No, I’m saying on the three points I mentioned (with Mary’s caveat, which is fair to a point), the record refutes him.

          I’m all for beating up Nancy Pelosi for taking impeachment off the table. But I’m not a fan of ignoring what’s in the public record.

          • Leen says:

            “the record refutes him” get it. what about his report on continued torturing

            Mary at 162. That should be on one of KO’s WTF reports. Hope KO has Scahill on soon. As well as Marcy and WO

            • emptywheel says:

              Oh, I have no dispute with that. I don’t know one way or another, but wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised. Jeff Kaye has been pointing out the AFM allows torture for at least a year.

  28. Leen says:

    Does the CIA just make up graphs of who was there as they go along?

    Rockefeller not at the Feb 2003 and not briefed later. How do they confirm one way or another. Just based on people’s memories?

    The CIA graph that EW linked
    http://static1.firedoglake.com…..re0001.pdf

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Leen,

      OT from previous thread I left a message that I have a JPEG copy of the flow chart of the Intelligence Chain from The Lie Factory/Mother Jones article. Is there some way I can send it or upload it for you?

  29. maryo2 says:

    TPM is reporting that the CIA is backing even further away from any claim of actually knowing who was briefed about what. From CIA to Rep. Obey:

    While CIA’s information has Mr. Juola attending briefings on September 19, 2006 and October 11, 2007, there are different recollections of these events, which Mr. Obey’s letter describes. As the agency has pointed out more than once, its list — compiled in response to congressional requests — reflects the records it has. These are notes, memos, and recollections, not transcripts and recordings.

  30. Audrey says:

    Thinking back, I remember a kerfuffle over some briefings that were received by only Republicans but can’t pinpoint. So thought I’d Google around for a bit. Here are some interesting links about intelligence briefings during September of 2002.

    This one has been removed but it’s cached:
    http://74.125.45.132/search?q=…..#038;gl=us

    This one is at cnn:
    http://archives.cnn.com/2002/A…..index.html

    Thoughts?

    • Audrey says:

      The first link seems to be about a different briefing than the other one linked. Don’t know if it reflects what you have as I’m doing this in a hurry.

      The second link names some of the attendees. I don’t know if it’s important or not. Just trying to answer some questions that have been nagging me.

      thanks in advance

  31. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Bad lies like this bad lies are easily seen through suggest that the CIA wants to get caught they want someone to stop them.
    The CIA is suppose to lie its part of their job description so my only explantion they want to get caught

  32. maryo2 says:

    I don’t read the details. I don’t want the images in my mind for the rest of my life haunting me. Thank you to others who do read it though, and I sure wish somebody whose job it is to know this stuff would do their damned job.

  33. bobschacht says:

    Slightly OT:
    Favorite blogs of the day, relating indirectly to topics here:
    Cheney, Nuremberg and aggressive war: the day the smirking stopped
    by occams hatchet

    If you don’t get a chilling sense of deja vu from this, you must not be following this site or much of the news.

    The other is Glenzilla’s post today on how much Obama has become like Bush (Obama’s embrace of Bush terrorism policies is celebrated as “Centrism”).
    Unfortunately, Salon is putting up a subscription wall now, and wants cash on the barrelhead, so I can’t get the link.

    I don’t find much to cheer about in either blog, except to be thankful that smarter folks than me are putting this stuff out there where it belongs.

    Bob in HI

    • Leen says:

      Listen to what Jeremy Scahill had to say about the Obama administration and torture over at Democracy Now today. Painful to listen to

      eremy Scahill reports the Obama administration is continuing to use a notorious military police unit at Guantanamo that regularly brutalizes unarmed prisoners, including gang-beating them, breaking their bones, gouging their eyes and dousing them with chemicals. This force, officially known as the Immediate Reaction Force, has been labeled the “Extreme Repression Force” by Guantanamo prisoners, and human rights lawyers call their actions illegal. [includes rush transcript]

      http://www.democracynow.org/20…..itary_thug

      • Mary says:

        In a training exercise they beat up a Kentucky soldier so badly he had to be flighted off the island and is disabled. Then they denied that the disability was due to the training exercise and oddly, although those are required to be videotaped, the tape was missing before he left the island.

        Reminescent of the missing Padilla tapes too.

      • Nell says:

        I’m not sure what BobSchacht encountered. Salon sites are the same today as they’ve been for a long time — behind an ad page, that’s all, not a subscription paywall.

        • bobschacht says:

          When I tried to access Greenwald as usual, Salon demanded that I log in. I’ve registered there before, but today they wouldn’t recognize me. They didn’t even recognize my email. They wanted me to register again, and were asking me what payment plan I wanted to register under. Which seems odd, because I just accessed Glenzilla from my iTouch an hour earlier without having to scale any walls.

          I must just have taken a wrong turn somewhere. I just tried accessing the site again, and this time got in without any problem. I was trying to highlight this blog of Glenn’s:

          Obama’s embrace of Bush terrorism policies is celebrated as “Centrism”. If he wants to be known as “Bush Light,” that’s his prerogative, but it will tar his legacy and maybe make him a war criminal for failing to investigate and prosecute the Bushies.

          Bob in HI

  34. libbyliberal says:

    thank you for the Torture 13 article, too! The pics of those monsters and line up was quite cathartic, marcy. Clarity and truth to power gives the momentum of justice and accountability, though the vile destruction and sustained torment and chaos and demoralization they perpetrated can never be righted.

    And the Repubs once again pull off another game “addicts” play, “let’s you and him fight.” They drove the national security branch nuts (though their covert compromises with the devil had been breeding for decades) and the legislative branch of Dems (also mostly corrupt and sell outs) nuts… and now they have them going after each others’ throats. Where is Bush? Having a beer and smirking? Where is Cheney, spouting away his righteous lies? Rove.

    Where is Siegelman? In jail. Where is the Abu Ghraib rotten apple? In jail. Where is the king of perpetrating brutal covert torture, assigned by Obama to direct the war in Afghan. McChrystal?

    The whole country had to lie down with dogs, and we all have friggin fleas! And the monstrous group think of our military our intelligence our administrative and legislative branches and judicial … all of it.. is so remote from integrity and clarity right now, not to mention courage and a sense of responsibility.

  35. NorskeFlamethrower says:

    AND THE KILLIN’ GOEZ ON AND ON AND…

    Citizen emptywheel and the Firepup Freedom Fighters:

    The lid is off and the Obama administration needs to task Holder to coordinate with the House and Senate Intellegence Committees and both judiciary committees so hearings on the torture mess can be held this summer with referrals of witnesses and evidence forwarded to a Special Prosecutor of Holder’s choosing. Get this treasonous mess out of our daily politics by August so healthcare and EFCA can get everyone’s full attention.

    It seems clear to this gumpy old Scandanavian that Rahm Emmanuel is coordinating an offensive against the Speaker to cut her down to size and isolate her supporters so the Blue Dogs can blow up healthcare reform and EFCA and he can take over as speaker in either 2010 or 2012. Obama needs to quietly cut Rahm’s nuts off over this and ship the entire torture issue to the prosecutors after the Congress has had it’s shot.

    And the professional citizens and so-called “progressives” who have been undermining Pelosi since she became Speaker because she “took impeachment off the table” better slap themselves up and figure out who the enemy is here…before it’s too late!

    KEEP THE FAITH AND PASS THE AMMUNITION, THIS IS A BATTLE IN THE WAR WE MUST END!!

  36. 1divasinger says:

    Any urban community in this country, any country who has had a dictator installed by our country, and any student of history knows the patterns and practices of the CIA. What has been so disgraceful to me has been the “outrage” by people who know the history and completely continues to manipulate those who still can’t bring themselves to seek the truth for themselves. Want a current example of manipulation…let’s go to the self described “liberal” on “Morning Joe.” Little Ms. Mika who went from “journalist” to thank heavens I have a nice big paycheck Breziniski. Highly rated, manipulative and not so spontaneous presentation of the “far right’s views. Pelosi vs.CIA has been a wet dream for them. She is a “journalist” and can’t explain why Pelosi or anyone else could have stopped these crimes?
    I could go on and on, but how about you? Are you a crazy, anti-American, subversive? Mika keeps warning us that disclosure of the truth will “only hurt the Democrats.” She is the counter balance to the out of control man the show is named for?
    I assume that the majority of people have discounted the propagandists, but assuming anything allows a foot hole into a complacent public. The CIA has far too much power and far too little oversight. They have used the press and even “been” the press. Errors? Riddles wrapped in enigmas, wrapped in half truths have been their M.O.

    • dosido says:

      Are you a crazy, anti-American, subversive? Mika keeps warning us that disclosure of the truth will “only hurt the Democrats.” She is the counter balance to the out of control man the show is named for?

      Hi! We call this concern trolling. FDL is pretty great at calling Mika out frequently. Anyway, I read somewhere (sorry, I can’t remember where this a.m.) that the GOP bluster is going to backfire because Pelosi herself is calling for a full investigation.

      • perris says:

        quite the hypocrite that savage, check this out;

        Amongst all of them, he is the biggest fraud. Rush Limbaugh is a fraud. When he was accused of the drug usage, I supported him

        errr

        you supported him through his drug abuse and HE’S the fraud?

        do you NOT see the irony with that statement savage?

        • Twain says:

          Hey, it’s me, Twain. Don’t know who you are answering but it’s not me. Wouldn’t support Rush under any circumstances! Sorry, just got it. You were talking about Savage.

          • perris says:

            sorry twain, that wasn’t a critisism of your post it was an acknowledgement

            sort of an assist

            anyway, savage is being a fake himself in the very claim that “he supported rove through his drug problems”, savage doesn’t support anyone through their drug problems but he happened to support rush

    • dmac says:

      recently, he went to the state department for help to get his visa to the uk reinstated, maybe that was clinton’s price-help me ‘take care’ of rush….rofl….

  37. Funnydiva2002 says:

    Hey, EW!
    I think KO is getting his top stories from your site.
    #1=Obey sez CIA is wrong…
    XO
    Funny Wheelie Diva

  38. KayInMaine says:

    Ever since George Bush & Dick Cheney came to the White House, I’ve not been able to trust the CIA. Honestly, I never really trusted them, but once the Bush/Cheney Oil Cartel got in, it’s just wained.

    • Waccamaw says:

      Finally figured out what you must have meant about scar screaming this morning. Dial-up = no vids but piecing together bits and pieces of the on-line written word, he must have been excoriating Jesse Ventura’s recent comments…..all the while there was no Ventura on his show to respond. Scar: all mouth and no guts.

        • dmac says:

          here ya go….i was beyond pissed….

          i am looking for the lead-in clip, that was the worst–they showed jesse’s clip from ‘the view’. then they all laughed like kiddies over the torture talk. especially bobblehead mika….we talked about it on the early morning swim thread.

          then came ghooliani, then he stayed an extra segment like liz cheney did the other day when eugene waxed her ass….

          here’s the ghooliani segment
          http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/#30823385

          i’ll try to find the other one. the lead-in truly made me feel sick. not kdding.

            • dmac says:

              they didn’t post it, i guess it was too disgusting.

              it was after the ‘newsweek’ segment that ended at 8:22 and before the first ghooli segment which starts at 8:28…

              cowards.

        • Waccamaw says:

          Unless I’m *really* gettin’ delusional or totally lost what little memory remains. If you’ve got high speed, check Attaturk’s thread or the one following; I’ll go look but it’ll take a bit.

          • Waccamaw says:

            Dmac to d-rescue. *smooch*

            Can’t remember…..are you one of the Mac people at the Lake; making the assumption based on name?

              • Waccamaw says:

                Guess I could claim an “M” turned up to a “W” but that’s a stretch too far. *G* Name of a lake and river in SE NC.

                • dmac says:

                  yeah, i know, ha, thanks, i was goin for the ‘wac’ko…heh…

                  you can do the upside down ‘w’, it goes with this thread, being strung upside down.

                  wish i could find that clip from this morning, maybe someone will put it up on youtube….that’s why i need a new computer, so i could.

      • Waccamaw says:

        Right now, I’d settle for Rachel having her on……repeatedly. Simply cannot imagine why that has not happened; we now know for a fact she’s on Keef’s radar screen.

      • Funnydiva2002 says:

        I’d rather have her be the next Ana Marie Cox…always on Rachel’s show. Anyway, I hope you’re right, Perris, that she’ll be getting more recognition and a broader platform.

        Funny Wheelie Diva

      • Leen says:

        They have been looking over at EW’s and others “homework” here for a while now. At least have Marcy and WO on…the very least.

  39. Funnydiva2002 says:

    YAY MARCY!!!
    You just got a shout out from KO
    he called you “journalist Marcy Wheeler” YAY!
    It was in reference to the CIA briefing list and your related digging to beef up the timeline.
    And I totally agree, LooHoo, nothing wrong with some TV newsfolk taking a cue from our Marcy. Especially if they name her and give her her proper title of journalist!

    Funny Wheelie Diva

    • bobschacht says:

      KO… called you “journalist Marcy Wheeler”

      Ah, now that one is to frame. A promotion? Hey, EW, do you have a press pass yet? Can you be ID’d as the FDL press representative to the WH briefing room?

      But I’m happy to have KO and RM fronting for you, leaving you free to roam the weeds, as long as they give you creds and put some coin into the tip jar.

      Bob in HI

      • Funnydiva2002 says:

        She was credentialed to cover the Libby trial…right there in the courtroom. And she’s been doing the same, thorough work ever since.
        Funny Wheelie Diva

  40. Funnydiva2002 says:

    Guess we know which Wheelies are watching Countdown tonight!
    Funny Wheelie Diva

  41. dmac says:

    keep rowin’ marcy!!!!

    you’re breakin’ your own records!!!

    finest sculler at the lake!!!

    more moolah comin’ your way, payday.

  42. marksb says:

    I don’t know how to suggest this without risk of getting yesterday’s produce thrown at me, so…at the risk of being EPU’ed and being yelled at,
    1) Torture was/may have been committed in violation of US and international law. We must find the truth about who ordered torture, who used it, and how many times it was used.
    2) Certain lawmakers may have been compromised and claims have been made that seem to counter facts and evidence.
    3) The Department of Justice may have been involved in torture or aware of it and may be compromised such that it cannot be the investigating party.
    4) A “truth commission” would have members that must be selected by political process. It seems many of the selecting parties may be compromised by their involvement and/or knowledge during the torture timeframe, so the selection process would be difficult and might destroy the “truth commission” before it gets started.
    5) Therefore an independent prosecutor must be appointed to investigate and report the exact details in regard to all aspects of torture committed by the US, it’s agencies and military forces, it’s contractors, and foreign governments or contractors, as well as the timelines and parties that ordered, approved, and implemented torture as a policy. If laws were broken, indictments should be sought. (Who appoints the prosecutor?)

    So how do we get such a law written and put on certain desks in Congress and the Senate?

    • Mary says:

      Under existing regulations, the AG may appoint an outside special prosecutor any time he wants. Holder just doesn’t wants.

      If Obamaco wanted to deal with all this, they could at any time. They don’t want to. Given that, it’s not like it would be an ez task to get a veto proof law passed.

      • bmaz says:

        Nice understatement. Veto?? Hell, they won’t even consider such a new law, much less pass it so that a veto needs to be discussed.

  43. emptywheel says:

    Actually, the hat tip on what it sounds like KO hit on (I haven’t seen it yet) goes entirely to William Ockham, who’s the one who first noted that Goss as Member of Congress briefing.

    • dmac says:

      gracious, too…. but i’m sure the other parts you added to make the whole are equally as important when he read it. not the first time he has been here. and won’t be the last. i’m glad your work is being read and used. and i’m sure that others’ info and sharing are glad you are using and passing on what they have gathered as well.

      thank you.

    • Funnydiva2002 says:

      Well…then Kudos to WO, too, who iirc is a very sharp cookie and valuable contributor here.
      Still, you deserve the shout-out, even if it wasn’t for exactly the right detail. Just consider it a “year to date” achievement award and a downpayment on your future recognition as an investigative reporter whose reports just happen to be unaffiliated with dead-tree trad-med.

      XO
      Funny Wheelie Diva

    • Leen says:

      See the KO segment all ready on. EW giving credit where credit is due…to the folks here “doing their homework”

      The Accountability debate on the MSM being pushed to a great degree by blogs.

  44. Twain says:

    The longer this goes on the more confused it becomes. Are we sure that the CIA ever briefed ANYONE? Hope that doesn’t sound too silly but they don’t seem to know what they did.

    • DWBartoo says:

      Let’s see, WE don’t know what the CIA did.

      And certain members of Congress say what the CIA ‘didn’t.’

      And now, you are suggesting, Twain, that the CIA doesn’t know whether it did or it didn’t ‘do’ (what?)

      So?

      What doesn’t the CIA do when it ‘does’?

      That’s the problem with an agency whose ‘books’ are secret, whose ‘budget’ is secret and whose behavior is secret.

      Ultimately, WE don’t know if the CIA does anything useful or good or or even ‘necessary’.

      Isn’t it time for ’slam-dunk’ perceptions about the need for such a bumbling agency (which is essentially spineless when confronted with a ‘clever’ executive, of the fourth branch who ‘uses’ them to ‘gin’ up a ‘war’ or to ‘fix’ (or as the Brits put it. “sex up”) the ‘intelligence’ to match or fit the preordained Dick-tates of a bunch of sociopaths) to be reexamined?

      Maybe a democracy needs to do that periodically, simply to keep in practice the ideas and values that really matter, as opposed to violence, torture, mayhem and murder?

      • Twain says:

        Hi, DW. My question was a serious one – I really am not sure the CIA told anyone what they were doing. Whole thing has the smell of 3 day-old fish.

        • DWBartoo says:

          Always great to see you, Twain.

          I took your question very seriously, Twain.

          And meant mine to be taken seriously, as well.

          The stench is becoming quite unbearable, but apparently the denizen of the swap-city are either inured to olfactory assaults or have simply lost the capacity to realize that their city is like Shakespeare’s Denmark …

  45. Leen says:

    folks may have all ready written this one up. “Journalist Marcy Wheeler” mentioned on Countdown tonight. Oh yes! along with the CIA graphs of who was allegedly at the CIA meetings.

    Our favorite Marcy. Getting the recognition she deserves for “doing her homework”. Damn now if the staff at KO and Rachel’s would start paying you something for doing the work of the DOJ.

  46. timbo says:

    That’s okay. The CIA came out today with their fall back plan. It was all a trial balloon from the CIA to see if anyone noticed…

    • Mary says:

      their fall back plan

      Ah. Like that trust building exercise,right? Where the CIA stands the nation up on the brink of a precipice, blind folds it, then steps behind it and says, fall back, don’t worry, we’ll catch you.

      Something about Lucy and a football comes to mind.

    • skdadl says:

      I stayed up to watch. I’m just so thrilled for you, EW, and WO too. Every credit so well deserved. And thanks, as always.

  47. Waccamaw says:

    Just saw the rerun of part of reid’s comments today about closing gitmo……spit! The man sounds downright senile.

  48. Funnydiva2002 says:

    OMFG stupid asshat D congressman from Cali
    “we voted down funding to close Gitmo because Congress needs to be involved in the process”
    WTF?!!
    Where the hell have these idiots been since 2006?
    “Boo hoo, our widdle feewings are huwt because the Pwez didn’t give us a Gwandstand to, uh, Gwandstand fwom! Bad Pwezident!”
    I think this is called poutrage. Who knew it wasn’t an R monopoly?!

    Chwist on a Cwutch

    Funny Wheelie Diva

  49. Leen says:

    KO’s interview with Elizabeth Edwards was difficult to watch. A brave woman. Glad to hear her health is “stable”

    Kennedy in remission! So glad that man will be around to see his life’s work partially realized. Maybe I do believe in god

  50. orionATL says:

    mary @ 90

    has pelosi called for an investigation?

    i must have missed that.

    what and when did she call for?

    speaking generally,

    with regard to any “truth commission”,

    i thought that idea came from the lightweights in the senate judiciary committee, specifically, senator leighy.

    a truth commission for south africa after a decades long struggle over segregation may have been a reasonable (and the only doable) solution to knowing how specific persons died at the hands of the segregationist afrikaans police units.

    a “truth commission ” for the united states, a legally sophisticated, more or less united nation would be a travesty – a political duck-and-dodge worthy of, e.g., snarlin’ arlin.

    i don’t know much about pelosi, but i am impressed with her leadership relative to other democratic leaders. she has the guts to, occasionally, speak out and make a fuss.

    who else has done that?

    reid? obama? kaine?

  51. gtomkins says:

    Is CIA incompetence even remotely surprising?

    Look, here we have an agency that has as its supposed purpose the understanding of difficult and obscure matters, but which seeks to arrive at the truth about these matters in secret. Am I missing something, or is it not the case that the end of truth-seeking and the means of secrecy are fatally incompatible? Even if unworthy motives were excludable, if careerism and partisan interest played no part and every single CIA agent were some paragon of selfless devotion to the truth, in the real world it’s the openness to public criticism of one’s conclusions and means of arriving at them that alone can keep even the most intelligent and dedicated of us on the right track. Give people the license of secrecy, and you’e at least ensuring that entropy will impede their efforts, and at moist giving them a license to just make it all up and tell whatever conveninet lie is readiest to hand, since they will never have to answer for their methods and conclusions.

    Of course the official CIA notes on these briefings were simply fabricated, and sloppily at that. Why ever would they keep accurate notes about what they said when, and to whom? Not only would that involve work, but it could not possibly do the CIA any good, and serve only to possibly breach the individual security of the officials involved to have a reliable, even potentially publicizable, record of what they said, especially about illegalities. Jeez, disinformation is what we pay these guys to do. Disinformation is such a vital part of what they do that they have to start from the firm foundation of having no earthly idea of what they’re doing. You couldn’t water torture the truth out of these guys, because they’ve cleverly arranged to none of them know a damn thing about anything.

  52. Twain says:

    DW
    The reason I said it was serious is that I felt sorta absurd saying it but this entire thing strikes me as off kilter. It’s always nice to get a reply from you. thanks.

    • DWBartoo says:

      Well, Twain, in my estimation, our society has reached the point where otherwise reasonable and rational people put aside reason and rational thought and take on ‘faith’ the absurd notion that a secret agency, somehow, will not do stupid or counterproductive ‘things’ when, time after time, said agency has done precisely that.

      The CIA is a sacred cow that is undeserving of such faith and certainly undeserving of blind, thoughtless support simply because it claims to be doing what is necessary to the survival of the nation when such evidence as is available would suggest something very different, something that is more akin to the behavior of the KGB, for example.

      And the claim that, “Everybody does it” is pathetic and unbecoming to a democracy, even to a merely ostensible democracy …

      Considering that as much of their ‘propaganda’ (or ‘deceit’) is directed at the American public as toward any supposed ‘enemy’, we have to ask the question: Whose interests does the CIA really support or serve? Corporations, the Political Cla$$ or some shadow government to whom the CIA owes an essential allegiance?

      I would wonder at the honesty and understanding of anyone, today, who claims to know the answer to that question, based on anything other than faith or complicity.

      DW

      • Leen says:

        On Countdown they had a former CIA officer( forgot his name) and he was saying it is naive to think that the CIA can not be manipulated and pressured to hand an administration what they want to hear. Do we need to think past “slam dunk” Both he and Keith confirmed that with in the agency there are plenty of people with a great degree of expertise, integrity and great intelligence.

        Although I do believe the CIA has been left to hang out to dry on the false pre war intelligence when so many have reported that the majority if not all of the creation and cherry picking of false intelligence came out of Feiths little shop of horrors …the Office of Special Plans.

        hell we have yet to witness anyone held accountable for those Niger forgeries.

        ,

  53. Citizen92 says:

    O/T, but a new diversion, and several conspiracy theories soon to be in the offing?

    Sensitive data missing from National Archives

    By LARRY MARGASAK – 1 hour ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Archives lost a computer hard drive containing massive amounts of sensitive data from the Clinton administration, including Social Security numbers, addresses, and Secret Service and White House operating procedures, congressional officials said Tuesday.

    Darrell Issa, of course, is on the case.

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