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May 11, 2009

Bob Graham Claims CIA Did Not Mention Waterboarding in Pelosi Briefing

Okay, dude.

Graham said: I do not have any recollection of being briefed on waterboarding or other forms of extraordinary interrogation techniques, or Abu Zubaydah being subjected to them, Graham told me by phone moments ago, in a reference to the terror suspect who had been repeatedly waterboarded the month before.

Graham is the only other Dem aside from Pelosi to get briefed in 2002, so they are both in effect asserting that no Dem was briefed on EITs that year. The date of the next briefing was in February 2003.

Note he's claiming that not only was waterboarding unmentioned, but so were other sorts of EITs, including, of course, such shockers as "the belly slap." This is a lie, unless the CIA is simply inventing its minutes of this briefing wholesale.

In addition, regarding that 2003 briefing? Democrats admit waterboarding was discussed there, and Nancy Pelosi's top aide attended:

A top aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended a CIA briefing in early 2003 in which it was made clear that waterboarding and other harsh techniques were being used in the interrogation of an alleged al-Qaeda operative, according to documents the CIA released to Congress on Thursday.

Pelosi has insisted that she was not directly briefed by Bush administration officials that the practice was being actively employed. But Michael Sheehy, a top Pelosi aide, was present for a classified briefing that included Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), then the ranking minority member of the House intelligence committee, at which agency officials discussed the use of waterboarding on terrorism suspect Abu Zubaida.

A Democratic source acknowledged yesterday that it is almost certain that Pelosi would have learned about the use of waterboarding from Sheehy. Pelosi herself acknowledged in a December 2007 statement that she was aware that Harman had learned of the waterboarding and had objected in a letter to the CIAs top counsel.

Pelosi may have intentionally avoided attending this briefing personally, sending instead her aide, when she was apprised of the topic. That way, she gets to pretend later she didn't know about it.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.

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posted by Ace at 04:41 PM

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