As national security adviser to former President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice verbally approved the CIA's request to subject high-ranking Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah to waterboarding in July 2002, the earliest known decision by a Bush administration official to OK use of the simulated drowning technique.
Rice's role was detailed in a narrative released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It provides the most detailed timeline yet for how the CIA's harsh interrogation program was conceived and approved at the highest levels in the Bush White House.
Then, we learned that several, yet unnamed, members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, have been briefed on this program since 2002.
Republicans, hoping to turn the tables on Democrats who are open to prosecuting Bush-era lawyers for justifying "enhanced" interrogation techniques, are seeking to reveal the names of those lawmakers who were briefed on the tactics as much as seven years ago. FOX News has learned there were more than 30 meetings and briefings with members of Congress on the subject since 2002.
The first such briefing dealt with the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, the Al Qaeda operations chief who ran the training camps in Afghanistan where the Sept. 11 hijackers were trained. Sources said California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, now the speaker of the House, attended the meeting with then-Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla. (who later became CIA director), and she did not raise any objections.
In the meantime, far left outfit has added fuel to the fire with this ad.
Meanwhile, just for good measure, this diatrobe from Shep Smith of Foxnews is going viral.
Meanwhile, former Bush speechwriter, Mark Thiessen, has been advancing the story of how we successfully stopped an attack on L.A. after waterboarding KSM.
This story isn't going away. Furthermore, no one person or entity controls it anymore. It will continue to be the lead or at least near it, in my opinion, until all the questions are sufficiently answered, who, what, when, where, how, and why. Of course, the next question is what entity is fit to answer all those questions in a manner that the public feels is unbiased. Only time will tell on that.
If something formal, and most importantly trustworthy to all, isn't created soon, then revelations, which will occur regardless, will ultimately hurt everyone much worse. For instance, the president got hurt when an internal memo sympathetic to the Bush administration by his current chief of intelligence, Dennis Blair, was leaked. If some sort of body isn't formed soon, we will simply find out through a series of leaks.
We are all going to find out the details of most if not all of the briefings that Congress had on these techniques. We are certainly going to find out exactly who attended. It would be much better for the legislators involved to come forward themselves and acknowledge their attendance than have that information leaked to the public. We are going to find out the details of successes of this program, so it would be better for the president to declassify this information. If we continue to find out such details through leaks, he looks as though he is determined to only present one side.
This will all go on until all relevant questions are answered and then this story will stop having teeth. In other words, we are about to air all sorts of dirty national security laundry. If the president really wanted to move forward, that has failed miserably.
The worst part is that in the end it will make little difference. There are two schools of thought on this. The first is that torture rarely works, and even if it did, it wasn't worth it. The second is that bad actors weren't giving up information and we took the steps necessary to save lives. After all of this is aired, it's unlikely that very many people's views will change from where they are on one of these two sides. In fact, since both positions will find plenty of evidence to back them up, it's likely the only thing that will happen is that opinions will harden. As such, we are in for a very bitter partisan battle that will ultimately change very few minds.