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Monday, May 11, 2009
Examiner Misleads on Pelosi, Waterboarding
Topic: Washington Examiner

From a May 11 Washington Examiner editorial:

First, it is no longer possible to doubt that [Nancy] Pelosi knew as of September 4, 2002 that the CIA included water-boarding among its tools for interrogating high-value terrorists like al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah. She knew this because, according to then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss, R-FL, he and Pelosi received a detailed classified briefing from the agency. 


In view of these facts, Pelosi’s April 23, 2009, claim that “we were not - I repeat - were not told that water-boarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used” was untrue and she knew it to be untrue.

In fact, the CIA document to which the Examiner is referring does not prove that Pelosi was briefed on the use of waterboarding against Zubaydah, only stating that she was briefed on "use of EITs [enhanced interrogation techniques] on Abu Zubaydah."

Further, the Examiner fails to note that, as we've detailed, the CIA report was accompanied by a letter from CIA chief Leon Panetta stating that the report is, in part, based on "notes that summarized the best recollections of those individuals" who did the briefings, and that the committee to which the report was submitted "will have to determine whether this information is an accurate summary of what actually happened." In other words, the CIA isn't vouching for the accuracy of the claims in the report.

The editorial also states that waterboarding of detainees such as Zubaydah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed "further deadly terrorist attacks were thereby prevented from taking place in this country. A CIA spokesman confirmed to, for example, the May 30, 2005, Justice Department memo describing how the 'second wave' attack on Los Angeles was unraveled." But as we've also detailed, CNS has failed to report that the Bush administration has claimed that the Los Angeles plot was foiled a year before Mohammed was captured, which would mean that his waterboarding could not have "unraveled" the plot.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 PM EDT

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