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The Charade Ends

Politico, following on ABC’s report, tells us:

An intelligence report sent recently to Capitol Hill shows that members of Congress were briefed 40 times since 2002 on aspects of the so-called “enhanced interrogation” program. Many have decried the techniques used in the program as torture.

The list seems to contradict the claim by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), then-minority leader and ranking member on the House intelligence committee, that she was never told at a 2002 briefing that waterboarding had been used or would been used, only that legal opinions approving of its use had been issued.

And on the handy chart that is now available, we see Jay Rockefeller’s name on the list for multiple briefings. It seems we’ve had a widespread and unseemly charade going on. As Congress calls for a witch hunt for those who drafted and carried out policies that protected us, they should consider just how abhorrent the public may find their feigned outrage.

Administration attorneys who are contemplating bar complaints against the Bush administration lawyers who drafted the interrogation memos on the premise that “of course” they knew their advice was ill-founded (and that the methods “obviously” met the definition of torture) might want to consult with members of Congress as to whether the techniques on which they were briefed “shocked their conscience.” Notes of those sessions  might be illuminating. But the nature of the investigative techniques have ceased to be the most shocking thing about this entire tawdry effort to vilify those who sought to protect their fellow citizens when they needed it most.


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