By John Byrne
The CIA has released a devastating document detailing the dates and explicit details of secret Congressional briefings in which members of Congress were told of the Bush administration’s torture techniques and when they had been used.
Most damning, perhaps, is its description of a meeting held between CIA staff and then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss and now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which shows that Pelosi was briefed on the Bush Administration’s torture techniques in 2002 — even though she’s publicly said she was never told about the use of waterboarding.
Equally striking, however, is the volume of the briefings that have been conducted on the CIA’s interrogation practices since 2002. The document runs ten pages, with up to four briefings a page.
Briefings given to Democrats are of particular significance because the party has been the most vocal about the Bush Administration’s torture practices. Apparently, however, they had known about the practices for years. At least 19 Democrats were briefed about the techniques in detail by end of 2006.
Those briefed earliest on the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” included Pelosi, Goss, Rep. Jane Harman, then-Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), Sen. John Rockefeller (D), Sen Patrick Roberts (R-KN) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL).
On Sept. 6, 2006, the CIA briefed the full Senate Intelligence Committee, excluding Sen. Ron Wyden (D-WA), who did not attend. According to the document, “Significant details of EITs were provided in this briefing to include mentions of waterboarding, diet manipulation, nudity, walling, and stomach slap.” EIT is shorthand for “Enhanced Interrogation Technique.”