One of the most curious exchanges in today's testy hearing in the House Judiciary Committee was this exchange between Rep. Wiliam Delanhunt (D-Mass.) and David Addington, chief of staff to Vice President Cheney.
Addington had acknowledged earlier in the hearing that he took part in discussions with CIA lawyers over the agency's interrogation policies. Delahunt tried to find out what Addington knew about the use of waterboarding on suspected Al Qaeda terrorists, or more specifically, whether Addington knew it was approved as an interrogation technique.
Addington told Delahunt he couldn't discuss specific techniques being used, or even discussed for use, by CIA agents because terrorists may be watching his appearance and would gain insight into what U.S. intelligence agents are up to.
"You kind of communicate with Al Qaeda if you do. I can't talk to you because Al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN," Addington said.
Delahunt responded: "I'm sure they are watching. I'm glad they finally have a chance to see you, Mr. Addington, given your penchant for being unobtrusive."
Republicans aren't too happy with Delahunt's joke.