The Shameful Sixty-Eight: CIA Papers Reveal 68 Members Knew of Torture Program

Ever wondered how many members it would take to be told about torture before anyone went public or cried foul? Well, we now know it is somewhere above 68. The CIA has revealed that at least 68 U.S. lawmakers between 2001 and 2007 were briefed on torture. That obviously included many Democrats who later worked to avoid investigating torture and have been relatively silent as the Obama Administration has blocked any prosecution for torture or war crimes.

Judicial Watch has the credit of forcing the documents into the open.

For years, many of us have speculated that the bipartisan effort to avoid any investigation into torture was due to the fear of members that their own complicity and knowledge would be revealed to the public. This latest disclosure supports that theory.

For the full story, click here and here.

25 thoughts on “The Shameful Sixty-Eight: CIA Papers Reveal 68 Members Knew of Torture Program”

  1. Why are we having hearings on Toyota but not on criminal politians who lead us to torture people?

  2. “For years, many of us have speculated that the bipartisan effort to avoid any investigation into torture was due to the fear of members that their own complicity and knowledge would be revealed to the public. This latest disclosure supports that theory.”


    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  3. This reporting by Reuters was debunked by Emptywheel The overwhelming number of briefings did not discuss torture issues. Sorry to disappoint Bdaman and his friend Hooch, but you may want to actually read about the “errors” in the CIA’s records on their briefings as discussed here: Torture is a crime no matter who did it and who knew about it, but the CIA has been lying about the briefings from day one.

  4. Benji–

    There’s also this sentence at the beginning of the third from last paragraph:

    “Despite the apparent effectiveness of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ the federal government suspended their use in 2005 by passing the Detainee Treatment Act.”

    Judicial Watch does claim to be a conservative organization.

  5. The Judicial Watch press release is good reading, until you get to the last paragraph and the call for more war crimes. Is publicly calling for the commission of war crimes itself a war crime? If so, sufficiently expanding the court system to handle the ensuing caseload could be an excellent means of tackling the unemployment crisis. It’d be like the New Deal meets CSI: Nuremburg!

  6. Because the U.S. Government won’t investigate and prosecute their torture U.S. troops will be tortured. Obama and Holder are blocking investigations and prosecutions or war crimes / torture because they will lead to the doorsteps of Obama and Bush.

  7. A memo has been released by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair listing 40 separate briefings beginning in September 2002 in which leading members of Congress were briefed by the CIA on the agency’s use of torture. Before the knowledge of this prisoner torture appeared in the media none of these legislators objected to or publicly protested against what amounted to War Crimes. At the following link is this CIA memo of “Member Briefings of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs)”

  8. So is Judicial Watch a case of a blind squirrel finding a nut? They think torture works.

  9. “The chief ideal of the American people is idealism. I cannot repeat too often that America is a nation of idealists. That is the only motive to which they ever give any strong and lasting reaction.” (Calvin Coolidge)

    Slowly, as the torture story seeps into the groundwater of the American Body Politic, a realization begins to bubble up to the surface. Not only has this generation of politic leaders ruined our economy, they have also destroyed our ideals.

    Our citizens are dying by the thousands every year for want of basic healthcare. Our schools have become shooting galleries where learning is no longer possible. Our economy is in tatters and our financial institutions, and the buffoons who run them, survive thanks to the largesses of our tax dollars. Our political leaders proudly cheat on their spouses, openly take bribes in the form of campaign contributions, party like rock stars, and accomplish nothing when working. We send our young men and women to die in senseless wars and gleefully torture any enemy unlucky enough to fall into our hands.

    Our ideals lie battered and broken at our feet.

  10. Isn’t this a conflict of interest.

    NY Post: The Justice Department’s disclosure that nine of President Obama’s appointees had either represented or advocated for Guantanamo detainees has touched off a firestorm of criticism. The surprising admission came three months after Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa asked Attorney General Eric Holder for a list of names of Obama DOJ appointees who had been involved in legal work for Gitmo prisoners. Holder, in a letter to Grassley, admitted that nine of the agency’s appointees had done some kind of work on behalf of terror suspects.

  11. By JOHN YOO
    FEBRUARY 24, 2010

    Barack Obama may not realize it, but I may have just helped save his presidency. How? By winning a drawn-out fight to protect his powers as commander in chief to wage war and keep Americans safe.

    He sure didn’t make it easy. When Mr. Obama took office a year ago, receiving help from one of the lawyers involved in the development of George W. Bush’s counterterrorism policies was the furthest thing from his mind. Having won a great electoral victory, the new president promised a quick about-face. He rejected “as false the choice between our safety and our ideals” and moved to restore the law-enforcement system as the first line of defense against a hardened enemy devoted to killing Americans.

  12. Sure would like to see who, what, where, and when.

    They all must have believed Bush win he said,

    ” your either with us or your with the terrorist”

    Here’s what can be determined as fact from CIA documents in reference to Fancy Nancy

    Speaker Pelosi was briefed about “ongoing” interrogations of Abu Zubaydah on April 24, 2002.

    Last year, in 2009, Pelosi said she was only briefed once on the advanced interrogation methods, in September 2002.

    During the September 2002 briefing, Pelosi and others were given “a description of the particular enhanced interrogation techniques that had been employed” on Zubaydah.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is specifically referenced in a briefing that took place on April 24, 2002, regarding the “ongoing interrogations of Abu Zubaydah.”

  13. From Judicial Watch (2/23/2010)
    Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Regarding Congressional CIA “Torture Briefings”

    CIA Briefed At least 68 Members of Congress on “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” Between 2001 and 2007
    Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has received the first batch of documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) regarding congressional “Torture Briefings.” The CIA produced the documents pursuant to a previous court order in Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency, Case: 1:09-cv-01352). The court order stipulates that documents pertaining to congressional briefings on “enhanced interrogation techniques” must be provided to Judicial Watch by April 15. Additional documents are forthcoming.

    To read the first batch of documents, click on the following link:

  14. I guess that if they had one more, then they would have to admit the affair. But since they can keep the one out from being a perfect number then we are left holding the bag, all by ourselves.

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