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Democrats, Including Pelosi, Were Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002

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RUSH: "Four top members of Congress, including now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, got a close look at CIA overseas detention sites and interrogation techniques in September 2002 and offered no challenge to their legitimacy, according to a news article out Sunday," in the Washington Post. "On the contrary, at least two lawmakers involved in the briefing that day questioned whether the CIA was pushing hard enough, even after hearing the details of the now widely criticized technique known as waterboarding, two US officials told The Washington Post. 'The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,' one official is quoted saying. ... Waterboarding has since become the pariah of interrogation techniques. Porter Goss, a former CIA director and congressman who chaired the House intelligence panel at the time of the briefings, told The Post, 'Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing, and the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.'"

Remember, this is the year after the 9/11 attacks. The CIA brings four powerful members of Congress, including Pelosi, and gave them virtual tours of detention sites and the kind of techniques that would be used to interrogate prisoners, detainees. When they saw what they saw, "Are you sure that's tough enough?" And they saw waterboarding. "An official who discussed the details noted that the briefings took place while the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks were still fresh in lawmakers' minds. 'People were still in a panic. … But there was no objecting, no hand-wringing.'" I'm not sure; I think that Jay Rockefeller was part of this group that was there, Jay Rockefeller and Pelosi. They try to talk about the hypocrisy of conservatives and so forth. This is an illustration, once again, of how the Democrats look at everything through the prism of politics and opportunity and not the substance of any particular issue.

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RUSH: A question or two on the fact that four high-ranking members of Congress, including Pelosi and Jay Rockefeller, knew of waterboarding in 2002, saw all the techniques being used, and said, "Are you sure those are tough enough? Will these do the job?" If certain members of Congress were informed of waterboarding, and if waterboarding, ladies and gentlemen, is torture, and thus illegal, then I assume that these members of Congress will be charged, or at least subject to subpoenas in testimony, in subsequent litigation. All these left-wing groups bringing lawsuits insist on questioning Pelosi? You know there are all kinds of -- well, what did Pelosi know, when did she know it? Will they be criminally investigated by a special counsel? They knew it was going on. They didn't say anything about it. They, by virtue of their silence, sanctioned it. Folks, we have to get to the bottom of this. These Democrats were involved in knowing full well that torture, as they define it, was going on with waterboarding, and now they're going to be given a pass. In fact, this is typical. They sit around, they help create the mess, and then when the mess surfaces, they act like they were just spectators and demand to get to the bottom of it.

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RUSH: I need to make a correction. I think I said Jay Rockefeller was on the waterboarding group. He may have been, but I don't know that. It was not the waterboarding group he was part of. "Writing at Balkinization, the group legal blog, Georgetown law professor Marty Lederman criticizes two Democrats in Congress who knew about the CIA's destruction of interrogation videotapes. 'Jay Rockefeller claims that the Intel Committees were not "consulted" on the use of the tapes 'nor the decision to destroy the tapes.' But he does not deny that he was informed of the agency's intent to dispose of the tapes, and he acknowledges that he learned of the destruction one year ago, in November 2006,' Lederman writes.

"Lederman also writes that 'Jane Harman also knew of the intention to destroy the tapes, and she at least "urged" the CIA in writing not to do it.' But he notes, 'But when she found out the CIA. had destroyed the tapes, where was Harman's press conference? Where were the congressional hearings?'" Where was Rockefeller? So now they're all going nuts here over the destruction of CIA tapes, and we got guys like Biden who wants a special counsel now in this tape case. He said Sunday the attorney general should appoint a special counsel to investigate -- well, if you're going to have a special counsel, you better investigate Jane Harman and you better investigate Jay Rockefeller, because they knew that it was going to happen, and they didn't say a peep. So what did they know, when did they know it, and why did they shut up? Just like if you're going to go after these people on waterboarding, you better go after Nancy Pelosi, because she knew about it back in 2002. She may have been the one to say, "Are you sure this technique and these other techniques are stringent enough?" So this special counsel to investigate the CIA, they keep secrets! They get all concerned about the outing of Valerie Plame. "Why, this is horrible, we need a special counsel, Mr. Limbaugh, to find out who destroyed her career and put her life in danger, Mr. Limbaugh. Yes, we do." And, of course, she wasn't even covert. She was a desk jockey. And now, of course, we've got to get to the bottom of the CIA tapes that have been degaussed, destroyed, in order to find out who the agents were that were doing these interrogations so that we can destroy 'em! Say the libs.

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RUSH: By the way, one thing more about the CIA and the tapes being destroyed, it isn't just that Jay Rockefeller and Jane Harman knew that they were going to be destroyed. They didn't know when they were, but they knew they were going to be destroyed. They didn't say anything about it. "At a conference in El Paso in mid-August, Representative Silvestre Reyes of Texas, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, heaped praise on a man whose exploits, he joked, had been the inspiration for the television show '24.' From fast cars to fine wines, Mr. Reyes said, the appetites of the man, Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., are the stuff of legend. Then turning serious, Mr. Reyes hailed Mr. Rodriguez's three decades of undercover work for the Central Intelligence Agency, where he recently stepped down as head of its clandestine service, and called Mr. Rodriguez an 'American hero.'

"Four months later, Mr. Rodriguez's role in the destruction of hundreds of hours of videotape of harsh interrogations of two operatives of Al-Qaeda is at the center of an inquiry by Mr. Reyes's committee on Capitol Hill. With a separate Justice Department inquiry that could lead to a full criminal investigation into the matter, the man who spent a career in the shadows has been thrust uneasily into the spotlight." Well, the guy who destroyed the tapes was called an "American hero," à la Jack Bauer, by a Dem congressman, Representative Silvestre Reyes. What did he know and when did he know it?

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RUSH: Let's go back to this destruction of the CIA interrogation tapes, shall we? Friday afternoon on the floor of the Senate, a portion of remarks delivered by Senator Kennedy.

KENNEDY: Those tapes were not shown to Congress. They were not shown to any court. They were not shown to the bipartisan 9/11 Commission. Instead, they were destroyed. What would cause the CIA to take this action? The answer is obvious: cover-up. The pattern is unmistakable. The past six years, the Bush administration has run roughshod over our ideals and the rule of law. Before those six years, the Republican Congress did little to hold the administration accountable. Now, when the new Democratic Congress is demanding answers, the administration is feverishly covering up its tracks. We haven't seen anything like this since the 18-1/2-minute gap in the tapes of President Richard Nixon.

RUSH: And, once again, a prominent Democrat Senator sides with the enemies of the United States of America. Now, at the time that Senator Kennedy made these remarks on the floor of the Senate, I don't know if he was aware that Senator Jay Rockefeller knew of the tapes and knew they were going to be destroyed. He's on the Intel committee in the Senate. He knew they were going to be destroyed. He didn't say a word about it. Now, he wasn't informed when they were destroyed, but he knew they were going to be destroyed, and he didn't say anything about it. So should he also be investigated as giving aid and comfort to the war criminal George W. Bush? Face the Nation on Sunday, the host Bob Schieffer says to Senator Jay Rockefeller, "The CIA was asked by a federal judge if it had certain tapes of agents interrogating terrorist suspects, the agency said no. Now the agency's confirmed that not only were there tapes, but they destroyed the tapes. Why were the tapes destroyed, Senator, in your opinion?"

ROCKEFELLER: Very good question. And I think it -- you know, the -- you can speculate. These particular tapes, I don't know why they were destroyed. And I also don't know why -- why we didn't find out about that until 2006.

SCHIEFFER: You found about it when you read it in the newspaper?

ROCKEFELLER: Yeah, yeah.

RUSH: Now, we have a legal blog today which says that Rockefeller knew and was told by the CIA the tapes were going to be destroyed. And that Jane Harman was told the same thing. Jane Harman at least wrote a letter objecting to the destruction of tapes, but Jay Rocky Rockefeller did not. Senator Kennedy should speak to him about this. So then Schieffer said, "Well, here's a story that's on the front page of the Washington Post today. Says the Hill was briefed on waterboarding back in 2002. Do you know if Hill leaders are briefed on this? You're now the chairman of the Intel economy. You were not the chairman when these briefings were supposed to have taken place. Can you tell us anything about that?"

ROCKEFELLER: One of the unfortunate problems, but necessary problems of being one of the Gang of Four or the Gang of Eight --

SCHIEFFER: You said the chairman of the House and Senate committees --

ROCKEFELLER: Vice chairman, yeah -- is that you cannot talk about what you may or may not have been briefed on, and, in fact, you can't even talk about it to your chief of staff on the intelligence committee or anybody else. I couldn't even talk about it with Chuck.

SCHIEFFER: So you can't say anything about this even whether -- whether you were briefed or not?

ROCKEFELLER: Correct.

RUSH: What a dance. What a dance, because we know that Rockefeller wrote a memo back in 2002-2003 suggesting ways to sabotage the Bush war policy based on information that he knew and how it was going to be playing out. He knew about waterboarding. Well, he knew about the tapes. I don't know about the waterboarding, but Pelosi did, and they all asked if it was strict enough.

Bob in Miami, I'm glad you waited, sir. You're next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush.

RUSH: Hi.

CALLER: Thank God you're on the air. That's capital G, capital O, capital D. You're the watchman on the wall, sounding the alarm. Without you, God knows where this country would be.

RUSH: I appreciate that.

CALLER: Hold on a second, Rush, please. I accidentally hit the volume switch. Hello?

RUSH: I'm here.

CALLER: Okay. Rush, I've been around a long time, since before World War II, and I have seen our political system deteriorate to where it is today. I have had it with these people. I have really, really had it. The taxocrats, formerly known as the Democratic Party, which died years ago, as far as I'm concerned --

RUSH: You're right.

CALLER: -- is now a conglomeration of liberals, socialists, communists, malcontents, anarchists, and traitors. And I don't use the word traitor lightly.

RUSH: I can hear that.

CALLER: Okay? The definition of treason is giving aid and comfort to the enemy during time of war, punishable by death. I think it is about time we stopped playing nice-nice with these people and let them hide under freedom of speech under the First Amendment, to commit treason. I've had it. I think it's time we start arresting some of these people, try them for treason, and if they're found guilty, execute them. This will stop the "fashionable to trash your country" and to trash everything else that this country stands for. I have really had it. I am angry as I -- well, I'm just angry. I can't describe it.

RUSH: I can hear it. We're not going to execute anybody.

CALLER: Why not?

RUSH: Well, a lot of reasons, political correctness, we're just --

CALLER: Political correctness is killing this country, Rush.

RUSH: I don't even think we're going to charge anybody with treason, and I'm not trying to be depressing here. I think political correctness has changed so much today. The answer, Bob, and I have total empathy for your feelings on this, but the answer is just cream 'em, is to just beat them. I wish I had more time, I really do, but I'm really up against it.

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