Porter Goss: “Disturbing epidemic of amnesia” plaguing Democrats on memos/waterboarding

Posted by: ST on April 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm

This one’s gonna leave a mark:

A disturbing epidemic of amnesia seems to be plaguing my former colleagues on Capitol Hill. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of the committees charged with overseeing our nation’s intelligence services had no higher priority than stopping al-Qaeda. In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA’s “High Value Terrorist Program,” including the development of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and what those techniques were. This was not a one-time briefing but an ongoing subject with lots of back and forth between those members and the briefers.

Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as “waterboarding” were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:

— The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

— We understood what the CIA was doing.

— We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.

— We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.

— On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding. And for those who now reveal filed “memorandums for the record” suggesting concern, real concern should have been expressed immediately — to the committee chairs, the briefers, the House speaker or minority leader, the CIA director or the president’s national security adviser — and not quietly filed away in case the day came when the political winds shifted. And shifted they have.


Unfortunately, much of the damage to our capabilities has already been done. It is certainly not trust that is fostered when intelligence officers are told one day “I have your back” only to learn a day later that a knife is being held to it. After the events of this week, morale at the CIA has been shaken to its foundation.

We must not forget: Our intelligence allies overseas view our inability to maintain secrecy as a reason to question our worthiness as a partner. These allies have been vital in almost every capture of a terrorist.

The suggestion that we are safer now because information about interrogation techniques is in the public domain conjures up images of unicorns and fairy dust. We have given our enemy invaluable information about the rules by which we operate. The terrorists captured by the CIA perfected the act of beheading innocents using dull knives. Khalid Sheik Mohammed boasted of the tactic of placing explosives high enough in a building to ensure that innocents trapped above would die if they tried to escape through windows. There is simply no comparison between our professionalism and their brutality.

Make sure to read the whole thing.

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7 Responses to “Porter Goss: “Disturbing epidemic of amnesia” plaguing Democrats on memos/waterboarding”


  1. Dave H. says:

    This one is not going to “leave a mark” —- sorry about that. The Mainstream Media is going to totally ignore the comments of Porter Goss, or revert to the Bush derangement syndrome and paint him as a Bushie off the reservation. The truth can be ignored you know….and it will be. It doesn’t fit in the proper political context anymore.

  2. Severian says:

    I agree Dave. This would only leave a mark if Lib/Dems actually listened to, and cared about, facts and reality, and also had a sense of shame about what they do. They have none of the above.

  3. NC Cop says:

    Dave said it best. Our one party media will do what they must to cover Obama and the dems, at any cost.

    Goss is absolutely right, but most people will never know about it. The dems will lie their way out of this one and nobody will care.

    If the situation were reversed we would see the headlines every day about how Republicans are lying, but not so with democrats.

  4. Hey guys – I probably should have expanded a little on what I meant. I know the MSM won’t saturate the airwaves with this, but I do think that the Congressional whiners like Pelosi who read it will feel the verbal lash from Goss.

    Not that anything will come from it.

  5. yo says:

    the dems are just brazen enough to let pelosi and rockefeller run the commission on interrogations.

    they (dems) did let someone who hangs out with racists and terrorists run for president, didn’t they?

    unless the public tide turns, they will continue with whatever they can get away with.

    the msm will do anything and everything to see to it that the public tide doesn’t turn.

  6. Karma Dancer says:

    Um, just out of curiosity, how long do ya think it’ll be before the Lepht stops running against Bush? :-\

    A thought, though; I mean, honestly, screw the MSM. These people do nothing but blather on incessantly about how “eeeeeevil” people are that aren’t on the same side of the aisle they are. Lah dee dah. They’re still reporters which means no matter how good a scoop they think they’ve got, they’re still following the parade, know what I mean?

    The ones who make the news are the people in Congress. Here’s where they get to hear from us. No guarantee anything will happen, but remember that the majority doesn’t have everybody in the House and Senate. Even so, time to make a stink.

  7. Carlos says:

    In a way, I kinda hope they do go ahead with it. That way, if a true conservative with intestinal fortitude ever gets to the WH there’ll be precedence about going after those out of power.

    And Lord knows, with the regime that’s in power now there’ll be plenty to go after, from tax evasion and graft to treason.