Former CIA counterterror chief: Pelosi was briefed in 2002 about waterboarding and didn’t object

posted at 9:53 pm on April 30, 2012 by Allahpundit

Ah, I remember spending a solid month on this story back in spring 2009 when Obama and Cheney were having their war of words over enhanced interrogation. Porter Goss claimed that he and she were both briefed on waterboarding in September 2002 as members of the House intel committee, a hugely incendiary accusation given Pelosi’s status as Speaker and therefore an anti-torture liberal light. Pelosi contended that, in the NYT’s words, “the lawmakers were told only that the C.I.A. believed the methods were legal — not that they were going to be used.” Then, as the media turned up the heat on her, she accused the CIA of having misled her. (Why she waited to mention this until 2009, no one knows.) Then, when she started taking heat for smearing the CIA, she backed off and — ta da — blamed Bush instead. To this day, the questions of what she knew and when are still muddy.

According to Marc Thiessen, the new book from former CIA counterterror chief Jose Rodriguez purports to unmuddy it:

“We explained [at the September 4, 2002 briefing] that as a result of the techniques, Abu Zubaydah was compliant and providing good intelligence. We made crystal clear that authorized techniques, including waterboarding, had by then been used on Zubaydah.” Rodriguez writes that he told Pelosi everything, adding, “We held back nothing.”

How did she respond when presented with this information? Rodriguez writes that neither Pelosi nor anyone else in the briefing objected to the techniques being used. Indeed, he notes, when one member of his team described another technique that had been considered but not authorized or used, “Pelosi piped up immediately and said that in her view, use of that technique (which I will not describe) would have been ‘wrong.’ ” She raised no such concern about waterboarding, he writes. “Since she felt free to label one considered-and-rejected technique as wrong,” Rodriguez adds, “we went away with the clear impression that she harbored no such feelings about the ten tactics [including waterboarding] that we told her were in use.”

So we’re left with a “he said-she said” standoff? Not at all. Rodriguez writes that there’s contemporaneous evidence to back his account of the briefing. Six days after the meeting took place, Rodriguez reveals, “a cable went out from headquarters to the black site informing them that the briefing for the House leadership had taken place.” He explains that “[t]he cable to the field made clear that Goss and Pelosi had been briefed on the state of AZ’s interrogation, specifically including the use of the waterboard and other enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Time to declassify the cable, says Thiessen, especially after Pelosi swore up and down to the press three years ago that she didn’t know waterboarding was going on in 2002. Why it would be shocking that a Democrat would tolerate even the harshest of harsh interrogation less than a year after 9/11, with U.S. intelligence still unsure of what it was up against and desperate for leads on AQ bigwigs, I have no idea. Given O’s track record of replicating and even building on Bush’s counterterror policies, I have no doubt that he’d break his own policy on banning EIT if the CIA had a key suspect in a ticking-bomb plot in custody. In fact, precisely because Obama’s gone so far down the road of the Bushian approach, I wonder if Rodriguez’s book might spark a bit of newfound candor among Democrats about how they viewed EIT before the left started screaming about it. Even apart from the merits of the issue, from the perspective of pure venal self-interest, politics circa late 2002 were such that they’d naturally be inclined to side with Bush. They wouldn’t have wanted to be perceived as “soft on terror” before the midterms. Whether that affected Pelosi’s alleged consent to waterboarding, I don’t know, but she was the minority whip at the time and positioned to become leader if/when Dick Gephardt stepped down (as he soon did). Just another little wrinkle to this clusterfark.

Rodriguez, incidentally, has a new op-ed at WaPo tonight arguing that the path to Bin Laden’s door actually began years earlier when a detainee subjected to enhanced interrogation gave the CIA the pseudonym of Bin Laden’s courier, a key piece of info in tracking him down. That claim has been made for years; Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, anticipating the release of Rodriguez’s new book, issued a statement about it this weekend insisting that EIT produced no information of value about the courier. (They’re also promising more info to come in a Senate Intelligence Committee report on this.) You’ll hear more about that in the next few days, I’m sure, as this heats up. Read the Rodriguez op-ed and the Feinstein/Levin memo for background now.

Here’s Rodriguez’s recent interview with “60 Minutes” in which he discusses the book, his time at the CIA, and destroying the videos of EIT of detainees. Exit quotation:

Lesley Stahl: Here’s what you write in your book. You took the president’s, the vice president’s silence on this to mean they were really relieved that you had taken this on yourself and had done it. That’s what you write.

Jose Rodriguez: Correct.

Lesley Stahl: There are people who feel what you did it as a coverup.

Jose Rodriguez: Everything that was on those tapes were authorized activities by the U.S. government. So there was nothing to cover up.



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Let’s try that again

Del Dolemonte on April 30, 2012 at 11:26 PM

canopfor on April 30, 2012 at 11:11 PM

So, it stands to reason why Pelosi would proclaim she fought a war in Iraq.

Reid, poor guy, can barely remember his war…Tippecanoe, was it?

And Biden…still can’t fight his way out of a paper bag.

And Clinton…would love to play that old Cold War game once again. Hide the Missile in the Silo.

For claiming they are the Party of peace, and diversity and tolerance…they sure do love being at war…war on poverty and all the rest.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2012 at 11:21 PM

coldwarrior:

Crap,I had it saved in my favourites,I nearly died laughing,
with the Hoogans Heros mix.Yes I agree,going to War,or on their
warped vision of war,(NATO airstriking in Libya,who it seems
were AQ…F***,as an example!

Only if it helps their Party,and especially their poll numbers!:)

canopfor on April 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM

BDS was a powerful force in control of the Leftist mind. Still is for many.

JeffB. on April 30, 2012 at 11:36 PM

What Fishbone’s song says. And this time, it fits to a B.

galtani on April 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Wish we had more like him!
Barred on April 30, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Absolutely.

I find incomprehensible the naive objections to the use of waterboarding (“torture” or not, ticking bomb or not) high profile terrorists for info that likely would save lives. IMHO it’s not only clearly morally acceptable but even morally obligatory if it would save even just one life. This is even commonly the point of view of people in real world positions of responsibility even if they know better than to admit it.

A quote from Alan Dershowitz’s essay “Tortured Reasoning” (pg 257 in the book “Torture”, 2004, Ed. Sanford Levinson)

“All forms of torture are widespread among nations that have signed treaties prohibiting all torture.”

Chessplayer on April 30, 2012 at 11:54 PM

The truth:

Pelosi= Cthulhu

The spin:

Pelosi= Wise, Courageous Womyn Leader

Gladtobehere on May 1, 2012 at 12:04 AM

Pelosi? A liar? My, I am shocked… SHOCKED!!!

Unless I’m not.

Myron Falwell on May 1, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Rodriguez writes that neither Pelosi nor anyone else in the briefing objected to the techniques being used…..
….. She raised no such concern about waterboarding, he writes.

What…no problem at all with “waterboarding”…..Whoa!!!!

…next thing you know liberals will celebrate launching a war against an oil rich country that did not attack us and posed no imminent threat…..

………………oh wait.

Baxter Greene on May 1, 2012 at 12:55 AM

Fluke her, not in a good way.

Schadenfreude on May 1, 2012 at 12:56 AM

May she fly away on her hammer, in her blue suit.

Schadenfreude on May 1, 2012 at 12:57 AM

May she fly away on her hammer, in her blue suit.

Schadenfreude on May 1, 2012 at 12:57 AM

And stall, spin, and have an unfortunate accident.

arnold ziffel on May 1, 2012 at 1:19 AM

Hmm, Pelosi lied. And this surprises… no one.

Midas on May 1, 2012 at 1:50 AM

Liberals! We may to go along with what you’re planning, but that doesn’t mean we won’t use it against you years later and act like we had nothing to do with it!

R. Waher on May 1, 2012 at 1:55 AM

Quick, script up a TV movie on this while Harvey Keitel is still alive!

Dirt McGirt on May 1, 2012 at 2:26 AM

Can’t do that. Detailed explanation found here.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2012 at 10:51 PM

….you’re quick!

KOOLAID2 on May 1, 2012 at 2:58 AM

jose is going to be on bill bennets show this am, looking forward to hearing it….

and peter bergen had the audacity to say that enhanced interrogations didn’t work or were NOT the main reason for the getting bin laden last night on anderson….ARGHHHHHHH what a liar still a propagandist after his death

cmsinaz on May 1, 2012 at 6:39 AM

In other news, SMEAGOL LIED

Cylor on May 1, 2012 at 6:42 AM

Noooooooo, say it ain’t so!!!! Nancy Pelosi LYING?! I guess the next thing you are going to tell me is Obama bypassed Congress AGAIN recently to fund Terrorists / Palestinians!? Didn’t see THAT one coming….NOT! Good grief!

easyt65 on May 1, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Ever notice how Pelosi’s eyes are like saucers every time she opens her mouth? It’s like she knows she’s telling a lie and is expecting the media to call her out (which, of course, they don’t).

RobertMN on May 1, 2012 at 7:42 AM

As between Rodriguez and Pelosi, I’m inclined to believe Rodriguez here. I have no reason to believe Rodriguez is lying, and every reason to believe Pelosi is. Pelosi has lied many times before, and she has strong incentive to lie about this particular fact, since she needs to cover her a$$ with the anti-waterboarding lib loonies who comprise so much of her base.

Pelosi really is a thoroughly contemptible individual, even for a politician.

AZCoyote on May 1, 2012 at 7:49 AM

She can credibly say she didn’t understand it. Being that she isn’t very bright, I believe her when she claims she doesn’t understand something. Like taxes, economics, history, liberty, law, morality, honesty and almost any other subject – she is clueless.

Monkeytoe on May 1, 2012 at 7:50 AM

So, Pelosi lied, several times, just on this issue alone.

Yeah, well, she’s has decades and decades of practice.

I’ll bet she lies 99% of the time and the other 1% is just a fluke!

insidiator on May 1, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Like taxes, economics, history, liberty, law, morality, honesty and almost any other subject – she is clueless.

Monkeytoe on May 1, 2012 at 7:50 AM

The Fluke is strong in this one.

Happy Nomad on May 1, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Pelosi is about to find out exactly where politics and reality diverge.
To borrow from Jim Croce :
” You don’t tug on superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t poke the man with an old long ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jose.

Yes, Ms. Pelosi, there are “serious” people out there.

Jabberwock on May 1, 2012 at 8:02 AM

At the conclusion of the briefing, Pelosi said, “Thanks for stopping by. It made me think of all those Beach Boy songs.”

Mr. Grump on May 1, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Pelosi is a “super-Genius”… just like Wile E. Coyote…

Thanks, San Francisco… You should have stopped giving things to America after Rice-a-Roni hit the market…

Khun Joe on May 1, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Compulsive liars they be – every damn one of them! One day the American people are going to wake up and realize that these leftists cannot be trusted with power – PERIOD!

TarheelBen on May 1, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Who has NOT been impressed by the calm, business-like demeanor of Mr. Rodriguez over the last several days? Did we ever really wonder whether the anonymous heroes charged with having to protect us from future attacks were patriotic regular Americans doing what they thought was appropriate and moral? How would we have reacted if Holder and his fast and furious prosecutors went after Mr. Rodriguez and his colleagues? It is the sweetest of ironies that this brave man can represent all the incredible contributions made by Latinos in defense of our country while the left would prefer that we see a victimized minority being racially profiled into permanent second class status.

Texlib on May 1, 2012 at 9:13 AM

I’ll never understand why anybody cares what we do to EVIL PEOPLE that want to KILL AMERICANS.

I’ll torture one to save 2 lives any day.

Wagthatdog on May 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

The only way Obama could have gotten anybody that day was with a 9 iron.

Wagthatdog on May 1, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Wagthatdog on May 1, 2012 at 9:26 AM

And Obama would probably have to chalk up a couple mulligan’s or so to do that.

coldwarrior on May 1, 2012 at 9:53 AM

…a hugely incendiary accusation given Pelosi’s status as Speaker and therefore an anti-torture liberal light. Pelosi contended that, in the NYT’s words, “the lawmakers were told only that the C.I.A. believed the methods were legal — not that they were going to be used.” Then, as the media turned up the heat on her, she accused the CIA of having misled her. (Why she waited to mention this until 2009, no one knows.) Then, when she started taking heat for smearing the CIA, she backed off and — ta da — blamed Bush instead….

SOP for Pelosi. She did the same thing with Iraq and WMD.

“I come to this debate, Mr. Speaker, as one at the end of 10 years in office on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was one of my top priorities. I applaud the President on focusing on this issue and on taking the lead to disarm Saddam Hussein. … Others have talked about this threat that is posed by Saddam Hussein. Yes, he has chemical weapons, he has biological weapons, he is trying to get nuclear weapons.”

- Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) Addressing the US House of Representatives, 10 October 2002 Congressional Record, p. H7777

Hypocrisy Alert! Clinton, Kerry, Gore & Other Democrats Call for War Against Saddam’s Iraq

Resist We Much on May 1, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Where are the journalists who will put the facts in print?

They sure would do it if it was a republican speaker.

Fleuries on May 1, 2012 at 10:01 AM

come’on. Lets be fair. In 2002 Pelosi thought water boarding was a game kids play on the beach.

AverageJoe on May 1, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Skim board, surf board, water board, what is the big deal?

/san.fran.nan

roy_batty on May 1, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Having KSM drink Ensure is akin to “fetching the comfy chair”, yet Stahl, who knows this, just had to get her statement about it being Orwellian into the interview. She just made herself look like an idiot saying so.

Pelosi is a liar. Plain and simple. She has an obvious tell: her eyes open real big, like Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard” just before her “closeup”. I’d love to play poker with ole Nan. I’d beat the pearls off her.

totherightofthem on May 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Give her a break. When the CIA was speaking of waterboarding, Nancy was looking at something shiny!!/

askwhatif on May 1, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I remember the second Pelosi presser where she was confused. She was very confused because even then, there was in fact written evidence of the briefings and testimony from (I’m pretty sure) another member of Congress.

How fortuitous that the greasy Preezy decided to take another victory lap on Ben Laden at exactly the same time Rodrequez’s book comes out. Americans forget. How nice to refresh everyone’s memory.

And Republicans running for Congress? Maybe ya’ll need to remind your constituents that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for Nancy.

Portia46 on May 1, 2012 at 10:53 AM

totherightofthem on May 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Never, ever…ever…mention Pelosi and pearls in the same paragraph let alone the same sentence. Ever. OK?

Turn a straight guy gay fast if’n ya do that one more time.

Where’s the bleach???

coldwarrior on May 1, 2012 at 10:56 AM

A nation at war & they lie. The questions of valuble intelligence and the protections of life mean nothing to these savages. In fact info was gathered on planned additional strikes. Pelosi, like most of them, is a disgrace to humanity. Throw in the painted,snide, octogeniarian Stahl as well. I assume the saving of life means less then her cheap politics.

arand on May 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

coldwarrior on May 1, 2012 at 10:56 AM

LOL! Oopsie. Being a woman, I had no idea of the effect such an image would have on men. I was merely referring to the gems she routinely wears around her neck. Very expensive gems, I might add. But, I’ll refrain from identifying them by name if it makes you feel better.

totherightofthem on May 1, 2012 at 11:05 AM

totherightofthem on May 1, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Thank you.

:-)

coldwarrior on May 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Pelosi smoking too much Astroturf?

The memory is the first to go.

dthorny on May 1, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I can’t think of any way this is a felony, since she wasn’t under-oath, but it seems highly unethical behavior. Do congressional ethics rules cover lying to the public about committee activities?

WashingtonsWake on May 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Do congressional ethics rules cover lying to the public

WashingtonsWake on May 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Cover?

Congressional ethics rules require it.

coldwarrior on May 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Require lying to the public? I suppose that makes a little sense, I don’t know, but it just rubs me wrong. I feel like she’s done something truly ‘wrong’ – and there should be punishment for it.

WashingtonsWake on May 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I feel like she’s done something truly ‘wrong’ – and there should be punishment for it.

WashingtonsWake on May 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM

In a sane world, she would be punished: she’d be voted out of office and subjected to public ridicule by the MSM. We do not, however, live in a sane world and the possibility, regardless of remoteness, that she could once again become Speaker of the House scares me blind.

totherightofthem on May 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Liar, liar, panties on fire and dumber than a box of rocks.

StevC on May 1, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Require lying to the public? I suppose that makes a little sense, I don’t know, but it just rubs me wrong. I feel like she’s done something truly ‘wrong’ – and there should be punishment for it.

WashingtonsWake on May 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM

The only punishment is upon us. Those crazies in NoCal keep sending her back to DC.
When was the last time you saw an ELECTED official under oath ?

Jabberwock on May 1, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Tertiary Syphilis = The only rational explanation

BigAlSouth on May 1, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Interesting timing on the interview with Obama’s recent remarks. This is the most I’ve heard about water-boarding since the “ticking time-bomb” scenario that we were assured could never happen nearly played itself out in Time Square. The fake water-boarding outrage was just another political wedge issue that never got as much traction as the “I want my WMDs!” cynicism of the mid 00′s. I wonder if any brave member of the press corpse will have any follow-up questions for her? The thing I love about this woman is that, of all members of Congress she probably has to lie the least to get reelected – I really think she just enjoys lying. She’s a performance artist who enjoys her craft and represents her constituents about as well as any constituent could hope for.

stout77 on May 1, 2012 at 4:31 PM

stout77 on May 1, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Someone once asked Pelosi a couple years ago if it were true Castro was dying.

Her reply, I am told, was that Castro was very much alive, and celebrating the diversity San Francisco has fostered for decades, and the street fairs brought in millions of tourist dollars to the Bay Area, and we should not be so judgmental about alternative life styles.

//

coldwarrior on May 1, 2012 at 5:03 PM

YOU LIE!!!

cane_loader on May 2, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I remember watching “I, Claudius” in college. The scenes of the corrupt Roman Senate have been coming back to me… how amoral the Senators were, and how divorced from actually advancing the good of Rome.

The 2012 National Correspondents’ dinner should be enshrined in amber for the ages, so that they can study the moment the masks came off.

In seeming jest, Jimmy Kimmel actually made one of the truest statements ever made in American politics, when he said that the problems facing the nation were all right there in that room.

Romney needs to make an ad out of that.

cane_loader on May 2, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Peloser is just like Obama. They are both incapable of telling the truth. Their lies are abs absolutely nauseating.Anyone who waould vote for beings this completely insane should have their right to vote revoked.

volsense on May 2, 2012 at 1:16 PM

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