The CIA official who ran the agency’s enhanced-interrogation program in the years immediately following the 9/11 attacks said that congressional leaders who are now up in arms over harsh interrogation tactics once criticized him for not being tough enough on terrorist detainees.
Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s point man for counterterrorism between 2002 and 2004, told Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday that Democratic lawmakers now accusing the CIA of keeping Congress in the dark on some interrogation methods “knew exactly what we were doing.”
“I remember very clearly briefing [California Democrat] Nancy Pelosi in September of 2002,” he said, claiming he “briefed her specifically on the enhanced-interrogation techniques of Abu Zubayda. So she knew, back in September of 2002, every one of our enhanced interrogation techniques.”
“These people were fully aware of all of the techniques that were given to us and approved by the Office of Legal Counsel at Justice,” Rodriguez continued, saying that neither Nancy Pelosi nor other Democrats — with the exception of then–California congresswoman Jane Harman — “ever objected to the techniques at all.”
Rodriguez alleged that some lawmakers, such as Democratic West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller, actually pushed the CIA to be even harsher. “All of these people knew exactly what we were doing,” he said.