(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, R-CALIF.: The CIA briefed me only once on enhanced interrogation techniques in September 2002 in my capacity as the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee. The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed.
Five months later, in February 2003, a member of my staff informed me that the Republican chairman and the Democratic ranking member of the Intelligence Committee had been briefed about the use of certain techniques which had been the subject of earlier legal opinions. I was not briefed on what was in that briefing. I was just informed that the briefing had taken place.
He said that the committee chair, ranking member and appropriate staff had been briefed that these techniques were now being used. That’s all I was informed, that they were being used and that a letter was sent.
Let me say this. Of all the briefings that I have received, at this same time, there were misinforming me earlier. Now, in September, the same time as the briefing, they were telling the American people there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and it was an imminent threat to the United States. I — to the limit of what I could say to my caucus — told them the intelligence does not support the imminent threat that this administration is contending.
So it’s on the subject of what’s happening in Iraq, whether it’s talking about the techniques used by the — by the intelligence community on those they are interrogating, at every step of the way, the administration was misleading the Congress. And that is the issue. And that is why we need a truth commission, to look into that.
QUESTION: Madam Speaker, just to be clear, you are accusing the CIA of lying to you in September of 2002.
PELOSI: Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States.
QUESTION: And also…
PELOSI: Misleading the Congress of the United States.
QUESTION: And doing it again now, as they’ve released this list of briefings that says you were briefed on the interrogation tactics used.
PELOSI: I’m saying — I’m quoting what the head of the CIA said. This is — we don’t know if this information is accurate that he’s talking about. What they briefed us on — and perhaps they should release the briefings. I would be very happy if they would release the briefing, and then you will see what they briefed in one time — in one time and another, House and Senate and the rest.
And perhaps with the intense interest that this has generated because of the distraction that the Republicans want to cause with this, then you can make a judgment yourself about what you think these briefings were. But I’m telling you that they talked about interrogations that they had done and said, We want to use enhanced techniques, and we have legal opinions that say they are OK. We’re not using waterboarding. That’s the only mention, that they were not using it. And we now know that earlier, they were.
So yes, I am saying that they are misleading — that the CIA was misleading the Congress.
And now they’re trying to say, Don’t put the spotlight on us. We told the Congress. Well, they didn’t tell us everything that they were doing. And the fact is that anything we would say doesn’t matter anyway.
QUESTION: You said very clearly, We were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.
PELOSI: That’s right. I meant we. We in that — in that — in that meeting.
QUESTION: OK. OK.
PELOSI: In the briefing that I received, we were not told that — in fact, we were told that waterboarding was not being used.
No, I wasn’t — I was informed that a briefing had taken place. Now, you have to look at what they briefed those members. I was not briefed that. I was only informed that they were briefed, but I did not get the briefing.
By Paul Kane
Intelligence officials released documents this evening saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was briefed in September 2002 about the use of harsh interrogation tactics against al-Qaeda prisoners, seemingly contradicting her repeated statements over the past 18 months that she was never told that these techniques were actually being used.
In a 10-page memo outlining an almost seven-year history of classified briefings, intelligence officials said that Pelosi and then-Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) were the first two members of Congress ever briefed on the interrogation tactics. Then the ranking member and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, respectively, Pelosi and Goss were briefed Sept. 4, 2002, one week before the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The memo, issued by the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency to Capitol Hill, notes the Pelosi-Goss briefing covered “EITs including the use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah.” EIT is an acronym for enhanced interrogation technique. Zubaydah was one of the earliest valuable al-Qaeda members captured and the first to have the controversial tactic known as water boarding used against him.