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Pelosi Moves to the Fore

By Dan Balz
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's extraordinary accusation that the Bush administration lied to Congress about the use of harsh interrogation techniques dramatically raised the stakes on the growing debate over the Bush administration's anti-terror policies even as it brought troubling new questions about the speaker's credibility.

Pelosi's performance in the Capitol was either a calculated escalation of a long-running feud with the Bush administration or a reckless act by a politician whose word had been called into question. Perhaps it was both.

For the first time, Pelosi acknowledged that in 2003 she was informed by an aide that the CIA had told others in Congress that officials had used waterboarding during interrogations. But she insisted, contrary to CIA accounts, she was not told about waterboarding during a September 2002 briefing by agency officials. Asked whether she was accusing the CIA of lying, she replied, "Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States."

Washington now is engaged in a battle royal of finger-pointing, second-guessing and self-defense, all over techniques President Obama banned in the first days of his administration. Both sides in this debate now believe they have something to prove -- and gain -- by keeping the fight alive. Both sides have champions and villains. Pelosi has become a lightning rod for criticism from conservatives and a hero to the left -- much as former vice president Dick Cheney has become the target of the left and the darling of many on the right.

The speaker's charges about the CIA's alleged deception and her own shifting accounts of what she knew and when she knew it will likely add to calls for some kind of independent body to investigate this supercharged issue -- much as Obama and many members of Congress would like to avoid a wholesale unearthing of the past at a time when their plates are full with pressing concerns.

Closing the books on the Bush years has proven harder than anyone imagined -- certainly harder than Obama had hoped. The intensifying argument over what the CIA told Pelosi and when comes on top of the debate over whether any Bush administration officials should face legal action for their role in authorizing or implementing those policies and whether a national commission is needed to get to the truth.

The speaker's discomfort was evident yesterday as she was grilled by reporters for the first time since the CIA issued information suggesting that she and others were told about the use of these techniques, including waterboarding, at a classified briefing on Sept. 4, 2002. Pelosi was the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee at the time.

The CIA said the briefing included Pelosi and then-Florida Rep. Porter Goss, who was Intelligence Committee chairman at the time and later became CIA director. Two House aides also attended. The CIA account said the subject was enhanced interrogation techniques and the particular techniques used on Abu Zubaydah.

Five months later, on Feb, 5, 2003, after Pelosi had left the intelligence committee, the CIA briefed the chairman and ranking member on the detainee interrogation program. Pelosi said her aide Michael Sheehy, who attended that briefing as well as the September briefing, told her that agency officials said they had used waterboarding in some cases. "He said that the committee Chair and Ranking Member and appropriate staff had been briefed that these techniques were now being used," she said yesterday. "That's all I was informed."

Conservatives say that, if she was so opposed to torture, she should have spoken out forcefully when she learned that these techniques were being employed. Her failure to do so then leaves her in a weakened position to protest now, they argue. An op-ed article by former Bush White House senior adviser Karl Rove in yesterday's Wall Street Journal asked directly, "So is the speaker of the House lying about what she knew and when? And if so, what will Democrats do about it?"

Pelosi gave some ground on the question of whether she had been informed that waterboarding was being used -- though by her account she did not learn this until February 2003, rather than 2002, and then only from an aide after the CIA had briefed other lawmakers on the intelligence committees. Instead of registering her protest to the administration, she said, she set out to help Democrats win control of Congress and elect a Democrat as president.

But in attempting to defend herself, she took the remarkable step of trying to shift the focus of blame to the CIA and the Bush administration, claiming the CIA records represented a diversionary tactic from the real debate over the interrogation policies. That amounted to a virtual declaration of war against the CIA at a time when the Obama administration already has rattled morale at the agency with the release of Justice Department memos authorizing the harsh interrogation techniques.

House Republican Leader John Boehner was quick to challenge Pelosi. Within minutes of her contentious press conference, he emerged to question her accusations. He left no doubt that Republicans believe the speaker has made a major misstep that will hurt her and perhaps her party as this controversy plays out.

The various parties all have their own priorities now. Pelosi not only wants to clear her name but also favors a truth commission to answer questions about how the interrogation policies came to be and whether they were as effective as Cheney and others claim. Cheney is determined to defend the policies he helped shape and force the new administration into a different posture on its anti-terror policies. The outside groups, and the grassroots activists they speak for, are prepared to continuing litigating the Bush presidency.

Obama has already moved on his own policies, having decided to fight public release of photos showing U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners after earlier saying he favored their release. He cited potential danger for U.S. soldiers that could be caused by the photos' release, but he almost must have concluded that the photos would set off another storm at home as well.

The president wants the focus kept on the future and the energies of his entire administration, from the CIA to the Defense Department to the relevant committees on Capitol Hill, engaged in producing an effective policy in Afghanistan and sorting through such difficult questions as what to do with the detainees at Guantanamo once that facility is closed next year.

Pelosi is not out of the woods. She could have saved herself some trouble by admitting earlier that she has been informed that the CIA was using waterboarding. By doing what she did yesterday, she has assured that she will remain a central character in the political fight that is now raging. But whether by design or accident, she also succeeded in enlarging a controversy that is no longer a sideshow.

Staff researcher Alice Crites contributed to this report.

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 14, 2009; 7:20 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Balz's Take  
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Comments

What the Pelosi lie opens up, is Obama's own loopholes allowing worse torture.

He wants it concluded quickly. (There is no Congress between him and his mandate).


It is as bad as praying Catholics being arrested on Notre Dame property....another act of the devil.

Congress needs to remove Obama for NPD sociopathic profile, before he allowed the powers of Hitler.

Posted by: dottydo | May 16, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

What the Pelosi lie opens up, is Obama's own loopholes allowing worse torture.

He wants it concluded quickly.


It is as bad as praying Catholics being arrested on Notre Dame property....and actof the devil.

Congress needs to remove Obama for NPD sociopathic profile, before he allowed the powers of Hitler.

Posted by: dottydo | May 16, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I was going to write something but what is the use of piling on Pelosi. She is doing it to herself.

Posted by: danielhancock | May 16, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Note to previous comment. James Webb (D-VA) serves in the Senate so he would not be eligible to be Speaker of the House.

Posted by: danielhancock | May 16, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I trust Panetta more than I trust Pelosi, I trust Republicans in congress less than either of them.

Posted by: JRM2 | May 15, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"First, the P.O.W. is not a terrorist and especially not a terrorist who has information with respect to a ticking time bomb."

Not to mention that if you suspect there is a "ticking time bomb" then why do you use a method that takes a month to provide no more intelligence than was already given through conventional means?

Posted by: JRM2 | May 15, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"They took out Martha Stewart for a much less egregious lie.

They took out William Jefferson Clinton for a little wild willey white lie.

They took out Nixon for a lie.

Posted by: dottydo | May 14, 2009 11:01 PM"
dottydo, the distinction here is that Stewart, Clinton and Nixon all lied under oath.

Posted by: JRM2 | May 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"In view of the concern to our security after 911, waterboarding (only three, I understand) was not out of order. We needed to know of possible future terrorist plans, lest thousands more Americans die. The democrats need to learn some sense and morals obligations, and this includes Pelosi.

Posted by: Billw3 | "
----------------
Bill, I agree with you in some regard, however, as more information comes out it appears that the purpose for torture in these instances was to elicit a false confession to make a link between Al Qaeda and Sadaam Hussein, if that is in fact true then we have a serious problem on our hands.

Posted by: JRM2 | May 15, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"If Pelosi really thought that waterboarding was torture, and did nothing, she is more guilty than the Bush and Chaney, who thought nothing was wrong with it. Intent is everything when a crime is committed. As the head of Congress, and second in line to be president, she should of called a press conference to mention the point then, not after she was caught.

Posted by: SavedGirl | "
---------
What twisted logic! and BTW it's "Cheney" not "Chaney", and one more thing, Joe Biden is 2nd in line to the Presidency.

Posted by: JRM2 | May 15, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

With Panetta's comments today, it appears that Nancy has really stepped in it.

So Repubs, maybe we get a new speaker, how about someone like Jim Webb, someone who is not afraid to stand up for what is right.

Who would you rather have, someone you can demonize with no backbone?, or someone like Jim Webb, who isn't afraid to put the feet to the fire?

Posted by: JRM2 | May 15, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"You want to see pictures of what we do? Do you also wan t graphics of what the enemy does?"
---
The distinction is we are supposed to be a nation of laws, of moral high-ground and we are not to become "like them"

Posted by: JRM2 | May 15, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

why is it so important to punish people who thought they were doing right,60-70% of people polled don't think it's wrong either
why don't we move forward

Posted by: dizzo49198 | May 15, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

pelosi needs to stop, there are alot of good people that could use the oxygen she consuming.

Posted by: sinnersunited | May 15, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Both sides are crazy to think that they have anything to gain in this fracas. If Pelosi falls from this, Democrats will have less reason not to hold extensive hearings. The Democrats have little to gain except that more leading Democrats will be smeared and the country will be distracted.

War is a dirty but sometimes necessary business. Daniel Inouye, has admitted in Burns' documentary on WWII that his unit in Italy killed wounded German prisoners. Should we also investigate him to maintain Obama's misbegotten notion that America has a pure tradition in war?

Posted by: gproach | May 15, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Suggestion: Inside the beltway by beltway insiders continues to be confused with inside America. Solution: Have Pelosi and Cheney square off in a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters of any town that's just lost its Chrysler franchise dealership....and see if anyone shows up with "waterboarding in 2002/03" as the priority on their minds....It's all about unemployment; incumbents let our financial and economic trains go off the track; It's your last wake-up call y'all: middle class America is giving you one chance to fix it or we'll forget your seniority along with your petty squabbles.
It's so predictable how off-course politicians of both stripes can get when Beltway egos trump common sense priorities.
The choice is really quite obvious: put the train back on the track or we'll clean out both houses of Congress at the earliest opportunity.
A frustrated electorate deserves better and will get it one way or the other.

Posted by: jkudless | May 15, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Damn, but war is messy. Certainly not for candy@$$es like liberal yahoos. All mouth and marches, not exactly a Marine hike. Yet, they know so much on how to fight the foe. Just ask any of the armchair liars.
Let the military and CIA do their job and the job will be done a whole lot more efficiently. Water boarding is torture? They still have their fingernails intact and their left butt wiping hand is still attached. No burning, maiming, or drilling though the skull, or needles in the eye.
You want to see pictures of what we do? Do you also wan t graphics of what the enemy does?
Those that have no concept of the Geneva convention nor do they care, are who we are at war with. Those that leak or purposely tell all and put our military and our nation at greater risk are traitors. Nancy, Speaker of the lies would most definitely sucumb to water boarding.

Posted by: Emily14 | May 15, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

to ahartnack.....the only stupid people are someone like you...and Jake D...you just are so blind, our County has been taken apart by the B U S H & C H E N E Y Company...if we don't keep trying to educate morons we as a nation are doomed, thank little georgie the number One Moron who allowed C H E N E Y TO make him the puppet. So long America and hello 3rd world country...it is not that we deserve it but...what.....8 years of cheating lies and downright raping and piliging of our County and you want to blame Pelosi, I have some broken down bridges and overpasses for you my dear...

Posted by: janetmramos | May 15, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

How would have thought that the trio of Pelosi/Cheney/Rove would hijack the news for the weekend?

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 15, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I trust the Speaker FAR more than I do any CIA goon.
Or, any General for that matter.

Posted by: kase | May 14, 2009 7:50 PM
==============================
Good boy!

You are the kind of people the DemocRATS depend on to get them elected.

Blind and stoopid.

Keep electing them.

Posted by: ahartnack | May 15, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

See?

I told you.

It's all Bush's fault and it'll be Bush's fault even if it is our fault.

Case closed.

Posted by: ahartnack | May 15, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

If Pelosi really thought that waterboarding was torture, and did nothing, she is more guilty than the Bush and Chaney, who thought nothing was wrong with it. Intent is everything when a crime is committed. As the head of Congress, and second in line to be president, she should of called a press conference to mention the point then, not after she was caught.

Posted by: SavedGirl | May 15, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse


"All three were nicer people than the spoiled luxury jet flying power abuser"

Pelosi is a sixty-some year old spoiled brat.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | May 14, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

chefdaniel1,
Talk to yourself the same way.
Both Partys suck.
Neither listened to the people.
Change your party affiliation to Independent with everyone else sick of both Party loansharking bank butlickers, and take away their electoral college.

No more pendulum between two scumbag filled parties.
Make a party of the people, where the one with big money or family ties gets no vote.

Posted by: dottydo | May 14, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse


In view of the concern to our security after 911, waterboarding (only three, I understand) was not out of order. We needed to know of possible future terrorist plans, lest thousands more Americans die. The democrats need to learn some sense and morals obligations, and this includes Pelosi.
.


Regardless, waterboarding does not compare to having one's head chopped off.

Posted by: Billw3 | May 14, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Let's weigh it out..

CIA...........Pelosi

CIA..

...
....Pelosi

Yup ,she is a liar. Bye Bye , now who was on the committee that ALSO NEW AND APPROVED IT?

Posted by: dottydo | May 14, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Why are the liberals so angry? They won, yet they keep living in the past in order to feed their irrational hatred. Time to grow up and Move On. You'd be ashamed if you were mature enough to understand the concept of shame. It appears that the left is in a quagmire of their own design and construction. This bunch of unhinged lunatics are still upset about 2000! Get over it. Grow up.

Posted by: chefdaniel1 | May 14, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Whoa whoa whoa whoa everybody.

Nancy Pelosi is like 87 years old and probably doesn't remember all the hearings where she was told about the waterboarding and didn't object.

That's not technically a lie, it just means she's senile.
(snip)
Posted by: Ombudsman1

HA HA
I thought both Pelosi and Daniel Inouye died a long time ago, and that they are just stuffed and animated by the Disney people who got fired ,because they were evil.

She used to be mommy Pelosi...but that changed as her lies grew into "all the time",then she became.... Mummy Pelosi.
She didn't forget.

The next liar caught will be Obama aka citizen of Indonesia Barry Soreto
Ted Steven's case is forcing all politicians with closed court documents to become transparent.

This is probably verging on being the best shape the Country has been in a long time.

Change your party affiliation to Independent Party ,and lean neither left or right. Break their electoral college power and make it Independent's who sit on the HIll.

I don't remember should have been the first words out of her mouth, but they weren't hard to play dead and give up the power I guess. She lied so much ,she just thought she would get by with it.
You were aware of her recently uncovered property scandalmaking the hubby a chit load of cash.....oppps there is another lie...she has a pattern of it.

Posted by: dottydo | May 14, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

GOP: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR


Maybe Nancy is crazy like a fox...

and she will use her "memory lapse" to lure the GOP into accepting a full investigation into the Bush-Cheney Reign of Terror.

Yes! Let's get to the bottom of Nancy's "lies"...

...along with the lies and criminal actions of those who CONTINUE to administer "the torture matrix" AT HOME and abroad...

...ongoing human rights abuses enabled by the naivete of liberals -- and a compliant mainstream media:


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled);

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 14, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

dastubbs: loosen your foil hat, take your meds and see a physician about your recto-cranial inversion. Your fantasy world is encroaching on reality. You have fallen into the liberal abyss of idiocy. Lay off the kool ade stubbs, you sound like my four year grandchild.

Posted by: chefdaniel1 | May 14, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

They took out Martha Stewart for a much less egregious lie.

They took out William Jefferson Clinton for a little wild willey white lie.

They took out Nixon for a lie.


All three were nicer people than the spoiled luxury jet flying power abuser (in her husbands profits too)....Pelosi

Pelosi lies if her mouth is moving, but finally got caught in the big one.

Posted by: dottydo | May 14, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Realistically and shamefully, for all our sakes is the spectacle of Nancy Pelosi and her unbridled and unrestrained denial of the truth.
Her denial and CIA accusations should provoke us all to be fearful the country is imploding from within, because of the diasters caused by our Democrat members of Congress. Our own Government should not be the enemy!
Obviously, We all need to be ridgidly honest with each other or we all perish. I hope the CIA doesn't fail to vigorously defend itself for the good of the nation and our continued safety!

Posted by: USDefender | May 14, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

If President Obama believes Nancy Pelosi that the CIA illegally tortured and lied and deceived Congressional leaders about it then the President must launch an investigation and bring the torturers and liars to trial. If he believes that Pelosi is lying to the country then he needs to demand that she step down from her position of leadership. What will he do?

Posted by: valwayne | May 14, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like the Bush team has the goods on Reid and Pelosi, and that would explain a lot of the actions of these two over the past two years.

They got swept up in the hysteria after 911 and didn't object when they should have objected when Bush used them for a CYA tool in the torture and wiretapping meetings.

I think a truth commission is an excellent idea. A special prosecutor would be an even better idea. And if what I suspect about Reid and Pelosi's complacency in the Bush crimes is correct, then these two need to share a cell next to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove.

Posted by: MorganaLeFay | May 14, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

This is outrageous and she has no business being speaker of the House. She is in the tangled web she wove for herself. This administration has one liar or cheat one after another.

Posted by: kalamere | May 14, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Quoting georgedixon:

Time for a Special Prosecutor!

There is nothing to fear from the truth...unless your lie is on record first.

====================

I agree totally.

A special prosecutor should be given carte blanche to investigate everything related to Bush Administration torture policy.

We need to know who knew about these illegal acts, who was briefed on them, who authorized them and who issued the orders.

Republicans will be going to jail.

DAStubbs,
Minneapolis

Posted by: dastubbs | May 14, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The Speaker is an ego-centric partisan.......she has lied to save her position.....

The left cannot assimilate the obvious, but her changing stories are easy for normal folks to grasp.

Time for a Special Prosecutor!

There is nothing to fear from the truth...unless your lie is on record first.

Posted by: georgedixon | May 14, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"This is the heighth of absurdity! Instead of fixing the multitude of serious problems that this country faces, the Democrats are on a witch hunt to show the Bush administration abused a few terrorists. Quit muddying the waters with this. MOVE ON and do something productive!!"

Prosecuting felons is always productive!

Posted by: thrh | May 14, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The Speaker is an ego-centric partisan.......she has lied to save her position.....

The left cannot assimilate the obvious, but her changing stories are easy for normal folks to grasp.

Time for a Special Prosecutor!

There is nothing to fear from the truth...unless your lie is on record first.

Posted by: georgedixon | May 14, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy. This is gonna get ugly. For republicans.

No matter which road republicans take - whether it's defending torture or pointing fingers at Pelosi - this is going to end very badly for them.

As more details slowly leak out, it appears that the Bush Administration was torturing Muslims while telling the Congress that they were not doing so (while at the same time claiming they had "legal authority" to do so).

Now there's a news report out today that U.S. intelligence officers in Iraq were directed by Cheney's "office" to use waterboarding on Sadam Hussein's former chief of security to determine whether there was any link between Saddam and the attacks on 9/11. If that charge can be proven, that's what Cheney will go to jail for.

Here's why: we went to war against Iraq over the issue of WMD. But we couldn't find any WMD: no nuclear weapons program, no stockpiles of deadly chemicals and thus no justificiation for invading Iraq.

So Cheney allegedly ordered the torture of an Iraqi detainee to find a link between Saddam and 9/11. But the Bush Administration's own "memo" authorizing torture said it could only be used if there was an "imminent threat". If Cheney ordered torture to be used to find a justification for the Iraq war, that would be a crime he may be charged with. And convicted of. And go to jail for.

So now we understand Cheney's "speaking tour." He's not defending the "little guy." He's apparently attempting to defend himself from prosecution.

I simply cannot understand the tactics of congressional republicans. It seems to me they're in a very poor position to be making a big fuss about "what Pelosi knew and when she knew it." As if Pelosi's alleged "lying" about what she knew might afford them some sort of moral high ground in arguing that torture works.

It seems to me republicans should be keeping their mouths shut about the entire mess. The more they shout and finger-point at democrats, the more democrats are going to call their bluff and start the criminal investigations.

For each day republicans shrilly defend torture, the chances of republicans ending up in jail increases exponentially.

I just don't see any way this can end well for them.

DAStubbs,
Minneapolis

Posted by: dastubbs | May 14, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The ranking GOP House member just pulled a Boehner today when he said the ends justifies the means, that if torture produces actionable intelligence then it's OK. He just joined himself to Cheney's hip.

Pelosi was in a box - she was sworn to maintain the highest level of confidentiality on what she was told in the briefing. Had she said anything publicly against the torture methods Republicans would have howled for her to be put on trial for revealing classified information.

Would Bush, Cheney et al have listened to her if she'd written to protest against EITs? Well, how much did they do once Jane Harmon did write a protest letter in 2003, after Pelosi had left the Intelligence Committee?

Is the CIA incapable of lying to Congress and/or the American people? The answer to that is a "Slam Dunk."

Posted by: can8tiv | May 14, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

National Security. That's the reason that covers all bases. Let's suppose President Cheney wanted to justify an invasion of Iraq. Let's suppose a P.O.W. may have information that links Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Laden. Let's suppose the P.O.W. won't say the words that establish the link. Will President Cheney authorize waterboarding the P.O.W.? First, the P.O.W. is not a terrorist and especially not a terrorist who has information with respect to a ticking time bomb. Second, justifying an unnecessary war does not rise to the level of National Security unless you conflate the political security of the elected government with National Security. Third, waterboarding is torture and torture is illegal. Fourth, CIA briefings to select members of Congress are classified. What passes between Congress and the spy agency is sacrosanct. Therefore, unless there are notes from or are video/audio tapes of the briefings, it comes down to he said she said. By the time Pelosi was supposedly informed by CIA about waterboarding not having yet been used, it had been used several dozen times. Seems like there is some lying going on, no?

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | May 14, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

What? A Democrat caught in a lie and trying to furiously back pedal while blaming everyone else?

The Devil you say!!!!

Welcome Speaker Pelosi...there's plenty of room under Obama's bus.

Posted by: luca_20009 | May 14, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I know exactly what Bush and the republicans would have said if Pelosi or and democrat disagreed with them. Anti-American. Just like they did everything they wanted more money approved for the Iraq war. If you don't give us more money for the war, your anti-American, you don't support the troops. Remember all that line of bull by the republicans every time they got EVERYTHING THERE WAY. Who care if Pelosi knew or not..does anyone think Bush and Cheney would have listened to her. This is a joke, and the republicans are once again the butt of the joke.

Posted by: kubrickstan | May 14, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Florida Representative Porter Goss was at that first briefing too. Is he not being pilloried for covering-up crime of torture because he is a Republican? Since he later became CIA director, the weight of guilt lies much heavier on him.
This tired trick of misdirection by the GOP needs to be called for what it is: lies and distortions to take the heat off the real war criminals, Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: biblioid-ctblogs | May 14, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

You know, if this Pelosi thing had not come up, can you imagine Cheney or any other Republican shouting "show the documents! Get it all out there! Let's investigate!"

No way. But by making Pelosi the lightening rod, by demanding she be investigated, they are bringing on the investigation of Cheney, Bush, Yoo, Addington, et al.

Which is great, because otherwise they would have been on air 24/7 saying everyone should look the other way about what happened under Bush.

Maybe this is all a feint from Pelosi. I look forward to the public revelations of just what transpired when Cheney turned America into a nation that tortures.

Posted by: hitpoints | May 14, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

You are totally crazed if you believe that Pelosi has become a "hero" to the left.

Most of us have wanted her gone for ages. Where the hell have you been?

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | May 14, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

she is a dirty hypocrite

Posted by: djrhood | May 14, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

From a standpoint of legality, if Pelosi sent a staff member to be briefed by the CIA, and if the CIA briefed the staff member, Pelosi is just as much responsible for that briefing, legally, as if she herself were briefed. This is a legal doctrine known as "constructive knowledge". Pelosi would only be "constructing" her own demise, legally, if she were to attempt to prosecute others on the basis of having approved of these tactics when she herself is apparently complicit. Her credibility is zero on this, and I say this speaking as a centrist/liberal Democrat.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | May 14, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Lair, Lair, Lair

Posted by: astenv | May 14, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Whoa whoa whoa whoa everybody.

Nancy Pelosi is like 87 years old and probably doesn't remember all the hearings where she was told about the waterboarding and didn't object.

That's not technically a lie, it just means she's senile.

I see senile folks all the time saying stuff that doesn't make sense, claiming they were still a POW in the Spanish-American war, tell me how they went west on a prarie schooner, and how they don't remember being told about waterboarding when they sat on the committee as it was explained to them.

I don't think it's very nice to call her out on lying like that, either. She's just too old to remember at this point.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | May 14, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Tick...tick...tick...that is the sound of time running out on Pelosi.

Posted by: MPNangle | May 14, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

win1:

Have to disagree with you there. When were the Democrats able to stop ANYTHING Bush wanted to do during the previous eight years? Bush ignored the opposition completely whenever he could. His entire line of thought was that if he won by more than a vote or two he had given away too much.

He'd absolutely have ignored Pelosi.

Posted by: jcrozier1 | May 14, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

With all of the monumental problems this country is experiencing, it is absurd that we're escalating this issue to another major, partisan political battle. Move on, people.

Posted by: buddrs | May 14, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Just being a women doesn't make a person innocent of crime. It isn't dumping on woman, it is expecting the same from all of our congress people. By the way, I am a woman, and an independent, perhaps that is why I see the issue differntly then those with partisan ties.

Yes, I do believe Bush would have stopped the practice if Pelosi had done something. He really wouldn't have had a choice if she had done her job. Further since she did nothing we really can't know. Much along the lines of Obama saying the detainee treatment wasn't proved to have given information because it can't be proved at all. It is total conjecture that she could do nothing and it was her responibilty to try if she believed it was torture.

Posted by: win1 | May 14, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Nobody who was briefed on Torture AT ALL and failed to raise a HUGE stink and go public is a "hero" to us on the left. That includes Pelosi.

Unlike the right, we think torture is wrong. We actually get ashamed when we find out torture is being used. We don't brag about it like those on the right.

Intellectual consistency.

ANYONE, Democrat or Republican, who helped turn the U.S. into a country who tortures should be removed from office and prosecuted.

Posted by: jcrozier1 | May 14, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Nancy, are you hearing footsteps yet?

Posted by: VinsonDaly | May 14, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Lying well used to be a job requirement for the CIA. It certainly was in the 60-80s when they used mis-information and bribes to bring down democratically elected governments and prop up dictators...aka Shah of Iran.

On the other hand, Pelosi clearly spoke before she had all her facts straight.

What seems to have happened here is that executive branch under GW pressured the CIA to use "enhanced" interrogation and fudge the details with Congress. This kind of thing is much more dangerous than terrorism over the long-term because it empowers the President with king-like powers. We've been here before. Read your US Constitution, not just the Bill of Rights!

Posted by: YoungAtheart | May 14, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

This is the heighth of absurdity! Instead of fixing the multitude of serious problems that this country faces, the Democrats are on a witch hunt to show the Bush administration abused a few terrorists. Quit muddying the waters with this. MOVE ON and do something productive!!

You wanted change!! Fix the problems that the vast majority of Americans care about! The Economy/Jobs, Health Care, the Wars in Irag/Afghanistan, Global Warming, etc.


This is pathetic...

Posted by: whatup1 | May 14, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, I do hope Pelosi does up the anti. After all, this is about Bush, not about her. Bush's name is the one on the bottom line.

Posted by: Here2day | May 14, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

*Surf* boarding.

That's what they told her, honest.

Posted by: johnr5436 | May 14, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Dumping on a female for male sins--this is such a sexist lynchmob attack on Pelosi, the first female speaker--like the CIA lost toture tapes, and got us into the Iraq war--but lets dump on a female

Posted by: Noahark | May 14, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Based on the posts, I assume you guys know as little about politicians as you do about CIA employees. A CIA employee is 200 times more reliable than a politician.

Posted by: thelaw1 | May 14, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

How come the story is about Pelosi? She did not authorize or vote for torture. The briefing she received, regardless of whether it was accurate or not, was classified. Surely no one thinks that Bush would have stopped the practice if she complained? I can imagine Cheney saying, "oh my yes Nancy that is terrible, we will stop doing it right now!" Get real. Quit harassing Pelosi and go after the real criminals.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | May 14, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Pelosi has become a source of torture! Can we please have her removed?? It was TORTURE during her press conference on May 14! Her staff should remind her that when one is telling the truth, they do not have to consistently refer to their notes! WHAT AN ABSOLUTE EMBARRASSMENT for the office and the Democratic Party. She does not have the good sense to SHUT UP!!

Posted by: wheeljc | May 14, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi apparently doesn't understand that if she knew "torture" was planned or had been committed then she has been complacent and under international law she is guilty as well from what I have read. The Convention Against Torture specifically says "1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture."

Another words, if you have knowledge and do nothing you have been complicit in the participation of torture.

This may work as the way to get rid of Congress.

Posted by: win1 | May 14, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi should stand down and Cheney, Rumsfeld, Yoo, Bybee, Bush, Addington, Rove, Bremer, et al should be endicted for the following:

Politicizong the Justice Department

Lying in the State of The Union address to sell an unneeded and illegal so-called pre-emptive invasion of Iraq.

Treasonously outing a covert CIA agent working on anti-Iranian WMD programs

Wanton violation of the Geneva Accords

Posted by: onestring | May 14, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I trust the Speaker FAR more than I do any CIA goon.
Or, any General for that matter.

Posted by: kase | May 14, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

If this is what it takes to de-rail socialism, so be it.

Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

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