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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pelosi: Bush Administration Never Briefed Congress On Waterboarding

The Bush administration did not inform Congress that it had waterboarded detainees in classified briefings, after the agency had already done so, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) charged Thursday.
Pelosi told reporters that the administration officials only told her and those in a classified briefing in the fall of 2002 that they believed they had the legal authority to do so, based on Office of Legal Counsel memos which have recently been released by the Obama administration.
"In that or any other briefing...we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used," said Pelosi. "What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel...opinions that they could be used, but not that they would."
Pelosi said that the officials promised to inform Congress if they ever did waterboard a detainee, but never did so. Her assertion contradicts a recently released Senate committee report that cited CIA records to claim that senior members of Congress in both parties were briefed on the waterboarding, which had already been done to detainee Abu Zubaydah. Pelosi, in the strongest terms should could conjure, said the report was untrue and that she never approved, tacitly or otherwise, the waterboarding of detainees.


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