May 18, 2009 / by emptywheel


Bob Graham: It Was OCA, with the Briefing, in the Hart Senate Building

Bob Graham was just on CSPAN’s Washington Journal. He raised two more potential problems with the CIA’s account of its briefings on torture.

First, he said Stan Moskowitz, from the CIA’s Office of Congressional Affairs, conducted the briefing.  Yet the CIA says that people from the CounterTerrorism Center conducted the briefing. As I have suggested, that might mean that Jose Rodriguez, then head of CTC, conducted the briefing; Rodriguez is the guy who later ordered the destruction of the torture tapes. Or it might mean that Jonathan Fredman, the guy who once said "If the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong," and then-Counsel for CTC, did the briefing. But Graham was absolutely unequivocal that-based on his famously anal notes, Moskowitz did the briefing.

Now, this may not be a real discrepancy. Maybe people from CTC attended the briefing and Moskowitz led it. I’ll try to get some clarification on this question. One place we can’t get clarification on the briefing, though, is from Moskowitz himself; he passed away in 2006. 

But Graham’s other point was clearly damning. He said the briefing occurred in the Hart Senate Office Building and not–as happened with highly classified briefings–at the White House. That detail, plus Graham’s earlier observation that staffers attended the briefing, suggest the briefing was not treated as typical "Gang of Four" or "Gang of Eight" briefings were generally treated. 

Boy, Bob Graham, with his notoriously detailed notes, is just killing the CIA’s credibility on these briefings.

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