letter in the Inquirer, 5/27/09
Charles Krauthammer has it all wrong on Rep. Nancy Pelosi (“Pelosi was silent on torture,” May 4).
In 2002, when she, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss, and two senators were briefed by the CIA, the reality of the moment was clear: President Bush was steamrolling everything, and whatever degree of briefing the CIA gave Pelosi was of the cover-your-butt variety.
According to Vicki Divoli, former deputy counsel to the CIA Counterterrorism Center and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002, briefing only four members of Congress was, in fact, illegal, because the National Security Act requires full notification of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in circumstances like the covert use of torture. In extraordinary circumstances, the notification can be limited to eight people. This was not done, either.