Congress In the Know

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"Congress In the Know"

You’ve probably already read the news that key members of congress — including Jane Harman, Nancy Pelosi, Bob Graham, and Jay Rockefeller — were briefed about the CIA’s “harsh” interrogation methods back in 2002. Harman, who I’ve oft had occasion to criticize, seems to have acquitted herself the best; lodging a letter of protest, albeit a letter whose text it seems that none of us can see in even redacted form. Pelosi, Graham, and Rockefeller don’t seem to have said or done anything.

Andrew’s right to note that there’s something of a pattern here. John Kerry certainly didn’t feel like this was something he wanted to talk about during the 2004 campaign. One question is how much of this is cowardice and how much conviction; would Democrats actually act to roll this stuff back even if they won’t take a stand against it? The evidence from the legislative history suggests mostly cowardice, as Pelosi has certainly helped move anti-torture bills through congress, though how she thought she could keep today’s revelations under wraps indefinitely is a bit beyond me.

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