Coupla things: One is remember that the ever-lovely Ms. Harmon is the the one bringing you HR 1955, the WOOOOOOOOOONderful bill proposing thought crimes. Obviously, obviously some political hay is being reaped here by making Pelosi look bad - as Ms. Harmon was the one blocked as House Leader by Pelosi.
Two, torture is torture. Rationalizing war crimes as Oh! we was SCARED! dont' cut it. It is a WAR CRIME, and what's more it just is not NOT NICE. The US government's little puppet John Yoo has admitted they can do virtually anything to anyone on executive order short of killing them while torturing - it's okay though if they die later from the torture (harsh interrogation! give me a friggin break.) And CONgress knew this, the knew all about unitary executive, they knew all about Rumsfield's direct directives and they knew the Geneva conventions. God, I have such little patience with all these friggin operators and COLLABORATORS.
Since September 11th was gone, then justifying fear (as it wasn't done DURING 9/11 but after) someone, just someone, could have proposed having saner headz, but I guess that is expecting too much from these dunderheads and those intent at making America so fearsome, so loathsome, no despicable act done in "the name of the AMERICAN PEOPLE at taxpayer expense" could possibly be overlooked. Keep funding away, CONgress! Make sure the torturers can keep up the "good work".
All the politics are just so baffling as America goes down in flames. And it could get less than figurative and get real literal soon if the political gaming doesn't stop soon.
And as I've advised, do keep your eyes peeled on the moves of Jay Rockefeller as CONgress gets more and more scared as the days tick by .. Oh, he'll be right in there stirring up the pot to come out as the HERO!
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said."CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said in an interview two months ago that he had informed congressional overseers of
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Abu Zubaida, the first of the "high-value" detainees in CIA custody, was subjected to harsh interrogation methods beginning in spring 2002 after he refused to cooperate with questioners, the officials said. CIA briefers gave the four intelligence committee members limited information about Abu Zubaida's detention in spring 2002, but offered a more detailed account of its interrogation practices in September of that year, said officials with direct knowledge of the briefings.
The CIA provided another briefing the following month, and then about 28 additional briefings over five years, said three U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge of the meetings. During these sessions, the agency provided information about the techniques it was using as well as the information it collected.
Lawmakers have varied recollections about the topics covered in the briefings.
Graham said he has no memory of ever being told about waterboarding or other harsh tactics. Graham left the Senate intelligence committee in January 2003, and was replaced by Rockefeller.
"Personally, I was unaware of it, so I couldn't object,"Graham said in an interview. He said he now believes the techniques constituted torture and were illegal.
Pelosi declined to comment directly on her reaction to the classified briefings. But a congressional source familiar with Pelosi's position on the matter said the California lawmaker did recall discussions about enhanced interrogation. The source said Pelosi recalls that techniques described by the CIA were still in the planning stage -- they had been designed and cleared with agency lawyers but not yet put in practice -- and acknowledged that Pelosi did not raise objections at the time.
Harman, who replaced Pelosi as the committee's top Democrat in January 2003, disclosed Friday that she filed a classified letter to the CIA in February of that year as an official protest about the interrogation program. Harman said she had been prevented from publicly discussing the letter or the CIA's program because of strict rules of secrecy.
"When you serve on intelligence committee you sign a second oath -- one of secrecy,"she said.
"I was briefed, but the information was closely held to just the Gang of Four. I was not free to disclose anything."
"I proposed without success, both in committee and on the Senate floor, that the committee undertake an investigation of the CIA's detention and interrogation activities,"Rockefeller said in a statement Friday.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a former Vietnam War prisoner who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, took an early interest in the program even though he was not a member of the intelligence committee, and spoke out against waterboarding in private conversations with White House officials in late 2005 before denouncing it publicly.
In May 2007, four months after Democrats regained control of Congress and well after the CIA had forsworn further waterboarding, four senators submitted written objections to the CIA's use of that tactic and other, still unspecified "enhanced" techniques in two classified letters to Hayden last spring, shortly after receiving a classified hearing on the topic. One letter was sent on May 1 by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.). A similar letter was sent May 10 by a bipartisan group of three senators: Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
In a rare public statement last month that broached the subject of his classified objections, Feingold complained about administration claims of congressional support, saying that it was "not the case" that lawmakers briefed on the CIA's program "have approved it or consented to it."