Democrats who were briefed by the CIA on harsh interrogation techniques, which critics consider torture, are now claiming that the agency released the information about the briefings in order to deflect attention from itself. According to Sen. Carl Levin, who sat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and was briefed on interrogation techniques five times between 2006 and 2007, “There is so much embarrassment in some quarters [of the CIA] that people are going to try to shift some of the responsibility to others.” The document in question lists 40 instances in which the CIA briefed members of Congress between September 2002 and March 2009, fueling claims that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top officials have long known about waterboarding and other tactics but did little to stop them. “Because you brief or notify doesn’t mean there’s any less responsibility of the CIA,” said Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, who argued that the agency was seeking political cover by releasing the documents.
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