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Perhaps We Need a Hearing on This

Nancy Pelosi is denying specific knowledge of enhanced interrogations techniques used on terrorists. MSNBC reports:

“We were not told that waterboarding or any of these other interrogation methods were used,” Pelosi said flatly at a news conference this afternoon.

The Washington Times has a different story:

The CIA briefed top Democrats and Republicans on the congressional intelligence committees more than 30 times about enhanced interrogation techniques, according to intelligence sources who said the lawmakers tacitly approved the techniques that some Democrats in Congress now say should land Bush administration officials in jail.

[. . .]

Those who were briefed included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia and Rep. Jane Harman of California, all Democrats, and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama and Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, all Republicans.

That’s consistent with this Washington Post story from December 2007.

Today, Pelosi repeatedly denied that being told waterboarding was used, although she did acknowledge the CIA told her the techniques had been approved by Justice Department lawyers. She had this exchange:

QUESTION: At the time when you did receive these legal opinions, as you put them, did you raise any objections legal, moral or otherwise?
PELOSI: Well, they — that’s not the point, Mike. The point is they come in to inform you of what they are doing. What my point was, are they doing this? No, they are not doing it. And then to leave there to see what recourse we had, which was none, because…

One wonders why she would be told that techniques which weren’t being used had received legal approval. In any case, I’m sure there are records, notes, calendars, and the like, that can clear this up. And of course there were multiple people present at the briefings according to press reports. So we should be able to get to the bottom of this. I think you might get some Republican support for a hearing on this topic: what did Congress know and when did it know it? First witness: Nancy Pelosi.


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