The Washington Post on Saturday reported that a top aide to Nancy Pleosi attended a briefing CIA briefing on Enhanced Interrogations, including waterboarding in 2003:
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 CIA’s top counsel.
This would seem to conform earlier reports that Sen Pelosi new what was going on and didn’t raise objections until it was politically expedient. As far as I can tell Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) was the only member of Congress to raise questions at the time.
Regardless these tit for tat politically motivated leaks have to stop… Barack Obama opened this can of worms with the release of the OLC memos on Enhanced Interrogations, since then we’ve seen a series of competing leaks designed for political advantage.
It’s time to make the complete record available… As Ed Morrissey notes:
We need to see all of the documentation, with only the most sensitive information redacted, in order to know exactly what was done, who ordered it, who approved it, and who knew about it — and what we discovered as a result of it.
Only by getting all of the information on the table can we have an informed, rational discussion about methods, values, and responsibilities. Obama opened Pandora’s Box, and now we need to let it all escape in order to get the full picture. The drip-drip-drip leaks and releases are akin to a Chinese water torture on rational discussion of this topic, irony definitely intended.