The public interest group, Judicial Watch, announced on Tuesday that a court order, issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, states the Central Intelligence Agency must give Judicial Watch documents regarding congressional briefings on "enhanced interrogation techniques" by April 15 of this year. Judicial Watch is seeking documents detailing CIA briefings involving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D -- CA) and/or her staff.
The government watchdog group has detailed its original FOIA request with the CIA:
Records detailing dates when the CIA briefed congressional leaders (to include, but not limited to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and/or her aide, Michael Sheehy) on matters relating to "enhanced interrogation techniques" and/or "harsh interrogation techniques" and suspected and/or known terrorists...
Briefing materials presented to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and/or her aide, Michael Sheehy, relating to "enhanced interrogation techniques" and/or "harsh interrogation techniques" and suspected and/or known terrorists.
Records detailing the names of all Members of Congress (and/or Congressional Aides) briefed on "enhanced interrogation techniques" and/or "harsh interrogation techniques" and suspected and/or known terrorists.
Records and briefing materials from a reported September 4, 2002, briefing of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (and/or her aide Michael Sheehy) concerning waterboarding detainees.
Records detailing all instances when the CIA has provided briefings to Members of Congress under the provisions of the National Security Act from September 11, 2001, to present.
Speaker Pelosi is being scrutinized over comments she made in April of 2009, when she admitted she was briefed on the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques," including waterboarding; However, she also said she was not aware they had already been used. The CIA later contradicted Rep. Pelosi's remarks. The spy agency referred to a briefing they had with Ms. Pelosi on September 4, 2002, as well as another briefing to her top staffer. Ms. Pelosi accused the CIA in May 2009 of misleading Congress.(see video)
Rep. Peter King (R -- NY), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, who has moved to cut off taxpayer dollars to try Guantanamo detainees on U.S. soil, told the Washington Times on Tuesday about his thoughts regarding the Speaker's current circumstance and the coming exposure of the CIA documents. "Everyone I have spoken to who were on the [House Intelligence] Committee says that she was certainly aware of what was going on. I think she should be concerned," he said.
Marc Thiessen, former White House & Pentagon chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush, told a group of conservative bloggers at the Heritage Foundation's weekly blogger briefing: "not a single person was waterboarded at Guantanamo."
Attorney General Eric Holder has maintained that waterboarding is "torture." When President Obama first came to the White House last year, Mr. holder announced plans to investigate CIA personnel involved in waterboarding interrogations of captured terrorists.
Congressman King explained the Attorney General's office and the Attorney General himself are "following a liberal ideological agenda.":
"The irony is that I've been to Guantanmo, and I've been to federal prisons. I would say there are far more human rights in Guantanamo Bay than what they'll certainly have in any Super Max prison in the United States. My objection to having them [Guantanamo detainees] in the United States is they have different Constitutional rights, and it makes us more of a terrorist target," he said.
Mr. King remains hopeful the White House will decide to move the terror trials out of New York this week, and he is pushing for the use of a more remote location or military tribunals instead. "As far as human rights issues are concerned, these Democrats kid themselves. If they [Guantanamo detainees] do move into a super max prison in the United States, the propaganda against the country will be as strong as it was in Guantanamo," said Rep. King.