CIA Director Michael Hayden is briefing lawmakers behind closed doors about the destruction of videotapes showing harsh interrogation of terror suspects but says he can’t answer all their questions.
Hayden told reporters after testifying Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had “a chance to lay out the narrative, the history of why the tapes were destroyed” and the process that led to that decision.
The White House killed via a veto threat a tentative congressional compromise on a $520 billion government spending bill because it contained $18 billion more than President Bush wanted on domestic programs and not enough on things he did want, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden faces two days of testimony behind closed doors at the Senate and House intelligence committees to answer questions about his agency’s destruction of videotaped interrogations of terrorist suspects.
Hayden will answer questions Tuesday from the Senate panel and Wednesday from its House counterpart. Both are closed sessions.
Washington politicians scrambled Sunday to position themselves on the rapidly-developing CIA torture tape scandal. Both Republicans and Democrats doubted the CIA’s story that the tapes were destroyed to protect the identities of interrogators.
The growing scandal threatens to turn into the worst yet for the Bush Administration, a Presidency beset by scandal and questions about White House credibility.
They call it the “Monica Cocktail,” oral sex named in a reference to Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who performed the same act on President Bill Clinton during the infamous Oval Office affair that led to impeachment proceedings.
It has other variations: “Being Monica’d” or “Lewinskied.” But it means oral sex in the halls of power in Washington and it has become a favorite pastime of teenage pages for the Congress of the United States.
Reports of pages enjoying the “Monica Cocktail” in the Congressional Page Dorm on Capitol Hill along with shoplifting by other pages have led to the resignations of two members of the Page Oversight Board and at least four pages sent home in disgrace.
Sources close to the Page System say the recent allegations are just the tip of a sexual scandal iceberg that threatens a page system rocked too many times in the past by sexual indiscretions.
Sex among young Congressional pages has become so rampant that two youngsters were recently sent home for engaging in oral sex in front of, and with encouragement from, other pages.
Lax oversight of the underage charges who serve as “gofers” on Capitol Hill has led to resignations by two members of the Congressional board that oversees the program and claims that pages are routinely engage in sex acts with each other and committing crimes.
So far, four pages have been sent home for “inappropriate sexual conduct” and shoplifting but sources on Capitol Hill says the system is out of control and some concerned parents have dubbed the system “kids gone wild.”
Congressional Democrats failed to learn from the miserable example set for them by the Republicans and now they, too, are coming up against the end of the session and the end of the year with a mound of unfinished business.
President Bush delights in pointing this out on an almost daily basis, and there he was Monday in the White House Rose Garden piously calling on the “new” Congress, meaning Democrat-run, “to use the time left to support troops, and to protect our citizens, prevent harmful tax increases and responsibly fund government.”
US Republican Senator Larry Craig, who pleaded guilty after a police sex sting operation in an airport bathroom, Monday denied a new flurry of gay sex allegations in his home state newspaper.
The Idaho Statesman on Sunday named four men who said they had sex with Craig, or to whom it said he made sexual advances or paid unusual attention. It added the allegations could not be “disproved.”
The paper said the men were telling their stories because they are offended by Craig’s staunch denials that he is gay.
Four acknowledged gay men, willing to be named, say they have either had sex with Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig or claim the politician made homosexual advances towards them.
All four say they were offended by Craig’s public claim that he is “not gay” and has “never been gay” and want the world to know that the Senator is lying.
All four have told their stories to the Idaho Statesman along with a fifth gay man who refuses to allow his name to be used for fear of retaliation.
Statements by the four who have gone public offer strong evidence against Craig, long-rumored to be gay while denying his homosexuality and supporting traditional Republican positions that discriminate against gays.