Years after Judicial Watch uncovered explosive records showing that Congress approved the U.S. government’s terrorist interrogation program the mainstream media is finally interested because a former CIA counterterrorism chief has confirmed it in his new book.
The fact of the matter is that a JW investigation long ago exposed this congressional scandal. Enhanced interrogation techniques, utilized to extract valuable intelligence from al Qaeda terrorists, came under fire from leftwing civil rights groups that claim they amount to torture. As a result, President Obama banned the program during his first week in office and many liberal lawmakers pretended to have no knowledge of it. Some even denied getting briefed on the techniques by intelligence officials.
Among them is former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the veteran congresswoman from northern California. In an apparent effort to avoid alienating her liberal base, Pelosi actually denied getting briefed by the CIA on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques that have demonstrably stopped terrorist attacks and saved American lives. Back in February 2010 JW obtained government records that essentially left Pelosi with egg on her face.
The documents, once marked “Top Secret,” reveal that between 2001 and 2007 the CIA briefed at least 68 members of Congress on its interrogation program, including so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The documents have lots of details, including the dates of all congressional briefings and the members of Congress in attendance. Pelosi is specifically referenced in a briefing that took place on April 24, 2002, regarding the “ongoing interrogations of Abu Zubaydah,” the third-ranking figure in al Qaeda.
This week a mainstream newspaper reports this two-year-old news as earth-shattering because a former CIA counterterrorism chief named Jose Rodriguez includes it in his new book. It turns out that Rodriguez led the CIA briefing of Pelosi and he assures that the congresswoman was told about the techniques being used in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. Pelosi was told that, as a result of the techniques, including waterboarding, Abu Zubaydah provided good intelligence. In all, Pelosi was informed about ten tactics that were being used to interrogate terrorists, Rodriguez writes in his book.
A multitude of detainee documents obtained in the course of JW’s lengthy investigation detail the effectiveness of the now-defunct enhanced interrogation program, which helped save lives in the United States and overseas by foiling terrorist plots. The records also show that members of Congress approved and were well aware of the use of these enhanced interrogation techniques and their lifesaving value.