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Docs: Pelosi, Dems Briefed On ‘Torture’

A press release from Judicial Watch:

(Click to enlarge)

Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Regarding Congressional CIA "Torture Briefings"

CIA Briefed At least 68 Members of Congress on "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" Between 2001 and 2007

Washington, DC — February 23, 2010

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has received the first batch of documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) regarding congressional "Torture Briefings." The CIA produced the documents pursuant to a previous court order in Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency, Case: 1:09-cv-01352). The court order stipulates that documents pertaining to congressional briefings on "enhanced interrogation techniques" must be provided to Judicial Watch by April 15. Additional documents are forthcoming.

According to the documents, previously marked "Top Secret," between 2001 and 2007, the CIA briefed at least 68 members of Congress on the CIA interrogation program, including so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques." The documents include the dates of all congressional briefings and, in some cases, the members of Congress in attendance and the specific subjects discussed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who previously denied she was briefed by the CIA on the use of these techniques, is specifically referenced in a briefing that took place on April 24, 2002, regarding the "ongoing interrogations of Abu Zubaydah." Zubaydah had been subjected to the enhanced interrogation techniques.

Judicial Watch previously obtained documents from former Vice President Cheney’s office in a separate lawsuit that detail the effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation techniques." According to a June 1, 2005, CIA report entitled, Detainee Reporting Pivotal for the War Against Al-Qa’ida, "Detainee reporting accounts for more than half of all HUMINT reporting on al-Qa’ida since the program began…" Interestingly, this fact was omitted in later versions of the report obtained by Judicial Watch. All versions, however, conclude: "One of the gains to detaining the additional terrorists has been the thwarting of a number of al-Qa’ida operations in the United States and overseas."

Despite the apparent effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation techniques," the federal government suspended their use in 2005 by passing the Detainee Treatment Act. President Obama officially banned the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" during his first week in office in January 2009. Two months later, in March 2009, President Obama overruled objections from national security officials and released documents detailing the government’s enhanced interrogation program (the so-called "torture" memos). However, President Obama initially withheld information detailing the results of this program, including alleged terrorist plots that the program prevented.

Moreover, according to an April 2009 CNN report, President Obama’s Intelligence Director, retired Admiral Dennis Blair, told colleagues in an April 16 memo on the subject of "enhanced interrogation techniques," that "High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country." This sentence was omitted from a version of the memo released by Blair’s office to the press.

"It is unfortunate that it took a federal court order to force the Obama administration to release these documents," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "These documents indicate that members of Congress approved of and were well aware of the use of these enhanced interrogation techniques and their lifesaving value. It is disturbing that we no longer use interrogation techniques that have demonstrably stopped terrorist attacks and saved American lives. The Obama administration has made this country less safe by its mishandling of the enhanced interrogation program."

Regular readers of this site will already know most of this information. (See the related links below.)

But it is certainly good to finally get the documentation.

Not that there can still be any doubt that Ms. Pelosi is a pathological liar.

You can see the documents (a pdf file) here.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Docs: Pelosi, Dems Briefed On ‘Torture’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Which do you think more likely?

    The muss and fuss of waterboarding …? Or, this?

    Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler
    Thursday, 06 January 2005

    It is such a repulsive sight to watch showboating Senators harangue Alberto Gonzales regarding torturing terrorists. I would love to see Pat Leahy or Ted Kennedy in a street fight. Their life would depend on their willingness to use any and all means necessary to survive. Then, if they did, we would need one of their liberal colleagues condemn them: “You had no right to save yourself by not fighting fair!”

    The only practical argument against torturing terrorists is that it’s so undependable: the guy will say anything to stop the torture. Often, a dramatic presentation of the threat of torture works better. Take the Israeli way:

    When a Palestinian terrorist is captured, how many Israeli lives can be saved depends on how quickly and efficiently Shin Bet (Israeli Security) agents can make him squeal. They strip him naked and sit him in a chair with his legs forced apart. They bring in a large Doberman pincher whose muzzle is placed inches from his genitals. They explain: “This is Herman. Herman is a very unusual dog. Herman can smell when someone is lying. When someone lies, it gets Herman very mad. And when Herman gets mad, he bites – really hard. So we suggest you tell us the truth.”

    Works like a charm.

    There is, however, an interrogation method far more effective than torture, or the threat of it, that is foolproof, immediate, and humane. It works the first time, every time, with everybody — no exceptions. Yet it is harmless, completely reversible, with no aftereffects.

    First, a little background in brain chemistry. Your brain synthesizes, or manufactures, natural brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which are necessary for the proper functioning of various activities. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers which transmit the appropriate signals through brain circuits for thinking, feeling, and motor action. One such neurotransmitter is called serotonin. Serotonin is an “inhibitory” neurotransmitter, and its constant presence is absolutely required for a normal and non-psychotic state of mind.

    Neurotransmitters are synthesized in the cell bodies of the neurons in the brain from specific nutrients in one’s diet. Norepinephrine, for example, responsible for alertness and mental energy, is synthesized from the amino acid phenylalanine and a number of additional co-factors. Caffeine works by stimulating the release and prolonging the activity of norepinephrine.

    The neurotransmitter serotonin is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan. Without tryptophan, the brain cannot make serotonin. This mechanism applies not only to the human brain, but to the brain of every species in the animal kingdom, from dogs to rats to elephants to birds.

    There have been numerous experiments that demonstrate the effects of a tryptophan-free diet on brain function in humans. Within about four hours, brain serotonin levels drop like a rock. Lacking the inhibitory regulation of serotonin, the brain becomes incapable of modulation. The individual possessor of such a brain rapidly becomes angry, depressed, and impulsive — incapable of controlling his emotions.

    The last thing a captured terrorist, intent on withholding information and resistant to interrogation, wants is to be uncontrollably impulsive. Such an individual would be putty in the hands of a skilled interrogator.

    The means of converting a terrorist into putty is TFM Interrogation, using tryptophan-free meals (TFMs). Not protein-free meals. Meals engineered to have only tryptophan excluded, and all other essential amino acids present. Protein is, of course, a package or assemblage of various combinations of amino acids.

    With a protein-free meal, blood amino levels will drop, causing the liver and other organs to start extracting aminos from blood albumin, then from muscle, then from organ tissue. Such amino extraction will include tryptophan. In other words, deprived of dietary protein, the body will cannibalize itself in order to supply the brain with tryptophan and other vital aminos.

    But a meal engineered to provide all necessary aminos except tryptophan exclusively will not cause such cannibalization. The liver has no capacity to notice the lack of one single amino such as tryptophan, just the overall lack of entire assemblies of aminos, or protein.

    A TFM is a semi-synthetic meal replacement, prepared in the form of a porridge, for example. It can contain plenty of real starch, plenty of real fat, plenty of real sugar or honey — plenty of real chocolate if desired. What it cannot contain is any complex protein at all. Instead, it must contain about 30 grams of a synthetic mixture of all essential aminos in crystalline form — specifically excluding tryptophan. Further, such a mixture should contain the same ratio of aminos as milk or meat, but with an extra amount of the aminos phenylalanine and tyrosine, which will both block any tryptophan extracted from the body reaching the brain, and increase the subject’s levels of anxiety and anger.

    Three such TFMs should be given to the subject over 12 hours, with the subject not having anything to eat prior to the first TFM for several hours. After four hours, the subject will become agitated, depressed, angry, and impulsive. He obviously must be heavily guarded and possibly restrained. Over the next eight to twelve hours, his symptoms will increase, becoming suicidal. Subjected to a TFM diet over a period of several days, he will become fully psychotic.

    After a round of interrogation during a TFM period, the subject should then receive a normal meal with complex protein — or simply the TFM with one or two grams of crystalline tryptophan added (it’s tasteless so he won’t notice any difference). He will calm down and feel pleasant. Then a “good cop” interrogator can step in and soothe him. Next meal time, it’s back to the TFM, and back the subject goes into uncontrollable impulsiveness. The subject will quickly develop a real fear of the “bad cop” interrogator who interrogates him during the TFM periods.

    There are no side or after-effects of TFM Interrogation. It is completely reversible immediately within an hour or less after one regular non-TFM meal. TFM Interrogation can be performed in the field, at Gitmo, anywhere. Red Cross observers or even Pat Leahy could be present. They could even analyze the subject’s blood — for whatever they test for, they wouldn’t think of testing for a lack of tryptophan. And even if they did, what would be the complaint? Malnutrition? Malnutrition that lasts for less than 24 hours?

    TFM Interrogation is an ultimate form of interrogation.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    Nazi Pelosi has been lying to us?
    I just can’t conceive of the Queen telling me something untrue!

    Of course, these days, all I hear when she talks is “Blah, Blah, Blah, We are great, you are small, none shall doubt us…”

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    We could have gotten the truth out of the “skank” by turning the faucet on …… long ago!!!!
    (still not too late)

  4. Mithrandir says:

    Yes, it seems Pelosi’s memory may be jarred back into place.

    However, this should not be a political points game. Our government should not be in the business of torture, even to save lives. Nor should government be in the business of putting people to death, no matter how big of a scumbag they are. The problem is, is that the government is the problem. By giving them the green light to decide life and death, torture, and micromanaging our lives is not a democracy, it is allowing the government to be GOD. As abusive and corrupt government is, we need to take it’s rights away, not grant new ones.

    Besides, the biggest benefactor to thwarting a terrorist attack is government, since it is a main target. And the biggest benefactor after an attack has occurred is…..government! Because it gives them more power to take your rights away.

    • Steve says:

      The point is ‘waterboarding’ isn’t torture.

      Not even Ms. Pelosi, not even the most liberal Democrats who were also briefed, believed it was.

      Because it isn’t.

    • Reality Bytes says:

      Steve – I only have 1 question on waterboarding. “Is it cold?”

      What’s the big deal anyway, we’ve been doing this for years. Here’s a vintage clip from an earlier method. Of course we’ve come a long way since then.


      Did you notice Rahm Emanual’s cameo appearance? He plays the part of Barnaby.

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