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.

Related News/Archive

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. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared

    World

    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  4. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  5. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.