Tags: house | intel | battle

GOP Reveals Attacks Were Prevented, Democrats Furious

Friday, 05 Jun 2009 10:46 AM

By Dave Eberhart

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GOP members on the Intelligence Committee disclosed they were informed that enhanced interrogation methods such as waterboarding resulted in intelligence that preempted terrorist attacks. Democrats are furious that Republicans revealed information obtained in a closed-door session.

Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., a member of the subcommittee who attended the hearing, told the Hill newspaper: “The hearing did address the enhanced interrogation techniques that have been much in the news lately.”

“Based on what I heard and the documents I have seen, I came away with a very clear impression that we did gather information that did disrupt terrorist plots,” Kline added.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., ranking Republican on the Intelligence panel did not attend the hearing, but revealed to The Hill that he later spoke with Republicans on the subcommittee who did. He said, “I think the people who were at the hearing, in my opinion, clearly indicated that the enhanced interrogation techniques worked.”

Democrats lambasted their Republican counterparts for discussing the information that was provided behind locked doors.

“I am absolutely shocked that members of the Intelligence committee who attended a closed-door hearing… then walked out that hearing – early, by the way – and characterized anything that happened in that hearing,” Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations chairwoman Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., told The Hill. “My understanding is that’s a violation of the rules. It may be more than that.”

The whole torture issue came to a head recently when Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., explained that although she had been briefed about the enhanced interrogation techniques by the CIA, she had not specifically been told that they were in active use. She then suggested that she had been misled by the CIA briefers, according to media reports.

“Democrats weren’t sure what they were going to get,” said Hoekstra by way of explaining why in his opinion, the hearing was closed in the first place. “Now that they know what they’ve got, they don’t want to talk about it.”

The hearing was listed strictly as a subcommittee hearing on “Interrogations.” A committee spokeswoman would not comment to The Hill whether controversial interrogation tactics were even discussed behind the closed doors.

Meanwhile, Republicans like Hoekstra continue to push for open hearings on interrogations – an expanded inquiry where Pelosi would testify under oath about what she was told by the CIA.

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