Friday, May 8 2009 - Accountability
Democrats not without fault, either
Following are portions of three important pieces from RawStory.com addressing Congressional Democrats' previous knowledge of torture, despite their cries to the contrary, followed by the separate reposting of an excellent, extensive summary of Obama's positions on torture, rendition, and habeus corpus, from Dennis Loo at World Can't Wait.
Democrats were routinely briefed on Bush torture techniques, document shows
By John Byrne
The document is explicit (PDF here). Most damningly, perhaps, is its description of a meeting held between CIA staff and then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss and now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which shows that Pelosi was briefed on the Bush Administration's torture techniques in 2002 -- even though she's publicly said she was never told about the use of waterboarding.
Equally striking, however, are the volume of the briefings that have been conducted on the CIA's interrogation practices since 2002. The document runs ten pages, with up to four briefings a page.
Briefings given to Democrats are of particular significance because the party has been the most vocal about the Bush Administration's torture practices. Apparently, however, they had known about the practices for years. At least 19 Democrats were briefed about the techniques in detail by end of 2006.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the Bush Administration's torture techniques in 2002 -- even though she's publicly said she was never told about the use of waterboarding, according to a new report.
ABC News' Rick Klein revealed Thursday evening that a report from the Director of National Intelligence fingered Pelosi as having been briefed in 2002, even though she denied last month ever having knowledge of the Bush administration's so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques."
"The report, submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee and other Capitol Hill officials Wednesday, appears to contradict Pelosi's statement last month that she was never told about the use of waterboarding or other special interrogation tactics," Klein writes. "Instead, she has said, she was told only that the Bush administration had legal opinions that would have supported the use of such techniques."
By Stephen C. Webster
Under fire from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder revealed that he had approved of rendition -- essentially, legalized kidnapping -- apparently more than once during his tenure as President Bill Clinton's deputy attorney general.
Cautioning Holder that any potential investigation into the Bush administration's torture program could result in Democrats being roped in, "Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Richard Shelby of Alabama pressed Holder on the CIA's 'rendition' program that moved terrorism suspects from one country to another," reported Domenico Montanaro with MSNBC.
"Didn't that happen during the Clinton administration?
"Yes, Holder said.
"'How many did you approve?' they asked.
"Holder said he'd check the record."
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