Harman Didn't "Shill For Bush" On Torture

Laura Rozen:

Goss has given only one on-the-record interview on these CIA controversies since leaving the CIA director job. In the December 2007 interview, he said that Congressional leaders including Representatives Pelosi and Harman, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), had been briefed on CIA waterboarding back in 2002. "Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing," Goss told the Washington Post. "And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement." Who was the lone person the article identified as objecting to the program? Jane Harman.

[MORE . . .]

"Harman, who replaced Pelosi as the committee's top Democrat in January 2003, disclosed Friday that she filed a classified letter to the CIA in February of that year as an official protest about the interrogation program," the Post reported. "Harman said she had been prevented from publicly discussing the letter or the CIA's program because of strict rules of secrecy. ‘When you serve on intelligence committee you sign a second oath -- one of secrecy,' she said. ‘I was briefed, but the information was closely held to just the Gang of Four. I was not free to disclose anything.'" . .

Harman should support a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    "Harman should support . . . (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 08:38:54 AM EST
    . . . a Truth and Reconciliation Commission."

    I have a nagging suspicion that there are very few people in DC who want either.

    Well (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 11:49:24 AM EST
    They always do such much good.  How'd that 9/11 commission work out?  Did we ever implement the important recommendations?  What did we hear most about it - that is was "bipartisan" and a "coming together to find the truth."



    CIA memos on Interrogation Methods (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by RajanV on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 08:45:55 AM EST
    Even when a person is sentenced to capital punishment for committing the most heinous crime, a civilized society demands that the method of execution must be as painless  and swift as possible to the condemned person.  Even the lethal injection which is widely used in this country has been challenged countless times in the Supreme Court for the cruelty it is supposed to inflict during  the last few moments of the executed person's life.

    One wonders what sort of mental makeup the interrogator should have to quietly and in a matter-of-fact manner (possibly with  a Cuban cigar dangling from  his mouth) sit in his chair and supervise the prisoner being water-boarded 183 times and undergoing death throes 183 times.  What is the difference between the acts of these interrogators and  those of the notorious Nazi concentration camp guards who are being hounded  from their deathbeds to be  brought to justice  even after six decades, day in day out?

    Do the ends always justify the means?

    BTW, what was the motive behind Obama's move to make these memos public, if he has no intention to punish, not the CIA underlings who acted under orders, but those higher up in the chain of command who justified these methods of interrogation and issued the orders to carry them out?  Was it just to paint and portray  his predecessor in the worst light possible?

    Minor quibble... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Romberry on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:13:52 PM EST
    (I know this is off topic for this particular post on Harman, so I beg indulgence in advance.)

    I don't think civilized societies of the modern era engage in the vengeance/retribution of state sanctioned murder, AKA capital punishment. The United States is the last western industrialized nation on earth the retains execution (of potentially innocent people) as an option, and among the supporters of that option, the cries are to do it faster, more often and with less due process. The blood lust is strong.

    I used to support capital punishment but the more I learned about it, the less I thought it was a good idea until finally, in my mid-20's, I abandoned any defense of the idea at all. I also gotta say that statements like "Factual innocence is not a bar to execution" from a sitting USSC justice (who contends that as long as you've had due process, late evidence of innocence should not be able to save you) didn't do much to make me believe that the capital punishment system (which sentences the poor and minorities to death at rates many times higher than the well represented well-heeled) was anything close to fair or an avenue for justice.

    The rest of your post I do not quibble with at all.  


    what was the motive? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 08:57:52 AM EST
    it gave him the opportunity to look all non partisan while tossing a bone to the left by releasing the memos.  

    also according to Rich Lowery (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:16:08 AM EST

    The Case for the `Torture Memos'
    Rightly considered, the memos should be a source of pride.


    Absolutely pride (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:28:25 AM EST
    Cheney wants to defend himself. LEt's give him the chance.

    Pride goeth before a fall (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:33:39 AM EST
    Cheney has been telling anyone who would listen that he is guilty as hell.
    he should be careful what he wishes for IMO.

    Obama himself said at CIA speech that judge was (none / 0) (#12)
    by jawbone on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 12:20:56 PM EST
    going to force the memos release. He could have played for some more time, but perhaps felt it was pointless.

    But, what if he'd taken it to the Roberts' Court? How would that have played--in the Court and to the public?


    the court, who knows (none / 0) (#14)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:20:28 PM EST
    the public, not well.

    Maybe not..... (none / 0) (#7)
    by trillian on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:39:20 AM EST
    But it looks like she definitely interfered for Bush on wiretapping.....

    Greg Sargent....

    Dem Rep Harman Did Urge Times Not To Publish Wiretapping Expose!

    So did Obama (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:49:44 AM EST
    when he voted for the FIA bill in 2008.

    its also pretty clear Gonzo (none / 0) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:48:30 AM EST
    thought she was going to be on their side.

    US v Gravel. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 11:06:46 AM EST

    Was thinking of you (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 11:35:46 AM EST
    when I wrote this post.

    It seems fitting that this (none / 0) (#15)
    by Slado on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:55:49 PM EST
    post by BTD only draws a few comments.

    All this tourture blathering is pure hystrionics and worthless.

    We roughed up several key Al Queda operatives post 9/11.  

    Now that republicans are out of power this is all that's left to get the partisan blood boiling.  We're still in Iraq, we're upping the troops in Afghanistan so torture is all that remains to get the anti-war left all in a lather.

    The truth is however that Bush with the blessing of congress did exactly what the American people asked him to do post 9/11 to prevent another attack.

    Guess what?  It worked.  Now that we have the convienience of 20/20 hindsight and nothing else to complain about (because we dare not admit that obama is Bush Light) some on the left would like to re-write history and ignore the fact that many D's in congress knew exactly what was going on and ignore the fact that if we'd know in 2002 exactly what was going on no one would have cared.

    All these "truth" commisions will do is show the moderates in this country just how unserious the left takes the war on terror and expose how all of government knew what was going on and the left will then have to shut down this witch hunt unless they have the country learn that this is simple political grandstanding.  

    Soon Americans will want to know why a democratic controlled government is wasting gov't time and resources investigating something many of their own knew about while the economy continues to go in the tank.

    Obama is no dummy.  He knows this is a waste of time but he's leaving the door open just a crack to keep what's left of the anti-war movement off of his keester.

    Declassify the letter (none / 0) (#17)
    by beefeater on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 01:11:25 PM EST
    let the chips fall where they may. Harmon also said "this phone call dosen't exist." Just more  CYA.