Another day, another indication that the CIA briefings document that Republicans are currently trying to bludgeon Nancy Pelosi with is deeply flawed and unreliable.
The Associated Press yesterday spotted *(see late update below) two clear new errors in the document — including one real howler we’re kicking ourselves for not spotting ourselves:
The CIA chart states that a Senate staffer, Chris Mellon, attended a briefing on July 15, 2004. However, Mellon told The Associated Press that he left the Senate in April 2004 and did not attend the briefing.
On Wednesday, CIA spokesman George Little said the CIA has reviewed its record and agrees that Mellon was erroneously listed as having attended the 2004 briefing.
And even more embarrassingly, 2)
The CIA chart also shows former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss attended a March 8, 2005, briefing as a member of Congress. However, Goss was at that time the director of the CIA. He took that job in November 2004.
These are hardly the first pieces of evidence that the document is unreliable. Four Democratic lawmakers, including Pelosi, are now on record differing with the document’s version of what happened. And as Greg Sargent reports today, Goss himself, who attended that 2002 Pelosi briefing is refusing to say that the CIA informed him and Pelosi that waterboarding had already been used — the key issue in dispute.
In addition, as we reported earlier this week, the document refers frequently to “enhanced interrogation techniques” or EITs, as a subject of discussion, even though, as we reported earlier this week, that appears not to have come into widespread public use until 2004.
We’re starting to wonder: given the number of errors it contains, why did CIA feel comfortable releasing this document in the first place?
*Late Update: It looks like a William Ockham, commenting on a post by Marcy Wheeler at Firedoglake, and then Wheeler herself, pointed out the Goss point long before the AP did. Apologies for not crediting them initially.