NBC Reporter Sees Dem Senate Report 'Rewriting History' and 'Settling Scores'

Appearing on MSNBC's NewsNation on Tuesday, NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel took the Democrat-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee to task for its so-called "torture report" slamming CIA interrogation tactics used against terrorist detainees: "I think this is really about changing the narrative of American history....everyone in the world knew what was going on, including by the way, the Senate, which is now pretending to be a bit of a babe in the woods."

Engel reiterated: "They knew what was going on at the time and in many cases were quite happy with the intelligence they were getting. I think this is about rewriting the narrative of history."

Describing the alternative narrative that Senate Democrats were trying to craft, Engel explained:

 

When we look back, how are we going to remember the period? Are we going to remember a period in which the rogue evil CIA was beating people, in some cases to death, and the politicians didn't know about it? Or are we going to look back and say the politicians were plenty aware of this, the CIA beat people to death, and then Senate tried to come out and say, "Well, you know, we didn't know anything about it," and trying to wash their hands of the situation? And to be honest, I think it's a little bit of the latter.

Minutes later, Engel proposed another ulterior motive behind the slanted report: "I think this is really more about settling scores between this Intelligence Committee and the CIA. Notice it's just really the CIA that's being taken to task here....why aren't any of the politicians?...Why just the CIA? So I think there's some – there's some political scores being settled here between the committee – Feinstein's committee – and the Agency."

Here is a transcript of Engel's December 9 comments:

11:13 AM ET

(...)

RICHARD ENGEL: I think this is really about changing the narrative of American history. This process went on, it was a brutal process. It was legal at the time, whether it should have been legal or not, I think, is highly debatable. It was legal at the time. The CIA was asked to do it. The CIA was passing on its intelligence to the President. So everyone in the world knew what was going on, including by the way, the Senate, which is now pretending to be a bit of a babe in the woods. They knew what was going on at the time and in many cases were quite happy with the intelligence they were getting.

I think this is about rewriting the narrative of history. When we look back, how are we going to remember the period? Are we going to remember a period in which the rogue evil CIA was beating people, in some cases to death, and the politicians didn't know about it? Or are we going to look back and say the politicians were plenty aware of this, the CIA beat people to death, and then Senate tried to come out and say, "Well, you know, we didn't know anything about it," and trying to wash their hands of the situation? And to be honest, I think it's a little bit of the latter.

(...)

11:17 AM ET

ENGEL: But I think this is really more about settling scores between this Intelligence Committee and the CIA. Notice it's just really the CIA that's being taken to task here. And your previous guest said that the military didn't, you know, do any abusive things.

RICHARD LUI: That's separate.

ENGEL: She's just wrong, by the way. I mean Abu Ghraib was carried out by the military, those were MPs. So the military did things. Also, why aren't any of the politicians? If you're going go for a full accountability, why not go for the President? He was getting this intelligence every day. What about Condi [Rice]? What about – where do you stop? Why just the CIA? So I think there's some – there's some political scores being settled here between the committee – Feinstein's committee – and the Agency.

(...)

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