Sunday, December 09, 2007

Four Democrats Briefed About Torture in 2002; Silent Ever Since

Nancy Pelosi
Jay Rockefeller
Jane Harman
Bob Graham

were informed by the CIA in 2002 that the US planned to torture prisoners, and said nothing. Nothing. They did not speak out against torture.

Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left
to speak up for me.

Waterboarding is torture. It has been considered torture for centuries, since it was used in the Spanish Inquisition. It is also a technique favored by the Gestapo, the Khmer Rouge, and now by the United States of America. It is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, the international treaties which are supposed to set the standards for international humanitarian behavior.

The fact that these four supposed Democrats stayed silent about this method of torture for five years is a failure of the highest order. They may have written letters that were stamped "Top Secret" and stored in a dusty file cabinet. But they have stayed silent ever since, protecting the Bush administration as it descended into the lowest depths humans can go.

No wonder impeachment is off the table. The Democrats have been aiding and abetting the very war crimes that would form the basis of the impeachment trial.

WaPo: Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.


With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

Lambert at Corrente says: Barney Frank for Speaker. He wouldn't have kept his mouth shut about torture.

Corrente: We are Democrats. They are enablers.

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