Republicans, hoping to turn the tables on Democrats who are open to prosecuting Bush-era lawyers for justifying “enhanced” interrogation techniques, are seeking to reveal the names of those lawmakers who were briefed on the tactics as much as seven years ago.
FOX News has learned there were more than 30 meetings and briefings with members of Congress on the subject since 2002.
The first such briefing dealt with the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, the Al Qaeda operations chief who ran the training camps in Afghanistan where the Sept. 11 hijackers were trained. Sources said California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, now the speaker of the House, attended the meeting with then-Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla. (who later became CIA director), and she did not raise any objections.
The briefings were given to the chairmen and ranking members of the intelligence committees in the House and Senate until 2006. That could cover Sen. John Rockefeller, W.Va., and Rep. Jane Harman, Calif., both Democrats, as well as Sen. Pat Roberts, Kan., Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C., Sen. Richard Shelby, Ala., and Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Mich., all Republicans.
Defenders of the interrogation program note that if Congress had wanted to kill the program, all it had to do was withhold funding, which didn’t happen.
Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, has personally requested from Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair an unclassified list of names of all members of Congress who attended those briefings, complete with dates and locations.
He told FOXNews.com the list will probably show many members were briefed “early and often.”
“The purpose of this, of course, is to underscore the fact that people in Congress knew or were aware of the program, its details, and they approved of this program and authorized its funding,” said Jamal Ware, spokesman for Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee.
What do you know? They had no objections.
Hat tip: Gateway Pundit
Although he essentially agreed with Obama on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques during the campaign, John McCain is now blasting Obama, calling the investigations of OIC lawyers a “witch hunt”:
“If you criminalize legal advice, which is basically what they’re going to do, then it has a terribly chilling effect on any kind of advice and counsel that the president might receive,” McCain said during an interview on CBS’s “Early Show.” …
McCain compared the potential prosecutions with the actions of “banana republics” that “prosecute people for actions they didn’t agree with under previous administrations.”
“To go back on a witch hunt that could last for a year or so, frankly, is going to be bad for the country, bad for future presidents — precedents that may be set by this, and certainly nonproductive in trying to pursue the challenges we face,” he said.
I think we’re going to be hearing that term….”banana republic” more and more in the upcoming days.
Nancy Pelosi denies she knew that waterboarding was being used…a Washington Post article from 2007, suggests otherwise. See Ace for details.
Thank God for teh intertubes.