Mercury Rising 鳯女

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The CIA is lying

Posted by Charles II on May 16, 2009

Jason Leopold, Truthout:

[C]laims that Democrats were fully briefed on the Bush administration’s torture program have been leveled as recently as last December by Vice President Dick Cheney and in books by former Bush officials such as John Yoo, the former deputy assistant attorney general at the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), who helped draft one of the four memos released last week.

But the veracity of those assertions have been called into question by former CIA official Mary O. McCarthy, who said senior agency officials lied to members of Congress during an intelligence briefing in 2005 when they said the agency did not violate treaties that bar, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees during interrogations, according to a May 14, 2006, front-page story in The Washington Post.

“A CIA employee of two decades, McCarthy became convinced that ‘CIA people had lied’ in that briefing, as one of her friends said later, not only because the agency had conducted abusive interrogations but also because its policies authorized treatment that she considered cruel, inhumane or degrading,” The Washington Post reported.

“In addition to CIA misrepresentations at the session last summer, McCarthy told the friends, a senior agency official failed to provide a full account of the CIA’s detainee-treatment policy at a closed hearing of the House intelligence committee in February 2005, under questioning by Rep. Jane Harman (California), the senior Democrat,” The Washington Post reported.

9 Responses to “The CIA is lying”

  1. Marcy Wheeler’s cited that WaPo article repeatedly, ever since the OLC memos came out. The CIA and their buddies want to make this all about Pelosi, whereas we not only have Bob Graham showing them to be liars, but former CIA employee McCarthy as well.

  2. Charles II said

    PW, nothing fundamentally new about Bushco misdeeds has come out since 2004 or 5. There have been some elaborations of the details. Additional witnesses have come forward. But, yes, Mary McCarthy has been saying what she has been saying for a very long time. Now, it’s being supported by members of Congress.

  3. Doran said

    Charles, please clarify some matters for us.

    Who is in charge of the CIA at this time? It is a Bush appointee or an Obama appointee? If the former, does he enjoy a fixed term from which Obama cannot remove him?

    I will probably have addtional questions, dependant upon your response.

    Thank you.

  4. Charles II said

    The Director of the CIA is former California Democratic Congressman Leon Panetta, Doran. He was appointed by Obama and serves at the President’s pleasure.

  5. Doran said

    Well, WTF? Why is the President permitting his appointee-at-will to beat up on Pelosi, in particular, and the House, in general? Something extremely strange is going on with this mess. Possibilities include (paranoia governor has been disconnected for this temporary discussion):

    Panetta doesn’t run the CIA.
    Obama doesn’t run the CIA.
    CIA runs itself and the Country via professional spooks.
    Obama is a CIA plant.
    This — the he said she said about briefing Congress — is a kabuki dance, in which Pelosi et al are doing a fine job of distracting the rest of us from something else which they don’t want us to pay attention to.
    Pelosi dissed Obama at some point in the past, and this (see above) is payback.

  6. Charles II said

    This is my view, Doran:

    First, the CIA is outright lying.

    Second, Panetta has not quite said that the CIA is telling the truth. He has said that it is not the CIA’s policy or practice to lie. That may or may not be true, but it sure isn’t the policy or practice of the CIA to tell the truth (gotta listen carefully to what these weasels say).

    Third, I suspect Pelosi is not being entirely truthful. She said she was briefed in September, but never again… then had to backtrack a bit when it turned out that she had heard about “enhanced interrogation,” but not in a briefing and not in her capacity as a member of the intelligence committee. Her appearance on C-Span was not particularly coherent. I was dismayed that she is representing the Democratic Party. She also has been dodgy about saying whether she was briefed on techniques other than waterboarding.

    Whatever happened, I think she should have known about torture, because all the indications were there as of spring 2002 that the US was violating the Geneva Conventions.
    Correction added: I should qualify that statement. I reviewed my records, and there was not very much publicly available knowledge about what was happening to detainees, and only rare voices were raised with regard to torture. For people who knew what to watch, though, the indications were there. For example, there had been a massacre of Taliban at Mazar-e-Sharif. The conditions at Guantanamo were known to be substandard. And the Administration had explicitly rejected the Geneva Conventions. These were all alarm bells, and none of our leaders woke up.

    See also Greg Sargent’s roundup.

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