Bond: In 2002, Lawmakers Wanted to Know Information Obtained, Not Interrogation Methods Used

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers were more concerned in 2002 with the information obtained in interrogations of terror detainees, not the techniques used, the current top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Friday.

Sen. Kit Bond said he has reviewed the CIA's materials and it was clear that Pelosi had been informed about the enhanced interrogation method, although he acknowledged he was not present when the spy agency briefed Pelosi on Sept. 4, 2002.

He added that lawmakers at the time were more interested in the type of information being obtained from interrogations of terror detainees rather than the method by which it was obtained.

"The people who were briefed were asking about the kind of information that was received and they wanted to know what information had been received," Bond told NBC's "Today" show. "They were not saying, 'Hey, don't do waterboarding or any other of the enhanced techniques.' They said, 'Are we getting enough information?' That was the focus at the time."

Bond added that the interrogations did yield valuable information.

"Clearly we were all concerned about a second attack and I believe information stopped at least one if not several attacks in the United States."

A Bond aide told FOX News that the senator was speaking about the publicly acknowledged West Coast attack by Jemaah Islamiyah, which was prevented because of information yielded during an interrogation.

On Thursday, Pelosi accused the spy agency of misleading her and other lawmakers about its use of waterboarding during the Bush administration.

"We were told that waterboarding was not being used," the speaker said. "That's the only mention, that they were not using it. And we now know that earlier they were."

She said now that it's clear waterboarding had been used in 2002, so it's also clear the CIA lied to members of Congress.

CIA spokesman George Little responded that it is not the policy of the agency to mislead Congress, although he refused to answer directly questions about Pelosi's accusation.

Bond said that Pelosi's claims she was in the dark about interrogation tactics are wrong.

"I have looked at the underlying materials, not only the records they kept but the cables they sent out to the field, and from -- upon which apparently contemporaneous documents, and it's clear that they did tell her," Bond said.

She also suggested the GOP was trying to divert attention away from the Bush administration's use of the techniques by trying to make her appear culpable.

According to memos released by the CIA upon request of congressional Republicans, Pelosi and former Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., who at the time was the chairman of the committee and later became CIA director, were part of the briefing in September 2002.

A notation in the memos says the briefing was on "enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah ... and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed."

Little said the chart "is true to the language in the agency's records." But he did not say whether the information was accurate.

Instead, he pointed to a recent letter from CIA Director Leon Panetta to lawmakers saying it would be up to Congress to determine whether notes made by agency personnel at the time they briefed lawmakers were accurate.

Pelosi spoke Thursday as the CIA rejected former Vice President Dick Cheney's request to release secret memos judging whether waterboarding and other harsh techniques had succeeded in securing valuable intelligence information.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said the request was turned down because the documents are the subject of pending litigation, which makes them not subject to declassification.

FOX News' Trish Turner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.