Media Ignoring Members of Congress Briefed About Enhanced Interrogation

68 members of Congress were briefed about enhanced interrogation between 2001-2007

The media coverage of the Feinstein report released on Tuesday focused on what the "evil CIA" may have done to some prisoners and/or whether or not the information extracted from those prisoners was actionable, but ignored the 68 Senators and Congressional Representatives who were briefed about the enhanced interrogation techniques. 

That information has been available for almost five years. In Feb. 2010, via a FIOA lawsuit, Judicial Watch received a report created by the CIA during the Bush presidency (in 2007) detailing which members of Congress were briefed and what were they briefed on.

The report (embedded below) shows that the CIA briefed at least 68 members of Congress on the CIA interrogation program, including "enhanced interrogation techniques" (EITs).  It details the dates, attendees and specifics of all congressional briefings during the first six years of the war on terror. In some cases the topic for a meeting may be redacted (whited out) but in the list discussed below (according to the heading on the pages)  each meeting mentioned discusses interrogation of prisoners.

For example, in April 2002, both the House (HPSCI) and Senate (SSCI) committees on intelligence were briefed on the "Ongoing Interrogations of Abu Zubaydah, who was mentioned in the Feinstein report. According to the report, at this time EITs were referenced but there is no evidence they were discussed in detail. Later meetings not only discussed the techniques, but also gave examples of EITs being used, (but attendees weren't mentioned). Finally near the end of 2002 we see that the most senior members of the House and Senate committees had meetings totally devoted to EITs. 

During the summer of 2003 additional members of Congress had meetings devoted to EITs, including Senator Rockefeller, who yesterday claimed on the Senate floor, "To be perfectly clear, these harsh techniques were not approved by anyone – ever – for the low-bar standard of learning ‘useful information' from detainees.” 

At least through 2005, the meetings generally included the full committee on the House side and the senior person from each party on the Senate committee. There are many meetings during this period where attendees and subject of meeting were not provided, but each of the meetings on this particular chart deals with interrogation.

In 2006, a meeting on the Ides of March was the first appearance of Diane Feinstein, who eventually became chairman of the committee.

For America to believe that these Congressional members sat through meetings which were entirely about EITs or the other meetings whose purpose is redacted in this 2007 report, yet knew none of the details mentioned in the Feinstein report, we would have to be as stupid and gullible as Obamacare architect consultant Jonathan Gruber claims we are.

Whether or not you believe that techniques such as water boarding are torture or not does not change the duplicity of Feinstein's Democratic Party report.