Jay Rockefeller is a consummate liar. Some years ago he was caught out planning to do something never done in modern history -- turn the Senate Intelligence Committee into a partisan tool. Today's Wall Street Journal shows he continues to lie -- this time about what he knew about the government's treatment of certain captured Al Qaeda leaders and does so for partisan reasons:
On February 4, 2003, Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence were given a briefing in which "EITs [were] 'described in considerable detail,' including 'how the water board was used.' The process by which the techniques were approved by DoJ was also raised." The document also adds that Mr. Rockefeller, the Committee's ranking Democrat, was later given an "individual briefing."
Nor was that the only time Mr. Rockefeller, who chaired the Committee from 2007 to 2009, heard from the CIA. The West Virginian was briefed at least 12 times more about interrogation techniques, legal authorities and other aspects of the program. The last, in June 2008, was offered to 10 members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and covered "discussion of EITs and the OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] opinions. Specific mentions of waterboarding numerous time."
Yet in October 2008, following a Washington Post report on the existence of the OLC memos, Mr. Rockefeller disclaimed any knowledge of the opinions. "If White House documents exist that set the policy for the use of coercive techniques such as waterboarding, those documents have been kept from the committee," said Mr. Rockefeller. "That is unacceptable, and represents the latest example of the Bush Administration withholding critical information from Congress and the American people in an attempt to limit our oversight of sensitive intelligence collection activities."
Amusingly, or almost, Senator Rockefeller's denial is flatly contradicted by his own report on the subject released last month, which notes that "On May 19, 2008, the Department of Justice and the Central Intelligence Agency provided the Committee with access to all opinions and a number of other documents prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel . . . concerning the legality of the CIA's detention and interrogation program. Five of these documents provided addressed the use of waterboarding."
Now that he and his lying cohort Nancy Pelosi have been exposed, watch the "torture" headlines turn into "enhanced interrogation techniques" and then -- poof -- vanish.