Tuesday 19 May 2009

CIA tapdancing on records of briefings on interrogations

Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) wrote to CIA Director Leon Panetta yesterday to claim an inaccuracy in the CIA’s list of briefings held for members of Congress on the so-called “enhanced interrogation” program. Specifically, Obey said that a House Appropriations Committee aide named Paul Juola never attended a Sept. 19, 2006 briefing that the CIA briefing chart listed him as attending. And while a CIA official didn’t back away from the claim, he appeared to concede that the agency’s briefing account is far from an authoritative summary of what Congress knew about torture and when it knew it. Here’s a statement to me from CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano:

“While CIA’s information has Mr. Juola attending briefings on September 19, 2006 and October 11, 2007, there are different recollections of these events, which Mr. Obey’s letter describes. As the agency has pointed out more than once, its list — compiled in response to congressional requests — reflects the records it has. These are notes, memos, and recollections, not transcripts and recordings.”

That would appear to dovetail with Panetta’s repeated insistence that “it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.” The agency isn’t claiming that its account is a full one. Nor is it attempting to adjudicate disputes over its briefing chart.


In another report, the CIA, challenged again to back up the Republican claim that Pelosi lied, waffled completely.


Also, one of the Republicans who is screeching the loudest about Pelosi's allegedly outrageous assertions that the CIA has it all wrong....has in the past said that the CIA has it all wrong.


...And the CIA is already being investigated for fudging its statements on another issue.


The TPM guys are all over this stuff -- make sure to check in with them.

Again, this shows how incredibly stupid Republicans are. They double-dog-dared the Democrats to spend the next year investigating the manifold crimes of the Bush gang on the torture issue, and that's exactly what they're going to get. Imagine if it was 1972, and Bob Haldeman had walked into Nixon's office and said -- "Why don't we go out and claim that Senator McGovern lied in his public statements about Watergate, and demand a full Congressional investigation of Watergate!! That'll show 'em!" Nixon would smack him upside the head and shout "did you forget that we're actually, ya know, guilty?? STFU and start bribing the burglars to clam up!"

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