CIA Stands By Its Account of Congressional Briefings

Created: May 14, 2009 16:00 | Last updated: July 31, 2020 00:00

I asked CIA spokesman George Little to respond to Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) charge that the CIA misled Congress about torture. Here’s his response:

“The language in the chart — ‘a description of the particular EITs that had been employed’ — is true to the language in the Agency’s records.”

The chart in question is the CIA’s account of its congressional briefings. EITs means “enhanced interrogation techniques.” CIA Director Leon Panetta’s letter to Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) accompanying the chart includes the line, “This information, however, is draw from the past files of the CIA and represents [Memoranda For the Record] completed at the time and notes that summarized the best recollections of those individuals. In the end, you and the Committee will have to determine whether this information is an accurate summary of what actually happened. We can make the MFRs available at CIA for staff review.”

Update: Note — as Greg Sargent did a couple days ago in an earlier iteration of this unfolding story — that the response doesn’t specify that Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding, which is what Hoekstra specifically accused her of knowing about. You can infer that waterboarding was one of the “particular EITs that had been employed,” because it had been employed on Abu Zubaydah, but Little doesn’t say that outright.