White House: Nancy Pelosi responsible for waterboarding policy, not CIA pick Gina Haspel

White House: Nancy Pelosi responsible for waterboarding policy, not CIA pick Gina Haspel

[Ed. – Interesting]

The White House has aggressively stepped up its campaign for secret agent Gina Haspel to run the CIA, directly challenging Democratic leaders over “enhanced interrogation” of terrorists in claiming they were responsible for the policy, not those who implemented it.

In a new statement defending Haspel against expected charges she had a role in waterboarding al Qaeda’s killers, the White House said instead that it was policymakers like then-House Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who were briefed and gave nod of approval.

From the White House statement:

  • Policymakers who set up, approved, and were briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques are the ones who were responsible for the program, not the CIA’s dedicated and professional officers like Haspel who served honorably.
  • Congressional leadership, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), were briefed as early as 2002 on the CIA’s interrogation program according to unclassified documents by the agency.
  • In 2009, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta confirmed this, stating that CIA officers had briefed certain Members of Congress in 2002.
  • The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which signed off on the CIA’s interrogation program in 2002, determined the program’s legality, not career officers at the agency.

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