As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

They Lie For A Living

Nancy Pelosi came out and said it today. It was a bit much when these right wingers kept lauding torture as this awsom program keeping Americans safe, and at the same time pointing the finger and yelling "Nancy knew!" as if there was something wrong with it. Ultimately, it doesn't matter even a little bit who knew what and when. The action is illegal and ought to be prosecuted. But today Pelosi confirmed that the CIA and the Bush Administration lied repeatedly to Congress.

PELOSI: The CIA briefed me only once on enhanced interrogation techniques in September 2002, in my capacity as ranking member of the intelligence committee. I was informed then that the Department of Justice opinions had concluded that the use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques were legal. The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed. [...]

We also now know that techniques including waterboarding had already been employed and that those briefing me had given me inaccurate and incomplete information. At the same time the Bush administration…was misleading the American people about the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq [...]

PELOSI: So on the subject of what’s happening in Iraq, when it’s talking about the techniques used by the intelligence community on those they’re interrogating, at every step of the way, the administration was misleading the Congress. And that is the issue. And that is why we need a truth commission to look into the issue.

REPORTER: So Madame Speaker, just to be clear, you’re accusing the CIA of lying to you in September of 2002?

PELOSI: Yes. Misleading the Congress of the United States.

It goes without saying that, at the time of this briefing, the CIA was ALREADY waterboarding prisoners.

And we know they've been lying about the rest of it. Bob Graham, then the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, received no information about waterboarding, and in fact received less info than the House Intelligence Committee leaders, probably because ranking member Richard Shelby was leaking like a sieve at that time. Jay Rockefeller, later the ranking member on Senate Intel, stated outright that the CIA document listing briefings and attendees is wrong, that he didn't attend a briefing which the document has him attending. We know that Rockefeller is probably telling the truth since the CIA won't vouch for anything in the document.

As I've said, the CIA's job description requires their agents to lie. Why anyone would trust anything put out by them is beyond me. The CIA basically is blame-shifting here and Nancy Pelosi threw it right back in their face today.

This is precisely why those of us seeking accountability and justice have called for a full investigation so we can learn from what happened as well as ensure it never happens again by actually prosecuting those responsible. Anything less practically ensures we have this conversation again and again down the road.

(And that secret DiFi Intelligence Committee panel does not fill the bill here. We need transparency.)

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