Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunny Sunday

By Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, December 9, 2007; A01

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.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration's counterterrorism effort. The CIA last week admitted that videotape of an interrogation of one of the waterboarded detainees was destroyed in 2005 against the advice of Justice Department and White House officials, provoking allegations that its actions were illegal and the destruction was a coverup.

Yet long before "waterboarding" entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

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).

Individual lawmakers' recollections of the early briefings varied dramatically, but officials present during the meetings described the reaction as mostly quiet acquiescence, if not outright support. "Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing," said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. "And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement."

Congressional officials say the groups' ability to challenge the practices was hampered by strict rules of secrecy that prohibited them from being able to take notes or consult legal experts or members of their own staffs. And while various officials have described the briefings as detailed and graphic, it is unclear precisely what members were told about waterboarding and how it is conducted. Several officials familiar with the briefings also recalled that the meetings were marked by an atmosphere of deep concern about the possibility of an imminent terrorist attack.

"In fairness, the environment was different then because we were closer to Sept. 11 and people were still in a panic," said one U.S. official present during the early briefings. "But there was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, 'We don't care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.' "

Only after information about the practice began to leak in news accounts in 2005 -- by which time the CIA had already abandoned waterboarding -- did doubts about its legality among individual lawmakers evolve into more widespread dissent. The opposition reached a boiling point this past October, when Democratic lawmakers condemned the practice during Michael B. Mukasey's confirmation hearings for attorney general.

Four words: They make me SICK!

Biggest bunch of phony hypocrites you would ever want to meet. The dems are a teensie bit better than the repugs but that is all. They are all complicit in dragging this country down the tubes along with the totally bogus administration and all need to be tarred and feathered and sent down the road.

Open revolution against the tyranny with all means possible is the only way to rid this once proud nation of the scourge that has ruined every single Constitutional element for personal gain and trashed the entire reputation of the USA in front of the entire world.

Fascism driven by authoritarianism has kept the sheeple in line so far but it will not hold them back forever. Sooner or later the 'Me firsts' will awaken to the crushing of their self involved worlds and then you better look out because they will want the heads of the people that disturbed their self absorbed existence.

Fascism will not last, history has proven time and time again it does not work long term. Sooner or later the controlled will rebel and much mayhem is the result. As far as I can see we are about halfway through the fascism stage and the second half will consist of rebellion against those that would imprison us in our own country.

I cannot wait.



DEN said...

Rooten tooten pissed off at the war mongers and rich assholes taking away my freedoms to feather their mansions with luxury.

Lying-ass politicians feeding bullshit to the masses so no one will see them getting themselves and their cronies richer.

Sickening behavior, criminal conduct, lies and thievery.

Ok so I can blather all day long but someday we will ALL rise up and fight these goomers, and I will be there, there to reclaim my beloved country away from those that would destroy it, the scoundrels and thieves known as 'elected officials' who are nothing more that wolves in sheep's clothing.

ยบ¿carol said...

That was four words. :)

Alan said...

Looks like my man Feingold 'spoke up' as soon as he found out about the waterboarding. It sucks that it had to be in a classified letter though.

Today's H-town Chronicle's Op-Ed section has two articles beside each other, by wingnuts saying in effect that they know more than the 16 intelligence agencies about Iran. They do contortions and backflips trying to justify their conclusions and 'proving' their point. That one of 'em is by John Bolton shouldn't be a surprise. Fk'ers are pist they don't get their war. *traitorial dumbasses

Gerald said...

Christ the Socialist

DEN said...

Carol, I was so pissed after eading the article I could not see straight, or count either for that matter.

Fixed it

DEN said...

eading? DUH!

DEN said...

It's the "we are so damn scared we will do anything to make it go away" attitude by supposedly educated people that riles me up.

Born scared or taught to be that way, it is a losers feeling that clouds ones thinking with unnecessary BS.

In fear we are all cowards, set fear aside and feel strength instead.

Never cower to a false authority!

David B. Benson said...

Another test to see if I can post despite the fact that Giggle/Bloviator claims I am not logged in...

Ok, I can preview, but I have to double click.


DEN said...

Doc, try signing in on the little "B" upper left on front page, don't forget to check the "remember me" box

DEN said...

If it is even possible the spying biz just got bigger.

A new intelligence institution to be inaugurated soon by the Bush administration will allow government spying agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States for the first time. Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office (NAO) will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites. If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the United States one of the world's most closely monitored nations. Until now, domestic use of electronic intelligence from spy satellites was limited to scientific agencies with no responsibility for national security or law enforcement.

The intelligence-sharing system to be managed by the NAO will rely heavily on private contractors, including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). These companies already provide technology and personnel to U.S. agencies involved in foreign intelligence, and the NAO greatly expands their markets. Indeed, at an intelligence conference in San Antonio, Texas, last month, the titans of the industry were actively lobbying intelligence officials to buy products specifically designed for domestic surveillance.
@ Alternet

If that doesn't piss you of....

DEN said...



David B. Benson said...

Well, the Gigglers managed to tweak the code back to normal. That is, I'm clearly signed in.

And I didn't do a thing.


David B. Benson said...

Here, maybe, is a real threat for George XLIII to deal with.

India issues stark terror warming

And a good reason to leave Iraq, IMO...

DEN said...

Muslim extremists again?

Devils' spawn

Den said...

Giggles signed me out!