Before you get too harsh on Pelosi, you might want to check this out:
Bob Graham just appeared on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show. In addition to repeating earlier reports that he was never briefed on waterboarding, Graham revealed that the first time he asked the CIA when he was briefed on torture, it claimed it had briefed him on two dates when no briefing took place.
I didn’t get Graham’s exact quotes (and the quotes below are rough approximations), but when asked to respond to Philip Zelikow’s assertion that members of Congress from both parties had been briefed on this program, Graham said that when he asked the CIA when he had been briefed on the program, the CIA gave him the dates of four briefings, two in April 2002 and two in September 2002, when they claimed they had briefed him about the program. But after Graham consulted his own records, he pointed out that on two of those dates, he had not attended any briefing. After Graham pointed this out to the CIA, they conceded their own dates were incorrect.
Does anyone have any faith in the CIA to get this right? Also note that Richard Shelby is now saying something very similar to Pelosi:
When asked whether Shelby was informed that waterboardbing was being used, Graffeo responded: “Waterboarding was one of the EITs the CIA briefed Sen. Shelby on.”
First, note that the waterboarding response does not indicate whether Shelby was told it was being USED.
Shelby was briefed on the “existence of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” [emphasis added] and was informed of the “need for these techniques and the value of the information being obtained from terrorists during questioning.” It’s unclear to me whether this means Shelby was told the techniques were actually being used.
Intelligence documents released last week (see here, via Greg Sargent) characterize the briefing with Shelby and Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) this way:
“Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed.” [emphasis added]
This characterization is identical to how the CIA characterized the separate briefing with Pelosi and then-Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.)
Graham has said that he does not “have any recollection of being briefed on waterboarding or other forms of extraordinary interrogation techniques, or Abu Zubaydah being subjected to them.”
They were told the methods existed, but not that they were being used.
BTW- isn’t Bob Graham the fellow who has a journal of EVERYTHING he has done for the past 50 years or something? I vaguely remember a piece about that in something like 60 Minutes, but teh google is failing me. If I am remembering correctly, his obsession with keeping a journal is so fanatical I thought it was OCD. If I am right, then Bob Graham is the absolute worst person for the CIA to be playing these games.