Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels’ Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. 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.
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, two U.S. officials said. [...]
With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).
Reading this really and truly makes me want to barf.
Why do I even bother voting for Democrats again? I mean, WTF. It would be nice, really really nice, to have at least one goddamn party in this doomed nation that stands fully against torture. Jesus H., you horrible assholes. Don’t you have any damn principles? Don’t you have any ethics? Have you ever, at any point in your miserable lives, taken a principled stand on any issue?
Again, I feel sick. Favoring torture is now a bipartisan issue. David Broder must be very pleased.
(And yes, I tragically concede that Michelle Malkin was right about the Dem leadership favoring torture. Thanks again, Democrats. I never ever ever ever ever EVAR like admitting that Stalkin’ Malkin is right about ANYTHING. But now I have to admit it because you’re disgusting losers.)
UPDATE: This gets about a billion heh-indeeds:
Since the voters put them back in power, the Democrats have taken impeachment off the table, punted on the war, never figured out a way to hold Republicans accountable for filibusters and obstructionism, so legislation is in the toilet, and never managed to use oversight power to do anything more than chip away around the edges of the Bush regime—though they have written a great number of Sternly Worded Letters.
And now, top Democrats turn out to be enablers of war crimes by our lawless executive. What a surprise. Harry, Nancy, nice work.
One caveat: I don’t think they’re enablers. I think they actively approve of this shit.
Gavin adds: I’d be sort of careful with this story. Most of it is sourced to Porter Goss, “a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange,” “several officials familiar with the briefings,” “one U.S. official present during the early briefings,” and similar characters — i.e., possibly the familiar coterie of Republicans planting stories and shifting blame. Even when true, these stories are often trivial.
One can rest easy about Malkin being right. What she’s doing is using this AP story to implicate “the Dems” in the destroyed-CIA-tapes scandal. According to Malkin, since Jane Harman knew about the tapes but failed in preventing them from being destroyed, Harman is somehow at the center of the hurricane. This is, in a word, stupid. Also stupid: Malkin is pointing a finger at Harriet Miers, one of the few Republicans disliked by Malkin. The actual wrongdoers and their superiors are a matter of only flickering interest.
[sigh] Also, among other things, the assertion that waterboarding ceased in 2003 (repeated twice here) is just an official assertion, backed up by no evidence. We simply don’t know when it was used, who it was used on, or whether the practice has stopped.
Jillian adds: Hey, Brad, I think I found a candidate you can get behind: Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey! I’m not so sure I like his foreign policy, but the Satanic gay marriages performed IN the White House just might make up for it!
Above: Slightly less crazy than Bush, slightly
more spine than the Democrats