Believe it, champ. And welcome to the club.
He doesn’t name any names but there’s no question who he’s aiming at.
Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as “waterboarding” were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.
Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:
— The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.
— We understood what the CIA was doing.
— We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.
— We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.
— On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.
I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues.
The ranking Democratic member on the House intel committee in 2002 was, of course, Madam Speaker. There’s lots more at the link, often in biting language; you’re cheating yourself if you don’t read it all. Goss is opposed, naturally, to show trials on interrogation practices, but then so is 58 percent of the public, just the latest reminder that the nutroots position on this subject is fringe and that they’re destined to have their hearts broken by The One. I wonder if Team Barry will reach out to Cheney and offer him a deal: In exchange for him not releasing those two memos he’s after to prove that torture works, they’ll promise not to prosecute anyone who acted on Bush’s orders. Would Cheney take that deal, though? It depends, I guess, on how much he values his own legacy versus his loyalty to the people who implemented the policy. And, maybe, whether he’s coming around to the Noemie Emery position that torture trials wouldn’t be such a bad thing for the Bushies after all.