A light bulb just went off for me and I feel like the world’s biggest dumbass. It was in front of us the whole time basically all from Greg’s reporting but none of us really noticed it.
What exactly did the CIA intelligence report say about Nancy Pelosi’s briefing? Lets take a fresh look.
Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed.
Now at first glance it would seem this statement is definitely saying that Speaker Pelosi and Porter Goss were told that EITs were used on Abu Zubaydah. But remember that this is the CIA so lets look at what its really says and what it doesn’t. Probably what most gives this impression is this part.
including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah
Now again at first glance it looks straight forward. But it really isn’t. It doesn’t say “including the fact that we used EITs on Abu Zubaydah”. It just employs the ambiguous term “use” in this context. Does that mean prior use or future use or current use? It doesn’t really say. There is also a redundancy in the statement that doesn’t add up. Why would you need to come back and say
and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed
How could you possibly brief someone on the fact that you used EITs if you didn’t describe the EITs at the same time? “Yeah we whupped this guy’s ass but I can’t tell you how until I explain why it was legal to whup his ass” Nah don’t think so. But you CAN tell them that you are thinking about using EIT’s in general, and then explain what legal opinions you have sought out on the subject, and then come back and describe the EITs in detail. That would make a lot more sense right? So basically if you were in a court of law and you were trying to prove that the CIA report refuted Nancy Pelosi’s assertion you couldn’t do it. Because in essence its exactly what she said. She said they told her they were thinking about using EITs and that they thought certain techniques were legal and they described them to her. And the report never states unequivically that they told her that they HAD used the EITs or that they told her that they HAD used waterboarding. It simply doesn’t say that. And in that vein Panetta’s statement doesn’t go any further than that either. But here is the thing about Panetta’s statement today that actually turned on the light switch for me. He doesn’t go through that whole passage from the report. Instead he just quotes what I think is the most relevant passage.
As the Agency indicated previously in response to Congressional inquiries, our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing “the enhanced techniques that had been employed.”
Now the operative word here is “describing”. But its easy to get side tracked by the “that had been employed” part of the sentence. But look at what Panetta is really saying here. He is saying they described something to Speaker Pelosi. He isn’t saying now, nor did the original report say, that they told her that the techniques HAD BEEN used. They just described what had been used.
If you still aren’t getting it let me give you an analogy. I say to you that I plan on going to the store and buying some bbq chips and cheese dip and lite beer. Unbeknownst to you I already went to the store and bought the chips, dip and beer. But later I can say truthfully that I described to you the items that I had already bought at the store. Doesn’t matter that I didn’t tell you that I had already bought them. Timing isn’t the issue, the description is. And you have to know that the CIA is going to cover their asses to a tee when it comes to parsing what they say and making sure that they don’t overreach in their assertations. Remember they already admitted to Greg Sargent that they didn’t have enough info to say that Pelosi was actually briefed on waterboarding in particular. However today they came back and said that the report was truthful which if we were actually reading the report right because we know Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded before the briefing happened and we also know the CIA can’t attest to Pelosi having been briefed on waterboarding. But the reality is it WAS truthful, it was just us rubes reading more into it than what was actually there with a major assist from the mainstream media.
I realize that at this point this is probably long and rambling however the truth is this story may have been pushed for over a week now on a false premise and I feel like I totally missed it. Or maybe I am just all wrong. What do you guys think?