Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cheney oversaw detainee briefings

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Dick Cheney personally oversaw at least four briefings with senior members of Congress about controversial interrogation programs, part of a secretive and forceful defense he mounted throughout 2005 in an effort to maintain support for the harsh techniques used against detainees.

The Cheney-led briefings came at some of the most critical moments for the program, as congressional oversight committees were threatening to investigate or terminate the techniques used in interrogations, according to lawmakers, congressional officials and current and former intelligence officials.

Cheney's role in helping handle intelligence issues in the Bush administration has been well-documented, particularly his advocacy for the use of aggressive methods and warrantless wiretapping against alleged terrorists. But his hands-on role in defending the interrogation program to lawmakers has not been previously publicized.

The CIA made no mention of the former vice president's role in documents delivered to Capitol Hill last month which listed every lawmaker who had been briefed on "enhanced interrogation techniques" since 2002. For meetings that were actually overseen by Cheney, the agency told the intelligence committees that information about who oversaw those briefings was "not available."

The revelations do not shed light on whether top Democrats, as Republicans contend, were aware that waterboarding, a harsh technique that simulates drowning, was being employed on suspected terrorists as early as the fall of 2002.

That discussion has embroiled Capitol Hill since last month, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was not present at any of the briefings that included Cheney, accused the agency of intentionally misleading her in a 2002 briefing about the use of waterboarding.

The CIA declined to comment on why Cheney's presence in meetings was left out of the records. Since leaving office in January, Cheney has mounted a vigorous public defense of the interrogation practices.

Cheney oversaw detainee briefings 06/03/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 10:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. From the food editor: Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders

    Cooking

    I decided my almond chicken obsession was becoming a bit much.

    Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  2. Forecast: Soggy, yet hot, workweek ahead across Tampa Bay

    Weather

    A soggy workweek is ahead across Tampa Bay as decent chances for scattered storms remain consistent over the next several days.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Travel ban, Kennedy retirement speculation the focus as Supreme Court prepares for break

    Courts

    WASHINGTON — Before taking their long summer break, the Supreme Court justices are poised to act on the Trump administration's travel ban and a separation of church and state dispute involving a Missouri church playground.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, shown in 2007, has given no public sign that he would step down this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration. Kennedy's departure would allow conservatives to take firm control of the court. [Associated Press]
  4. Florida education news: Guns, charter schools, drug education and more

    Blogs

    HOSTILE WORK PLACE: A legal review determines that while a University of South Florida technology center former director might have been boorish and hostile, …

  5. Fire crews battle blaze at apartment complex near Seminole Heights

    Fire

    Fire crews are battling a blaze that broke out early Monday morning at an apartment complex near Seminole Heights, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.