Earlier this week, after the New York Times revealed that the Bush administration gave the CIA secret approval in 2005 to use harsh interrogation techniques, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino asserted that members of Congress had been “fully briefed” on the secret opinions.
On Fox News Sunday today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who as minority leader in 2005 would have been informed of the most highly classified information, said that she had not been briefed “about the secret memos” in 2005:
CHRIS WALLACE: You were never briefed about these secret memos in 2005?
NANCY PELOSI: No, not about the secret memos.
Pelosi is not the first member of Congress to say that they were never briefed about the secret memos. On Friday, Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the administration “can’t say that Congress has been fully briefed” because they have withheld “key documents“:
They can’t say that Congress has been fully briefed while refusing to turn over key documents used to justify the legality of the program.
The reality is, the Administration refused to disclose the program to the full Committee for five years, and they have refused to turn over key legal documents since day one.
As ThinkProgress has noted, the White House has little credibility when it says it has “fully briefed” Congress on its counterterrorism activities. Though officials have repeatedly claimed that they briefed key lawmakers on the NSA domestic wiretapping program and other spying programs, those claims have never held up in the past.