Court Orders CIA to Provide Documents Regarding Pelosi/Congressional “Torture Briefings” to Judicial Watch by April 15
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that according to a court order issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia January 25, 2010, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) must provide to Judicial Watch by April 15 documents pertaining to congressional briefings on “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Judicial Watch is seeking documents detailing CIA briefings involving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and/or her staff.
Judicial Watch filed its original FOIA request with the Central Intelligence Agency on May 15, 2009, seeking the following information:
- Records detailing dates when the CIA briefed congressional leaders (to include, but not limited to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and/or her aide, Michael Sheehy) on matters relating to “enhanced interrogation techniques” and/or “harsh interrogation techniques” and suspected and/or known terrorists…
- Briefing materials presented to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and/or her aide, Michael Sheehy, relating to “enhanced interrogation techniques” and/or “harsh interrogation techniques” and suspected and/or known terrorists.
- Records detailing the names of all Members of Congress (and/or Congressional Aides) briefed on “enhanced interrogation techniques” and/or “harsh interrogation techniques” and suspected and/or known terrorists.
- Records and briefing materials from a reported September 4, 2002, briefing of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (and/or her aide Michael Sheehy) concerning waterboarding detainees.
- Records detailing all instances when the CIA has provided briefings to Members of Congress under the provisions of the National Security Act from September 11, 2001, to present.
On June 23, 2009, the CIA notified Judicial Watch that it would not be able to respond to the FOIA request within the statutory mandated 20 working days, but failed to indicate when a response would be forthcoming. Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit to force the release of the documents July 14, 2009.
“This federal court order is a victory for transparency in the face of Obama administration stonewalling to protect Speaker Pelosi,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We’re looking forward to completing the public record regarding what Speaker Pelosi knew about the use of enhanced interrogation techniques and when she knew it.”
In April 2009 Speaker Pelosi admitted she was briefed on the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding, but was not aware they had already been used. The CIA contradicted Pelosi’s claim, pointing to a briefing they held with the speaker on September 4, 2002, and a subsequent briefing to her top staffer. On July 14, 2009, Judicial Watch filed a separate, successful FOIA lawsuit against the CIA to obtain records from the Office of former Vice President Cheney related to CIA interrogation techniques.