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What Did Rahm Know?

Commentators have been struck -- though not perhaps as much as they should have been -- by the extraordinary character of CIA Director Leon Panetta’s blunt and stark rebuke of Nancy Pelosi. Responding to political debates that “reached a new decibel level [Thursday] when the CIA was accused [by Pelosi] of misleading Congress,” Panetta wrote Friday that “our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah.”

But did Panetta simply decide on his own to send this letter? It’s almost inconceivable. Panetta is a former member of Congress and a former White House chief of staff. President Obama made him CIA director only four months ago. Even if his motivation for the letter was in part driven by an institutional imperative to defend his agency, Panetta would have understood the political implications of humiliating a House speaker of his own party. He surely at least ran the letter by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to get clearance. It’s also possible that Panetta was encouraged to send the letter by Emanuel.

This raises the question: Does Emanuel (and, presumably, President Obama) want a chastened Pelosi to remain speaker? Or are they following the model of the Bush White House in December 2002. Then, Karl Rove, on behalf of the president, played a behind-the-scenes role in nudging out Majority Leader Trent Lott -- a legislator for whom the White House had little respect, but who had his own power base in Congress, so wasn’t easy for the White House to control? Are Emanuel and Obama happy to be deal in the future with a weakened Pelosi? Or do they want a new speaker, presumably Steny Hoyer?

Or did Panetta just send the letter on his own?

It would be interesting to ask Robert Gibbs, at Monday’s White House press briefing, whether, before sending his Friday letter, Panetta discussed it with anyone at the White House. And with whom? What did Rahm Emanuel know about the Panetta letter, and when did he know it?

Update: At the White House press briefing, Gibbs refused to answer questions about Pelosi and the CIA, but he did say the speaker has the president’s confidence.

By William Kristol  | May 17, 2009; 5:32 PM ET
Categories:  Kristol  | Tags:  William Kristol  
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Next: Whom Would a Truth Commission Hurt?


Nice try, neocon. It has been amusing to see the rightwing put up the shiny object before the media, knowing they always are distracted by the shallow and silly shiny object rather then a good story that requires real work and depth.
But, we all know that asking about who knew and what they knew and when is mute point. Afterall, it has to be asked of every member, including the republicons.
And it's all to distract from Cheney and torture.
And his vein attempt to connect al quaeda with Iraq.
Granted the media has not figured that one out yet, but, the rest of the country has.
Now you want to take the game a step further and add on Rahm.
That is the problem with you neocons, your alternate fantasies always make you go for over reach.

Posted by: vwcat | May 17, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, that's the burning question.

Evidence emerges that George W Bush and Dick Cheney ordered that prisoners be tortured to induce false "confessions" of Iraq-Al Quaeda links, and the pressing question is whether Rahm Emanuel knew anything of Leon Pannetta's letter, because of some crackpot theory that William Kristol has about it being run by Rahm before Pannetta sent it. Which would mean pretty much nothing even if it were true. So what?

Don't get me wrong, if Nancy Pelosi or anyone else authorized torture, then let's have it all out. Investigate all of it.

If we were talking about a Democratic administration being investigated, this would have already been more than enough to have launched several, including a special prosecutor. And if you think that's not true, just look back at the 1990s.

As far as William Kristol's windbagging, it's just more of the misdirection from the right. The odd thing is that they seem to actually believe that people will say "Oh no! If you want to investigate a Democrat, then never mind!" They must think that this would work because they really see it as just a partisan witch hunt.

I've got news for you, those like Kristol on the far right: It isn't. It's torture. I don't care which party someone belongs to, if they ordered torture it's illegal and this should be pursued.

"Hey look over there!" isn't working anymore.

Posted by: BillEPilgrim | May 17, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

The neocons want to change the discourse away from the senseless policies of the Bush administration.

The neocons and the Republicans are experts at weapons of mass distraction.

The Obama programs should not be distracted.

Posted by: wrock76taolcom | May 17, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Bloody HELL!

I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I know that we humans are political animals and /i am fascinated by politics. But I recognize when partisian politics is being played by partiscan game players out of all proportion to the good health of the game itself. And that is what is happening here.

Bill Kristal I write from Australia and I recognize your name and the name of Rahmn Emanuel as the names of political operators that would rather play politics for the sheer personal selfish joy it gives both of you then for any other good.

The root issue here is torture and the rule of law. The root issue here is can the United States (not the Democrats, not the Republicans), the United States as a body politic, be trusted to keep its word on laws as important as those prohibitting torture and, even more importantly, prohibitting illegal agressive invasion.

You are a smart man. Rahm Emanual is a smart man. But this is bigger than your egos.

The United States represents less than five percent of humanity and it cannot lead the world, it cannot have a new American century, unless it leads the world by good example. The people of the world will not consent.

Lead by good example and you may lead.

Break your word on and the Rahmn Emanuels and Bill Kristals, the Pelosi's and the Cheney's can all go directly to hell.

And we humans that constitute the rest of humanity to whom your nation has promised not to torture and not to mass murder in wars will take you there.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | May 17, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think I should report myself for spelling, grammar and typing abuses, but I think you still get the picture.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | May 17, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

This is the lamest of lame efforts to defend Cheney, the indefensible. Bill, Have you no shame?

Posted by: m_richert | May 17, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

What did the president know?
what did the secy of state know?
what did the secy of defense know?
what did the vice prez know?
what did the speaker of the house know (not pelosi)
What did the majority whip know?
what did the american people know?
and on and on and on

Your burning curiosity does not go near far enough mr kristol.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | May 17, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Every week a new and unprecedented nadir!

This is even more poorly reasoned, more flagrantly toadying than the last piece of idiocy.

You shame your father's memory. He, at least, was a second-rate intellect. You're nowhere close.

Heavens, how pathetic. Aren't you through lying and getting this country off track?

Posted by: OctoberLanguage | May 17, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Kristol is a bloodthirsty zionist.

Posted by: TomKK | May 17, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Lol! I hear the "One Life to Live" day-time drama is looking for writers, Bill.
"What did Rahm Emanuel know...and when did he know it?" Is that what an Ivy League education gets you? A puerile story line such as this? You must have been pow-wowing with John Boehner. Seems Boehner has become the Charlie McCarthy, and you have become the Chatty Cathy of the conservative punditry.

Posted by: howardhankins1 | May 17, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Another Kristol meth delusion to scare us that nobody is on our side except him. I swear this guy sleeps with a teddy bear.

Posted by: sellingpencils | May 17, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Ordinarily, I would call this rank speculation. Given the source, I'd call this another pack of lies from the neocon scum & NY Times reject.

Posted by: branfo4 | May 17, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Normally one has to go to dailykos to find the kind of insight present in these comments. Thanks for saving me the trip.

I guess there is no point in trying to discuss the Obama administration v Pelosi and her minions in this forum.

Posted by: cincodecuarto | May 17, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Hellooooooo previous posters. Torture is not the subject of Kristol's article. The subject, if I'm not mistaken, is how does the administration feel about the Speaker's big time crab walk blunder the other day. I'll grant you that neither Mr. Kristol nor I wish any of the aforementioned well, but it is news. This here, "In Ms. Pelosi’s home state, California, residents say they are having a hard time accepting her account. “I’m very skeptical of what she’s saying, and when she goes to get re-elected, this could really damage her credibility,” said Delphine Langille of San Ramon, one of several people interviewed Friday outside of City Hall in San Francisco." was published in the New York Times.

You're damned straight that we conservatives want to change the discourse, if saying Bush/Cheney, eight years of failed policies, and the like, count as discourse. We'd much rather talk about the Obama pogroms...oops...programs that kinda seem, you know, 'spensive. We might even accuse you guys of being guilty of the "shiny object" "hey, look over here" [at three guys, six or seven years ago, getting water poured down their noses} gambit, while you're picking our (sorry, already empty) pockets for a couple of trill per year.

Back to the subject of the article, I do believe Messrs. Obama and Emanuel might like to throw momma P. from the train. She's a 31% and falling approval rated congresswoman. And as Hoyer is from Maryland, they could get Mme. Speaker's military jet travel issue to go away too.

I'm with you Bill. Tomorrow's press conference will be interesting, and Mr. Gibb's is probably not looking forward to it as much as we are.

Posted by: richalmack | May 18, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Cincodecuarto wrote:

"I guess there is no point in trying to discuss the Obama administration v Pelosi and her minions in this forum."

I don't pay for the Washington Post but come here (read from Australia) because I think it is a reputable.

I think "the Obama administration v Pelosi and her minions" sounds like it's probably going to be partisan sledging (and I'm no Democrat), but, against the possibility I'm wrong, I will certainly listen to what you have to say here.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | May 18, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

What a crock! It starts with, "It’s also possible that Panetta was encouraged to send the letter by Emanuel." and winds up with, "What did Rahm Emanuel know about the Panetta letter, and when did he know it?"

From pure speculation to scandal in 0.5 seconds!

Posted by: rsk1957 | May 18, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

The question isn't who knew; the question is who authorized it. Congress can't and doesn't manage executive branch agencies. The president does that. Stay focused on the real problem for a change, Kristol.

Posted by: jlhare1 | May 18, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

This is just speculative drivel. The only burning question is whether or not torture was ordered by the white house. Honestly, I'm not a big Pelosi fan, but what she knew, didn't know, protested or didn't protest, or anything else is beside the point. This is a distraction by the right to obscure the fact that laws were broken by the executive.

Posted by: childressp | May 18, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

First you have a great country. Please don't look to America for leadership. We are not up to the task these days. You can however learn a lot about really bad government from the us.

richalmack posted:
"I do believe Messrs. Obama and Emanuel might like to throw momma P. from the train. She's a 31% and falling approval rated congresswoman. And as Hoyer is from Maryland, they could get Mme. Speaker's military jet travel issue to go away too."

I agree. There is almost no chance that Panetta issued his statement without backing from the White House. Pelosi's "leadership" threatens his legislative program. The health care legislation is being written by the left wing in the House. Conservative/moderate Democrats are complaining because they have been completely shut out of the process. If Pelosi produces a bill that even moderate Democrats have trouble with then it is dead on arrival.

Posted by: cincodecuarto | May 18, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Brettpaascht1 - "The root issue here is torture and the rule of law."

As an Australian, perhaps you are unfamiliar (as are most of America's Jewish progressives, it seems) that the Constitution was established with the people sovereign over law. We are not Jews worshipping the Sanhedrin and Talmud over democratic aspirations. Nor mindless Muslim adherents to Sahria "rule of law"!! Law is a tool. If it threatens us by blind obedience, our leaders from George Washington, to Ben Franklin, to Jefferson say it is cool to discard it. That is why they were called Revolutionaries, rejecting Rule of English Law. Jefferson later wrote forecefully that in America's future, the self-preservation and rights of US citizens (not to be burned alive by Islamoids or have their heads chopped off, for example) trump all written law.

And later, Lincoln, FDR, and leaders of the civil rights movement concurred. Laws that cost lives or deprive citizens of natural rights are worth breaking, if the goal is to protect American lives or rights.

Of course Kistols own column is drivel. His proposal to query the Whitehouse press flack and Emmanuel on opening up on any policy discussions about Panetta's response to Pelosi will of course never be responded to. And he knows that they will not reveal inner policy discussions or do a "yes or no" to any fishing expeditions.

As a neocon POS, Kristol knows all about such evasiveness as his personal SOP.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | May 18, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

GAWD, the delusional, hateful libs are out in force here tonite.
Of course, they are crabby because Pelosi is such a bigtime loser.
Yet, their pain is only beginning.....

Posted by: merley1 | May 18, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi is turning into a liability, and is the face of Congress that the American people loathe. It wouldn't surprise me that Obama is preparing to throw her under the ol' bus. Of course, in this case, Nancy wandered out into the middle of the road herself...

Posted by: johnhiggins1990 | May 18, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

What Mr. Kristol calls Panetta's "blunt and stark rebuke" of Speaker Pelosi is actually, if read carefully, no such thing.

Parse the words carefully:

"Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values. "

Panetta uses the present tense when speaking of policy or practice -- he allows himself plenty of wiggle room on the question of whether in the previous administration such misleading may have been done.

"As the Agency indicated previously in response to Congressional inquiries, our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing "the enhanced techniques that had been employed." "

Panetta does not make an unequivocal statement that the CIA officers did brief truthfully -- instead he refers to what "contemporaneous records" indicate. But we already know that the chart detailing Congressional briefings the CIA sent to Congressional committees on May 6th was drawn from a combination of agent memories and post-meeting notes. We also know that numerous inaccuracies (for example, wrong dates for some meetings) have already been found in that information. Panetta only repeats what perhaps flawed records indicate, not a denial of Pelosi's charges.

"Ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened."

Speaker Pelosi has asked that the most relevant documents -- the actual briefing materials from those days - be released to verify what the actual briefing content was. Those original documents (as opposed to post meeting notes or current reconstructed memories) are the best way to determine whether the Bush administration was misleading Congress or not.

Panetta's letter to CIA staff was not a smackdown of Pelosi -- instead it was morale document for his internal staff, one that very carefully did not actually deny the accounts of Nancy Pelosi and Bob Graham.

The Republican noise machine is attacking Speaker Pelosi as a way to deflect attention away from the real issues here - the illegal acts of the Bush administration.

Posted by: terje1 | May 18, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Bill, Bill: nobody gives a damn when or what Rahm Emanuel knew. And it is completely beside the point what Pelosi knew. Neither of the Democrats were in a position to shape the torture policy, prevent it, or comment upon it. The real story is what did Bush know & approve? What did Cheney & Rumsfeld know? What did Rice and Powell know? In their concern for the "little guys" why did they hang a few grunts out to dry?
Consistently, Kristol speaks as the boob on the hill. Nepotism and Dan Quayle have somehow imbued cachet on a moronic pundit. Can anyone, really, really remember the last time he was right about anything?

Posted by: bklyndan22 | May 18, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Idiotic post from the king of right wing idiots.

Posted by: kevin1231 | May 18, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

It's a nice diversion tactic, but it is a diversion, nonetheless. The American public knows that the Bush Administration, with the full assistance, of its Republican-controlled congress, engaged in torture. To finger point and say, "he knew," or "she knew" changes the reality of what occurred not one whit. It makes someone else complicit maybe, but it still leaves you and your party responsible, which is a notch higher than complicit.

Posted by: jm817 | May 18, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

While the question you ask is not entirely uninteresting, this seems a rather transparent attempt to divert attention and to stick the blame for the atrocities of the past eight years on Pelosi, instead of where it squarely belongs: on the Bush-Cheney Administration, and on Neocons like you.

Posted by: PaulG2 | May 18, 2009 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that Mr. Kristol has expressed in his article my thoughts, exactly. pelosi is a bigger liability than Obama thought she was - to his "sovereignty." No love seems to be lost as she thinks she has more power than he. Too bad her lies to undue her original lies, haven't worked. Actually, all you Dummycrats deserve her - and her minions.

Posted by: marine2211 | May 18, 2009 3:44 AM | Report abuse

kristol is a neocon gnikcuf pig.

Posted by: memorybabe1 | May 18, 2009 4:03 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi has crashed and burned. What little credibility she had is gone.

Posted by: postfan1 | May 18, 2009 4:37 AM | Report abuse

Simpering clown.

Posted by: hellslittlestangel1 | May 18, 2009 4:42 AM | Report abuse

Of course Panetta would not have written that letter without White House approval. It's a great question to ask Mr. Gibbs today.

Posted by: mikwil84 | May 18, 2009 5:20 AM | Report abuse

Kristol - another charter member of the Onan Cult of War. What did Kristol know about torture and rendition? But, wait. Kristol is all for murder, torture, and warmongering.

Posted by: Marcaurelius | May 18, 2009 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Why does the Post waste space by allowing this guy to make his puerile comments? There is nothing of substance in this effort. Why does the Post pick up a fourth-rate writer who was fired by the New York Times?

Leo Coughlin
Lutherville, Maryland

Posted by: LeoCough | May 18, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Evidence presented has effectively rebutted Madam Pelosi's. She threw herself under the bus. Having lost all cred she should resign as Speaker. This might edge up the rating of Congress but only minutely.

Posted by: Mecarswell | May 18, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush authorised the torture program.

Who designed it?

Who directed the outing of a CIA spy?

Posted by: vigor | May 18, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

This is precisely why Kristol was unceremoniously fired from the Times.

There's nothing here. SIlly speculation designed to cloud enough eyes with squid ink that no one takes a real look at the question of substance.

Who in the previous white house authorized torture and how were lawyers used to retroactively justify it? Under what circumstances did Bush/Cheney use torture in an attempt to forge a false link between Iraq and 9-11? Why would Bush not go on the record and state plainly his definition of torture?

Posted by: OctoberLanguage | May 18, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

I believe that Peolsi is out on a ledge and needs to "fess up" and tell the truth. She was briefed and should not claim amnesia. It has been proven that a cover up never works, hasn't she learned anything during her time in DC? She made a mistake, admit it and move on.

Posted by: Alfred764 | May 18, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Why does the post publish this loser? Can you point to any wise or insightful observation he has made in the last 8 years?

Posted by: dougmuder | May 18, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

The question is not what Rahm knew. The question is what does Kristol know. And the answer is...not much. Talking about torture, I don't know why I submit myself to torture just by reading one of his windbag columns. We should just get down and do the right thing now by prosecuting those who ordered and carried out torture. Let's quit working around the edges and get to the center of the problem. Specifically, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. Once these bozos are in prison we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Posted by: jkarlinsky | May 18, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

With subscription revenue nearly half what it once was at Kristol's monthly (and his tenure at the NYTimes suddenly ended) does he have too much time on his hands now? Even more interesting, is the National Review even dependent on subscription or advertising revenue, or does it's operation funds come from "other" (PACs) sources? Maybe Mr. Kristol could devote a column to those conspiracies; they'd be far more interesting than another 1 on his fixation with Nancy Pelosi (or Sarah Palin). Surely Mr. Kristol can't be living solely off Fox News and loans from Charles Krauthammer these days, can he?

Posted by: wmboyd | May 18, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

WaPo is , at times, a rather silly idea of a newspaper. Giving Kristol a chance to spout his speculative nonsense only makes WaPo an even more absurd 'newspaper.' Am I going to have to depend on network news and USA Today for something bordering on news and informed opinion?
Probably, the very unfortunate end of newspapers will be a good thing. There is no care by their owners for anything but profits in the American news business.

Posted by: anders1 | May 18, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I moght add, Thank God for Jon Stewart.

Posted by: anders1 | May 18, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

My mistake, not the National Review (Buckley) but the Weakly Standard (64 issues for 64 cents. Delivered occasionally in a plain brown wrapper.

Posted by: wmboyd | May 18, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

If Panetta acted without consultation with the White House , he should be dismissed . If you act with the white house you act with Rahm . If the President will just keep campaigningfor the next 8 uears and leave the policy to Rahm , we will be fine .Rahm is giving the POTUS a schooling on settlements and 2 state solution right now .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | May 18, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

You libs are really something. Maybe you missed the title of this section, "Post Partisan- Quick Takes by the Post's Opinion Writers."

The keyword being OPINION.

Kristol is paid by WaPo to give his opinion/thoughts and you guys are trashing him after he does so. Reminds me of Perez Hilton. You must be so proud to follow the same intellectual philosophy of such a deep thinker.

What Kristol is surmising is that Panetta's letter may represent the first step by Obama's White House away from support of Pelosi after her disastrous press conference last Thursday. Porky Pig stammers less than she did. Anytime someone says, "My statement is this" TWICE and then fumbles through a stack of papers to find out what that statement is... There is a 100% chance that person is either flat out lying or parsing words so Clinton-ly as to render the statement a lie in spirit if not in actuality.

Why wouldn't Pelosi fear for her job? Obama has already proven he can toss people under the bus at a moment's notice when they become political liabilities (read: Rev. Wright, his own grandmother, Blago, etc) and she and Hoyer ain't exactly buddies to begin with.

Ironically, the only thing that may help Pelosi keep her job is that she is so unpopular. Another poster claimed she had 31% approval. I would suggest polling people from outside Haight Ashbury. Her approval is high-single, low double digits-tops. But that is exactly why Obama may keep her on. She has spearheaded Obama's domestic policy to date. When we are still at 9+% unemployment in early 2010 and the country is restless- Obama can blame her and the national media will applaud him for his "take charge" decisiveness rather than chastise him for abdicating his leadership on the issue in the first place.

Posted by: skf727 | May 18, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post is a hate site, so much so that in a recent bankruptcy motion to keep the identities of secured creditors to Chrysler private, the supporting exhibit was the hatred and threats by the likes of most commenters above me, directed toward those creditors.

When they lose politically, they express hate.

When they win - as they did in 2006 and 2008 - they express hate.

These are emotionally defective people. They can do nothing else.

Posted by: Kryon777 | May 18, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi has the power to bring on a special prosecutor. Bet the Bush crime family wouldn't like that.

Posted by: RMB2 | May 18, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

We need to keep our collective eye on the ball: Pelosi lied. Anything else is an attempt to divert our attention.

Posted by: primegrop | May 18, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

It is obvious that Emmanuel and the White House are hanging Pelosi out to dry. She is a huge liability to Obama and needs to go so Obama and his Chicago crew can control their socialist agenda without interference from San Francisco. If the rest of the country only knew how things operated politically here in Chicago they would know that Pelosi won't be long as House Speaker.

Posted by: djo4 | May 18, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

William Kristol,

Interesting observation - it certainly does seem plausible that Emanuel signed off on the letter from Panetta. I suppose it all depends on whether or not Panetta gave the White House a courtesy call, so to speak.

If Emanuel, or any other senior staff member, ok'd the letter, it would certainly lend another political dimension to the the issue:

Pelosi lied. She's probably going to face some political heat and embarrassment. But, will the White House back her - see her through the storm?

Hell, if I were in Rahm's place, I know I wouldn't want to waste a %60 or so public approval on Pelosi, especially with health care initiatives just around the corner.

At any rate, good catch Mr. Kristol. I hope you follow up on the question about any possible discussions Panetta might have had with White House staff concerning Friday's letter.

- Lance A. Webb

Posted by: LWebb | May 18, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The low references to Kristol being "neocon" or "Zionist" are--shall I put it delicately so as not to get my post removed?--just another way of calling him a "dirty little ___." [Rhymes with "through."] Not very nice, these commenters are.

Posted by: yourstruly1991 | May 18, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Rahm Emmanuel is pretty much a power freak. I can't imagine Panetta not checking in with him before releasing a statement of this nature.

Posted by: rrdn96 | May 18, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

One of the Head Nazis from the PNAC. Good to see him out and about. Wonder what war he's cooking up for us next?

Posted by: DaktariImpossible | May 18, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only person in the US who took Consumer Education? Bait and switch is so simple but the US citizens fall for it every time.

Posted by: artmann11 | May 18, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Did you check with Rush before writing this article?

Posted by: sacomment | May 18, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

LOL @ VWCAT. Perhaps you should study a little Ingrish rangridge. It's moot point not mute point. As for the rest of your post, I refer you to the dictionary and once again.

Posted by: tlicari76 | May 18, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

As a centrist semi-Democrat, I agree with Kristol on the main theme: should Pelosi stay? Rahm or no Rahm, it's a good question.

The liberals in these posts are having a squash fest. Calling Kristol names, etc.

The best post below is the one that asks what the Pres, VP, Sec State, etc. knew and endorsed. They are on the list with Pelosi.

Very odd that the liberals would be demagogically shouting these questions down. Shouldn't the liberals be very disappointed with Pelosi for having let them down? And now shamelessly having waffled to try to extricate herself?

She already did a wretched job with the stimulous package. Leaving Obama to start in on trimming pork and waste 'next year, as this budget was written last year.'

I'd like to see Pelosi go as Speaker. Her lefty San Fran consituents should ask why they wouldn't want a rep who would raise cain over torture.

Sadly, she looks power hungry. And worse, her supporters are undertaking a Bushian inability to see her conduct for what it really is.

Posted by: tdn0024 | May 18, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I guess the better title to the article would be: What Does Kristol Know? Based on the track record of his his previous observations, the answer would be: Not Much...

Posted by: bleep1 | May 18, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I only care as to when Bush knew and when he knew it. Democrats did not set policy and enact the torture agenda. They did not have sign-off power and if they did, Chaney would have done it anyway, to quote Dick himself,..."Fu** yourself!!!". We were dealing with an out of control executive branch who thought they were back in the Nixon Whitehouse and that Tricky Dicky's only mistake was not to burn the tapes.
Prosecute, convict and jail all who were part of the torture agenda, if Democrats are found to be in with Republicans, their should be room in the jail cells for all the guilty.

Posted by: tniederberger | May 18, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse


Typical leftist, you prefer to debate from a parallel universe.

Kristol is not speaking to the issue of whether the controversy about Pelosi is justified, he is discussing the significance of Leon Panetta's response.

By the way, I am not a neoncon, I believe neocons suck, and I think Kristol is about the worst of the bunch.

But that doesn't mean he might not have something intelligent to say once in a while. This is one of those occasions.

Posted by: bot_feeder | May 18, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I never thought I would agree with Kristol but the ferocity of the Panetta attack, dealing with a time frame before he was director of the CIA, leaves only one conclusion. The Democrats are trying to ease Mrs. Pelosi out.

I had hoped Democrats could be less Machiavellian than the Republicans.

Posted by: arancia12 | May 18, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

By the way.

Although it seems to me the Pelosi thing is being blown out of proportions, I think one of the points that is suggested by Kristol's article is that it may not just be Republicans that are trying to use this to undermine Pelosi.

It very well may be that Democrats such as Obama see this as an opportunity to undermine Pelosi.

And, understandably so, because Pelosi is a huge liability to the Democratic Party.

She creates an image of the party as being extremist rather than moderate.

The torture thing is an opportunity for the Democratic Party to downsize its biggest liability, Nancy Pelosi.

Posted by: bot_feeder | May 18, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse


I didn't see your post before I did mine.

Mine was pretty irrelevant after you made the same point.

Posted by: bot_feeder | May 18, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Yawwwwwwwwwwn. Kristol trying to justify war, torture, and death... again.

Posted by: crosseyedamerican | May 18, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Slowly as Obama gets his sea legs the battle lines are being drawn within the Democrat party.
Pelosi will emerge as the far left coalition Darth Vader. Last week she came out of the cave for the first time and failed miserably! Obama pulled a flank move by bringing Leon in to attack her, all the while being silent. More than silence, Gibbs actually slapped down the probing by the Media!

This will get much uglier in the coming days, and weeks.

Posted by: hotdad14 | May 18, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi is known as being a pretty talented Machiavellian herself, however.

Will be interesting to see if she finds a clever way to retaliate against the administration.

Posted by: bot_feeder | May 18, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Bill. You're going to throw your back out reaching so hard for that last straw.

Enjoy your date w/ the gallows. You've earned it.

Posted by: dcp26851 | May 18, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse


Yes, Kristol has supported the things you mention, but not in this particular article.

Did you even bother to read it?

Posted by: bot_feeder | May 18, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I suppose that over the last eight years of the Bush Administration where Dick Cheney was the "Shadow Director of the CIA," Kristol doesn't understand that Director Panetta is someone who actually has a backbone and isn't afraid to stand up to political pressure.

Unfortunately, for the CIA, Cheney twisted and framed the intelligence the CIA provided to the Congressional leaders making it appear to be something other than the truth.

Perhaps only an independent investigation will get to the truth and formal charges brought against criminals for justice to be served.

I'm all for that! I wonder how Kristol feels about it?

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | May 18, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol's birth name is Shecky Kristolberg---- That should give you some idea of what his agenda is.

Posted by: orionexpress | May 18, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Shecky Kristolberg;;; How is that War against Iran working out for you and AIPAC?

Posted by: orionexpress | May 18, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse


The public disapproves of Pelosi, but not by as big a margin as you claim.

You can find the data on

A few weeks ago she was disapproved by about a 2 to 1 margin, but the margin narrowed a bit in the last one I checked, although.

However, I'm sure the Obama administration is keenly aware that the public's support for Obama doesn't carry over to the congressional leadership.

I'm sure Obama's not too crazy about kowtowing to other politicians like Pelosi who don't even have popular support.

Posted by: bot_feeder | May 18, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

hello guy said:

"Kristol doesn't understand that Director Panetta is someone who actually has a backbone and isn't afraid to stand up to political pressure."

So you feel that Panetta's slam at Pelosi was an act of integrity which he did on his own volition?

Posted by: bot_feeder | May 18, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi is a stupid woman with no sense; she should be run out of Washington, DC!

I find it so fascinating that you liberal Democrats forget that Congress and the committees were advised and conferred with all aspects of terrorist and their "punishment". President Bush and VP Cheney did what they needed to do to counter future terrorist attacks on American's cities. You so quickly forget 3000 Americans lost their lives on 9/11; LA as targeted as well, but thanks to the "unpopular" but appropriate decisions made by these courageous indivduals, no more American lives were lost.

Just wait until we have another event - and it is coming, thanks to Obama's opening our borders, lack of security and deceitful alliances with Hamas and other Middle East terrorist groups. What do you think the Obamanation will do? Obvoiusly his is lacking in patriotism, courage, or leadership, so he will point the finger and blame once again on Bush. He will then "poll" America and maybe make a decision. But he does not have what it takes to do what a leader needs to do to secure our country and her citizens.

You are foolish, naive people. War is hell and there are no easy outs.

Posted by: magsthecat1 | May 18, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Enough! This feeding frenzy of who knew what when is diversionary. The question is who DID what when and under what legal license.

Posted by: rsb1 | May 18, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol spins both Pelosi's and Panetta's word without paying attention to how carefully parsed each of their statements were. Panetta did not contradict Pelosi. His statement was that CIA policy was not to lie or deceived. Coming from the head of an intelligence agency, one would truly be naive to not notice that this statement does not preclude such lying or deceipt, especially now, that we are engaged in the final endless war where our survival requires that all courses of action, even the dark side, be on the table and available, because if we do not save this beacon on the hill, where will the world find another. The irony is so thick I feel rusty.

Posted by: eddiehaskel | May 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

It makes sense that the rebuke of Pelosi would come with the blessing of the White House. They have not been anxious to inflame to torture issue and likely have information that contradicts her on this matter. Many democrats were frustrated at the extent to which democratic leaders rolled over after 9/11 on issues such as the Patriot Act and the Iraq war. Why should interrogation techniques be any different? It makes perfect sense that she was briefed then and is trying to cover it now. And after boneheaded moves such as her antagonistic speech on the eve of the failed bail out bill, her inserting birth control funding in the subsequent stimulus bill, and other blunders, what pragmatic democrat would not want her to move aside?

Posted by: MShaughn | May 18, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

More blather from the man whose Vice President boss couldn't spell potato.

How about talking about Bush keeping Hassert after he knew of Foley's follies?

Limbaugh's Republicans, like O'Reilly Catholics and Dobson evangelicals are given a gift from God to pick and chose their morality and judgment of others.

Republicans are like your father's Pontiac, but morally bankrupt instead with a wide-stance instead of a wide-trac.

Posted by: coloradodog | May 18, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

My God, Kristol!
You make me want to stomp your f***inGAS* right into the sidewalk.

Posted by: TOMHERE | May 18, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Because the neocons want to discuss Pelosi:

1. As Speaker, Pelosi can resign or be removed by her House colleagues. Neither the American people nor the White House nor the CIA can force either of those actions.

2. As for being run out of Washington, that's up to Pelosi's constituents next year. If she isn't re-elected, the majority party (presumably the Democrats) will elect a new Speaker when the new Congress convenes.

You neocons need to learn this stuff; no one has time to keep giving you this eighth-grade government tutoring. You might make a few friends if you stopped proposing actions that are entirely unrealistic.

Posted by: jlhare1 | May 18, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the heads-up. I see the polls you are referencing at Rasmussen. Man, those findings beggar belief.

Her unfavorable rating actually lessened between April and May and favorable increased? I don't she how that is possible though it should be noted that her press conference occurred the day after the polls were taken.

Posted by: skf727 | May 18, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Does my being a conservative mean pelosi is not lying?

Posted by: carlbatey | May 18, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse


Say it: Po-Tay-Toe.

Just like TOW-MAY-TOE.

Posted by: TOMHERE | May 18, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Kristol, if this is the burning question on your list, then there must not be much to it. But if you and the rest of the dimbulbs passing for intelligence in wingnut land want to play "look at the shiny object", fine. As long as it keeps your mindset from doing any more harm than was done for the last eight years. Judging from some of the comments here, you got some company in drool cup land...

Posted by: LABC | May 18, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Dear vwcat. Yes I'm just an uneducated conservative but at least I know the difference between moot and mute, and vein vain. You're comment was both vain and moot and I urge You to be mute.

Posted by: carlbatey | May 18, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

When did Kristol know that Iraq had no WMD's
and did not support Al Qaeda and that Cheney has ordered the torture of suspected terrorists to get them to back up his lies?

Posted by: rkerg | May 18, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the lecture on what this is REALLY about.
Anyone who hasn't realized that Pelosi MUST GO doesn't deserve to post here.
Here's the fact: ANYONE who was involved in torture must face justice, PARTY BE DAMNED.

Posted by: TOMHERE | May 18, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Billy, nobody cares about your diversionary dreams. You, your prez and your party spent 8 miserable years proving your proudest policies lead to failure. That is why you selfish buffoons are trying to lead but nobody is following.

I suggest you turn your computer off and get a job that suits your qualifications and experience. Shoveling manure at a chicken farm would be perfect.

Posted by: 1observer | May 18, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"What did Rahm Emanuel know about the Panetta letter, and when did he know it?"

So the Pelosi story is losing traction and it is time for another conservative republican distraction from the real subject of health care!!!

Posted by: knjincvc | May 18, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

How could so many be wrong, and uninformed. The question has been answered as to what Pelosi knew and when she knew it. And the proof is in the papers at the CIA. Panetta is only defending the agency he heads, and those who breifed Pelosi. Everyone else seems to be able to remember, so that leaves Pelosi being a liar. The real question that should be ask, is when will Pelosi resign from congress? If it were a republican, it would have already happened, thanks to the liberal press.

Posted by: poppy11 | May 18, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Sooo if Pelosi had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before her 2002 briefing there should be a transcript of the entire briefing right!

If there is not, end of discussion!

Posted by: knjincvc | May 18, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristal is a pathetic specimen of humanity and his words often border on the un-American. As a neocom, he believes that if a lie is repeated often enough then the public will believe it--i.e., the truth, according to Rove and Kristal, is what we claim to be the truth. This is extremely dangerous to our democracy and I do not know why so called reputable news organizations allow him to spew forth his hate, innuendos, half truths, deception and red-herrings designed to obscure the truth. Please readers, recognize this article is precisely the later, an attempt to throw another red-herring out to divert attention from the crimes against humanity committed by Cheney/Bush.

Posted by: PaulofAnnapolis | May 18, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

TO: Anti-Republican posters

Repubicans are joining with the Democrat Leon Panetta because Pelosi and like-minded Democrats want to prosecute those attorneys that "authorized" the so-called torture techniques. Had Pelosi simply introduced legislation outlawing those techniques or raised hxll at any of those meetings, she might have some moral or political authority. Instead, she is an opportunistic hypocrite who should be shown the door.

I might also add be careful if you support such prosecutions. Those in Obama's and all successive administrations may get a little nervous doing their job for fear of prosecution. Not a pleasant working condition for people charged with protecting the country - their number 1 job.

Posted by: go_figure | May 18, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The neocons, republican party and Bill Kristol are a joke. Anyone who pays attention to them is gullible and should have their head examined.

Posted by: ILuvUS | May 18, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Bill: You speculate madly, your reasoning is haphazard and, as always, your writing is dreadful. Yet I must agree with you. The Bush administration did want Lott out of the way, and I imagine you don't have to speculate about that information. It hardly follows that the Obama administration would like to remove Pelosi. She seems to endorse to their agenda. You probably meant to write something like this last year when Obama hired Rahm to get him out of congress, where he presented a potential obstacle.

Posted by: jaytingle | May 18, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Bill, it would be an interesting question to ask Gibbs. But there would be no answer, so why waste a question?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | May 18, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Ohhh, Billy Kristol has some new gossip to dispatch! Careful tiger, you don't want the girls getting mad at you!

Posted by: xSamplex | May 18, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Clearly America's version of Professor Moriarty, now resding in he WH, has decided that his version of a dictatorship of the proletariat is not compatible with Bela Pelosi and her SF whackos version of socialism, and her behavior and that of her loudmouth cronies is a distraction and inhibiting the messiah's ability to assume absolute power. I got suspicious when Hoyer refused to support Bela's accusations of the CIA lying. Comes now Leon Panetta to confirm the integrity of the CIA! Obviously, Professor Moriarty has cried havoc and loosed the dogs of war! Bela, meet bus. According to revwrong there's still plenty of room under there!

Posted by: hughglass | May 18, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect, who cares? You are neither a serious conservative nor any kind of thinker. This distraction is a juvenile Rovian counter-charge distraction.

America does not deserve Obama as president. You creepy, creepy fat, privileged Republicans can keep on throwing swiftboat crap at Obama but you are dead in the water, floating downstream. Try getting an idea, just one, to help America along upstream!

Posted by: walden1 | May 18, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Bill I think the more important question is: What did YOU know and when did YOU know it?

Posted by: dhampton100 | May 18, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

This is just smoke and mirrors.

The issue is torture and who authorized it.

Every member of Congress briefed by the CIA were briefed on the condition that they not discuss it with anyone.

There is not a long history of CIA trustworthiness leading up to and during the Iraq war... there is a long history of democrats not getting all the information that republicans got from the Bush Administration. Cheney hid in his burnker and at one time was claiming he was not part of the administration. That the Bush White house would cherry pick information is well within the boundaries they chose. We can believe anything with their record.

Kristol? He's never found anything Bush and Cheney did objectionable. He's not even an honest reporter, let alone unbiased.

Posted by: dutchess2 | May 18, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"What Did Rahm Know?"

Kristol and his puppetmasters are the enemy of America. And doggone it, they're not going to stop until they've completely destroyed it or themselves.

They did a great job of destroying the country during the Bush-Cheney occupation. After that, so far them destroying themselves has what most call an insurmountble lead. Keep up the great work. America is thankful. Yes, Virginia, there is a right and a wrong.

Posted by: Patriot3 | May 18, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol, you are really focusing on trivialities. The significant questions are about the torture, the torture memos, the involvement of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, et al. in deliberately abrogating international treaties and violating US laws for the purposes of making money and stealing foreign lands and resources. The mental state of DC paper-pushers 7-8 years after the atrocities and war-crimes were enacted by BushCo is clearly intended as a distraction to protect the REAL criminals: GW Bush and EVERYONE who worked for him.

But the People will not be deterred. The Cheney-Bush Gang will be hounded to the ends of the earth, unto death's door and beyond. It's very important that the entire world recognize Cheney, Bush, et al. as war criminals in the true history of this era. The GW Bush "presidential" library should either be bulldozed or converted into an Iraq War Memorial to house the records of Cheney-Bush's crimes against humanity.

Posted by: mgloraine | May 18, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

my guess is that rahm knows kristols days are over his voice no longer means anything to anyone. surprised the wapo gives this guy a space .this is only place i hear about rove, hannity gingerich,etal as i dont watch fox and they can only appear there. so noone except the except the extreme far right ever hears from these sickos.

Posted by: donaldtucker | May 18, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I am astonished, snowballs are melting in Hades. Kristol wrote something I can agree with. Commentators have definitely NOT been struck as much as they should have been. I'm all for striking them 'till they STFU. Thanks for the chuckle Bill.

Posted by: KennyBoy | May 18, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

WTF...; Kristol, how do you come up with all these nonsense?

Posted by: IpiTombi | May 18, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Has the 0bama administration finally recognized "Crab Walk" Pelosi as the embarrasment that she is?

Posted by: NeverLeft | May 18, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

IT's really sad to see the only way Lberals know how to post comments about some one who disagrees with them is to call them NASTY names. Nancy Pelosi screwed up she needs, to go the sooner the better!!! I cannot stomach Liberals who call waterboarding torture it's not!!!!
You all seem to forget that time right after 9/11 when the country was in a panic
I for am grateful they waterboarded!!!!!
When will you people wake up these extemist don't follow the Geneva Convention
I say Hooray for Dick Cheney and Hooray for George Bush they keep us safe. Obama has the same obligation God help us if any
Americans die because of the Wacky Lefist

Posted by: cassiemaxdog | May 18, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's first answer the question: 'what did bush and cheney know, and when did they know it?

Then we can turn our attention to ignoring Kristol's stupid impertinant question about Emmanuel.

Posted by: kurthunt | May 18, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes.... It's the 'little things' that add up. During the 'circus' sometime last week, The Prez, on the outside lawn, presented various speakers to the microphone. And then it was His turn. When He finished and turned to leave with the entourage, a certain someone had to make a further comment, which then ended the event.... And the 'rest' is history.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | May 18, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Heres all that matters in this debate. On ONE side, "neocons, conservatives" and people who want to kill terrorists before they kill us, even if it means pouring a bit of water on their face (awww boo hoo). Liberals and terrorists on the other. Who gives a rat$ a$$ if these people were treated harshly, does anyone remember the 3000 killed in the trade centers, or have you forgotten already!!!

Posted by: vrbjunk | May 18, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bill Kristol..
chickenhawak, neo-con, traitor. GFY.

Posted by: kirinbeer96701 | May 18, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Let's first anwer the question When did Bush and Cheney know there was a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge and what they did about it!! They waterboard the people
who knew what was happening. I am one American who's not going to loose sleep over waterboarding!!!!! The bigger question in my book is how come the Wonderful Bill Clinton didn't take out OSAMA when he had the chance!!!! He was to busy thinking with his little head instead of his big head
He was so bogged down with scandal he wasn't paying any attention to OSAMA. This is why we are in the mess we are in not Bush and Cheney!!!!!!

Posted by: cassiemaxdog | May 18, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

After that startling unbelievable Press Conference its pretty clear that the White House knows that Nancy Pelosi is out of control and lying. If she isn't shut up she will start a full scale internal war with our intelligence service damaging them radically, and do serious damage to the Democrats and Obama's agenda. The White House clearly approved Panetta's fast rebuke to the Speaker hoping she'll get the message, stop the arrogance, get the meglomania under control with some medication, and go into hiding for awhile.

Posted by: valwayne | May 18, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm ... this .... I mean ... She's --Pelosi is 3rd in line to the Presidency and is saying that the CIA lies to her all the time. I don't know how to even process that information. What does that mean to the security of our country? If it's true, I think we are in far bigger trouble than most people realize. I would like an investigation. Taking Pelosi at her word as a woman in the third most powerful position in the most powerful nation (for now) on earth, we have a system that is completely broken and therefor extremely fragile.

We need to stop arguing and get to the bottom of this issue. If the CIA is lying to her, then who can be trusted? Have they gone rogue? Are they engineering the outcome of elections? Do they answer to anyone?

Posted by: BrideOfRove | May 18, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Since the Forrest Gump’s on this board missed the humor in “what did he know and when did he know it” I guess it’s a good thing that he didn’t use “it’s the seriousness of the charge” cliché.

Posted by: B4NOT | May 18, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

It would be odd for an agency head to fire off an incendiary letter to the Speaker without going upstairs for consultation.

Say what you like about Kristol. He is raising an interesting point: If you were in the White House and wanted to put a damper on things, you would probably encourage Panetta to come back with a lower-key response.

That didn't happen. Why?

Posted by: cynicalidealist | May 18, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Cheney's outspoken response to Barry's releasing (in true Marxist Style governing) of the Top Secret CIA documents has Barry looking the inexperienced political hack he is and Pelosi the idiot lying fool she is. Excellent Work Mr Cheney. Keep it Up!

Posted by: FraudObama | May 18, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Bush/Cheney administration kept this country safe after 9/11 and the Ungrateful Code Pink Pasty Libs cannot stand that fact. For the past 7 yrs the Socialist Libs in Congress and Liberal Corrupt Media did all it could to undermine that administration. Fortunately neither Bush or Cheney could give a crap about the Libs and to this day ignore their every word. They were fighting a war. Except we now have an administration that refuses to call Terrorism, Terrorism or a Terrorist Attack, a Terrorist Attack. Barry demands that we treat Terrorists politely and not insult them in any manner. Releases Top Secret CIA Documents for political gain in true Marxist style. But refuses to release evidence of the results gained from Enhanced Interrogation techniques. Was going to release photos at the beckoning call of his legal staff the ACLU until the High School President was educated by adults. Cheney is calling Barry out and it is about time. Cheney will continue to bore in on this administration and as he does watch its National Security Policies change. Barry Soetoro's campaign blather was just that Radical Blather.

Posted by: FraudObama | May 18, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Those who think this is just another cheap attempt to change the subject from much more important issues are right. I read Kristol just to get regular opportunities to laugh!

Posted by: dmiller3 | May 18, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Nancy will fess up to what the Kristols and their ilk call her grave misdeeds that are an all-out attack on our democracy (or the terminally ill Republican Party) just as soon as Bush and Cheney get sworn in and answer questions under oath without taking the Fifth.

Posted by: Patriot3 | May 18, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

That's right Bill, today's burning issue in the question of how/why the Bush administration sanctioned illegal and unconstitutional torture is if Leon Panetta discussed his letter with the Obama White House. You know, neo-conservatives are no good at war, no good at the economy, no good at healthcare, education, or responding to national emergencies. They're certainly no good at journalism. Fantasy, propaganda and deceit is what they know how to do.

Posted by: gposner | May 18, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Has it occured to any of you who pretend that this entire issue is a "shiny object" that it's about page 1 of the Democrat playbook (HYPOCRISY) and political power??

Ms. Pelosi and the rest of the party decided in 2004 to politicize the war when they saw an opening to REGAIN POWER. They all had the same information as the GWB administration and they voted to invade Iraq. Only when they realized they could retake power - there's that word again - did they ALL (except a few brave souls like Joe Lieberman) backpedal and fabricate that they were lied to.

Try, just ONCE, to be objective and be critical of a Democrat. It won't hurt you any - unless of course BHO and his "censorship goons" find you!!

Posted by: awolfson | May 18, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

The Libs, so loyal to their Queen will defend her, hunker down in denial and deflect, as they are so oft to do, to Bush. You want "transparency", the Libs desperately circling their wagons are the definition of transparency. You can see right through them.

Posted by: FraudObama | May 18, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi was not the only one that was briefed. Dozens were. She was the most ignorant to put her disgusting foot in her mouth. Dems and Republicans were briefed over a long period of time. So, where are all the high moral Dems speaking out and expressing outrage over the CIA enhanced interrogations. They are cowering in the corner because they are spineless political hack traitors.

Posted by: FraudObama | May 18, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Be careful Kristol or Rahm will do something childish like send you a dead fish.

Posted by: pgr88 | May 18, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Smilin' Billy Kristol supposed to be a once-a-month contributor to the Washington Post?

Why is back so soon with more inane sh!t-stirring?

Can't his boss and paymaster Rupert Murdoch find more for Smilin' Billy to do at Fox News and the Weekly Standard?

Why is Smilin' Billy -- the Republicans' very own Gossip Girl -- being allowed to inflict his puerile, sophomoric twaddle on grown-ups in the Washington Post?

Posted by: pali2600 | May 18, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse


he makes you uncomfortable doesn't he? good.

Posted by: FraudObama | May 18, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Pelose meowed too loud.

Posted by: peterroach | May 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Just think of this as a baseball game. Which team will win, the Baltimore Mafia or the Chicago Thugs? Relax and enjoy as there may be a few extra innings.

Posted by: OldDem1 | May 18, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the problem all the posters have with Kristol. To be sure, there is a major issue about torture and this country has a massive PR nightmare and credibility gap because of the torture that former VP Dick Cheney now says is a really good idea - somehow I doubt the US soldiers who receive similar treatment think it's a good idea.

However, what Bill Kristol brings up here is a great point - yes, it's a side point, but a good one - does the White House want a different Speaker (I, for one, HOPE they do). I think most American's have a lot more faith and trust in the White House and the new administration than they do in the insultingly political Pelosi who has embarrassed herself with her comments about what she knew and when. I don't know enough about Steny Hoyer, but hope to learn.

Posted by: IndependantAmerican | May 18, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

What the F* does it matter what Pelosi knew? What the F* does it matter that Pelosi was told lies by the CIA at their "briefing" (where Pelosi was forced to keep her mouth shut). We know that the CIA either falsified intell to link Iraq to 9/11, or that the CIA kept quite after the criminals Bush and Cheney, together with their criminal GOP cohorts, falsified the records to justify their criminal invasion of Iraq.

What the F* does it matter who else may have heard something or knew something.

The real criminals are well known by now.

Give it a rest, rethugs. Your diversion tactics will not work.

Posted by: mackiejw | May 18, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Cincodecuarto wrote:

"I guess there is no point in trying to discuss the Obama administration v Pelosi and her minions in this forum."

I don't pay for the Washington Post but come here (read from Australia) because I think it is a reputable.

I think "the Obama administration v Pelosi and her minions" sounds like it's probably going to be partisan sledging (and I'm no Democrat), but, against the possibility I'm wrong, I will certainly listen to what you have to say here.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | May 18, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse


Kristol is a commentator, not a reporter. The US media is so biased that the commenter from Australia assumes they're one and the same. I'd like to ask Brett, how do Dionne's editorial's work for you? Only then will we know where you're coming from.

Posted by: ktchvl | May 18, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Mackie wrote:
What the F* does it matter what Pelosi knew? What the F* does it matter that Pelosi was told lies by the CIA at their "briefing" (where Pelosi was forced to keep her mouth shut). We know that the CIA either falsified intell to link Iraq to 9/11, or that the CIA kept quite after the criminals Bush and Cheney, together with their criminal GOP cohorts, falsified the records to justify their criminal invasion of Iraq.


If what she knew was irrelevant, why did she hold a press conference? Why did she lie?

Posted by: ktchvl | May 18, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Boy, if you want a discussion of the issues, this sure is the wrong place to go! Man oh man, just one evasive insult after another, not a lot of discussion of the issue. Certainly not 'post-partisan' here. It's more than a little pertinent if the Speaker of the House knew that enhanced interrogation techniques were being used, especially if she is now of a mind to criminalize others. Ya think? Doesn't mean that Bush's involvement isn't an issue, it's just a different issue. But the libs on here are not interested in discussion on a rational level, after years of Bush-hate all they know how to do now is hurl insults and conspiracy theories and infuse policy issues with personal hatred. You've become what you used to hate. Look at their inane comments on here, very little actual discussion of the Pelosi issue, lots of distraction with the Bush issues, real and imagined. I used to sort of admire some of the intellects on the Left, even though I disagreed with their politics, but where have they gone? Not on the WP blogs, I can tell you that... OK, queue the I-hate-ChangeIsNotAStrategy invective.

Posted by: ChangeIsNotAStrategy | May 18, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

hello guy said:

"Kristol doesn't understand that Director Panetta is someone who actually has a backbone and isn't afraid to stand up to political pressure."

bot_feeder said:

So you feel that Panetta's slam at Pelosi was an act of integrity which he did on his own volition?
Answer bot_feeder: I think Panetta went to the President and said he can't allow Pelosi to continue slamming his agency.

And Panetta was allowed by the President to put a shot across Pelosi's bow.

I don't think Pelosi was totally wrong in her assertions. I believe she and the other Congressional leaders were handed a bill of goods by Dick Cheney, who fabricated all reports supplied by the CIA in order for the Bush Administration to justify their actions.

Now are you trying to sidetrack the point I made, or do you want to discuss the Bush Administration's illegal actions?

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | May 18, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Why couldn't you have just written a column about what you had for breakfast or something.

Posted by: repudar711 | May 18, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Libs will always slam the opposition with juvenile taunts. Let them boil with the anger...that is their uneducated, unwilling to have an honest debate on FACTS, childish way of attempting to hold on to power.

Posted by: CPTconservo | May 18, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I am a conservative Republican, sorry.

Posted by: repudar711 | May 18, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

You lefty morons. You just cant stand it when it is one of your own that is over the fire. Pelosi is a two faced liar, and she was caught red-handed.

Posted by: teachtp123 | May 18, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Why do you need a CIA, anyway, or a Congress, when you have people like Chalabi to hand you your case for war, Yoo to hand you your case for torture, people like Blackwater or another contracter to do the torture, and Cheney to control all the details?

Posted by: repudar711 | May 18, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

As presidents chief of staff Rahm already knew the scoop on Pelosi. The entire congress was informed at the Abu Gharib hearings when Gen. Taguba said military intelligence had authorization to use torture if necessary from a rank higher than his. Congress and the press turned a blind eye to the General's and the Red Cross red flags on abuse.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 18, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

vwcat: All Kristol is trying to do is make Obama look like Bush, hence you can say Bush 'was right'. That's the new neocon/republican strategy this quarter--Steele payed it yesterday on MTP. Limbaugh hitting him up on the torture photos last week--same deal.

Obama isn't of course, but you do give Kristol some cred that there IS something there. Obama has always been uncomfortable around Pelosi. Overall, Obama has been uncomfortable around all top, high caliber women in gov't: HRC, Pelosi, O'Connor, Ginsberg, female CEOs, the list goes on. Just look at the old news clips: He appears uncomfortable!

He maybe confident around them, but the uncomfortable mannerisms he throws out says he'd be better off with Steny, which is a lot like Biden: a good'ol boy.

Posted by: recharged95 | May 18, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

One other thing about the topic of Pelosi:

If she knew, then it's VERY likely others did, and that's Congress: torture becomes FTL FAIL at the congressional level. Basically, the system failed, at the Bush Administration Level, the Senate, and the House, etc...

And guess what: both Rahm was in the House and Obama was in the Senate the last 4 yrs. People need to remember we hired the guys that have been in the system the last 4-6 years. Sure fresh faces and ideas, but still *inside the Beltway*. You can't deny that FACT. Good intentions are great, but in DC "speak", when you're in the system, you are the system.

That's why people need to vote for those truly outside "the system". In 2008, we did not.

Posted by: recharged95 | May 18, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kristol: Your column exhibits too much speculation to be taken seriously at this point. Where are your "unnamed sources". Try again later.

However, I do agree that Ms. Pelosi has, in the fractured words of Ricky Ricardo, "some 'splaining to do".

Posted by: MillPond2 | May 18, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I really hope the Washington Post is getting a refund from Bill Kristol. You should not be paying for this level of drivel.

Posted by: allym30 | May 18, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

To all the apologists of the Democrats and haters of Republicans...stop drawing your lines like Democrats are righteous do-gooders...President Reagan may have started rendition (contrary to what some lunatics was not something President Bush contrived) with regards to Fawaz Younis, but President Clinton really got the ball rolling. Rendition was used 70 times before 9/11, mostly during the Clinton administration.

So, apologists, it's okay to have another country do our dirty work in a way that is TRULY torture...just as long as we don't get OUR hands dirty?? Or should we go back further than the Bush administration and have a truth commission for the Clinton administration too?

Maybe we can send mothers-to-be, who's babies might be alive when ripped from their womb, to other countries so we can't be held responsible for killing a defenseless life?

Great priorities you all must be nice to live in your rosy world.

Posted by: Jackbit | May 18, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

You people so anxious to put Bush, Cheney and their office of legal counsel in the dock are missing the whole point about why Pelosi's knowledge, along with several other Dems' who are now sharpening their axes is important. Not everyone agrees that what was done to extract information from the terrorists was torture. And certainly not everyone agreed at the time the decision to use harsh interrogations was made that the methods allowed were torture. In fact the 'torture memos' are better described as 'torture avoidance memos' because they were written to give concrete guidelines to what could and could not be done to the terrorists precisely to avoid torturing them. If Pelosi and other Dems knew this was going on or was approved to be used at some future date, and they believed the methods were torture, then they had an obligation to object. They could have introduced bills in the house or senate forbidding these practices from being used. They did nothing, indicating they agreed that such methods were legal. Now, after the fact, after the information has been extracted, after the terrorist threat has subsided somewhat, they want to change the rules and declare that methods they had not objected to previously were illegal all along. This, even though they have still not passed legislation outlawing water boarding and other methods they now object to. This is nothing less than outlawing actions after the fact. Phrases such as 'shocks the conscience' are not specific enough to be guidelines for interrogators. This whole exercise is one of political maneuvering. Those of you who claim the Pelosi scandal is all a distraction have it half right. The real distraction is the whole flap over 'torture'. If you are going to put Bush and Cheney on trial, you better put half of the defense department on trial too, as they waterboard members of the special forces and air crews routinely during survival, escape and evasion training. The distraction is being created by the Dems to draw attention away from their 'culture of corruption' as Pelosi would put it. Between Harry Reid's sweet heart land deals, Charley Rangle's tax evasion and rent controlled apartments, John Murtha's no bid contracts to family members, Nancy Pelosi's private airline, paid for by the US Air Force, Diane Feinstein's earmarks to her husband's company, Jane Harmon's quid pro quo for campaign contributions, etc. there are so many scandals the Dems need to distract the public from, I'm sure this circus has just started.

Posted by: Neoconisnotaprejorative | May 18, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

If I weren't so happy, I'd probably cry.

"My God, Kristol!
You make me want to stomp your f***inGAS* right into the sidewalk."

Enjoy your moment in the sun my liberal friends. IMHO, thanks to stalwarts like the fellow I just quoted, you're toast until, I'm going to say...2020.

Prove me wrong.

Posted by: richalmack | May 18, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"Under the bus" is the cute term coined regarding Obama's cold distancing of people he used up and discards, if there is even a hint of them standing in his way.

Pelosi may have only been the rung up the step ladder for Obama's aspirations to rule the World.

She is in the rubble pile of Barry Soreto's victims along with Blago, Auntie Zetuni, Ayers, and Rev. Wright.

It is important to understand the NPD sociopath who should be medically relieved of Command by Congress, but it is also important to understand that Pelosi thought she could control and use the beast.

Her career is over, but she deserved that.

The first concern of the Congress and Pelosi should have been the Untied States of America's Constitutional Republic, and the protection of the people's power....not Obama's.

Pelosi should wave graciously bye bye, because the Hague is calling for a head, and she in her own power grab, is culpable.

Posted by: dottydo | May 18, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Your post does point out one thing clearly, the two party Democrat Republican system isn't listening to the people, or acting on our behalf, but on their own.

Time to walk away from both Bases and move the electoral college away from them to a Party to make it clear that the people have the power in this Country.

Change your voter Registration to Independent Party, so that never again, will Congress ignore the bales of snail mail, emails , and phone calls saying "no" on a bailout bill.... "No" on following stimulous bills...and 'no" on prokulous.

Dump what is wrong, and demand better.
Place Independent Party into all seats this round.

Posted by: dottydo | May 18, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The real question is: What did Kristol know?.......Ever?.......About anything?

Posted by: Jerryvov | May 18, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, I thought there would be some interesting debate going on here! My mistake !! Still the same old, same old comments from the left (especially) and the right...Either there are a lot of commenters unemployed, or retired (which I doubt)....but lots of hate and vile being thrown out here! My take on this is that nothing is being accomplished on the economy, health care and social security....Keep it up, guys, in another six months the whole country will be exactly where it is today, only more partisan and divided throughout the country!

Posted by: SeniorVet | May 18, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: lunetrick | May 18, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

dottydo...I have...just don't know if it will do any good...

Posted by: Jackbit | May 18, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Neither Rahm Emmanuel nor Nancy Pelosi had the authority to order torture.

No one in the Administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had the authority to conduct torture on prisoners in violation of the treaty obligations of this nation.

The burden of the violations of law, fall squarely on the shoulders of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and anyone else in that administration in the executive branch who ordered torture or who condoned the torture of human beings.

NO ONE but those who ordered torture or who participated in the torture of human beings is guilty of anything because they did not have the power to stop the runaway Executive Branch from their program of torture which has led to the deaths of human beings in their custody. That is murder. Murder has no statute of limitations.


Posted by: goodcake4u | May 18, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is trying harder to help al Qaeda than Democrat Left Wing Nuts and their Leftist allies the world over. And they will definitely succeed in helping Islamofacists carry out further large scale attacks on the west.

They laugh at the weakness of the Liberal Left.

Posted by: Democrat_Culture_of_Corruption | May 18, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

There is no way Panetta sent that letter without, at least, giving the white house a heads up. From there its speculation, but Panetta has always been a team player - the white house knew in advance.

Posted by: mowjoe | May 18, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Another conservative scraping the very bottom of the barrel, hoping to stir up a new tempest in a teapot. It is a 24/7 job to distract the public from getting on with the inquiry into abuses during the Cheney/Bush years. Between the jerk himself (Cheney), and the yipping and yapping of the erstwhile GOP house speaker (and known liar) Salamander Gingrich, the beaten down right is still talks like anyone cares what they have to say. So, "lying" to congress by Pelosi is worthy of a house investigation, while the disgusting abuse during Cheney's reign is not! Please!

Posted by: USVoter | May 18, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

It is great to see that people, American people, know exactly who Bill Kristol is.

Why should anybody listen to this traitor who has done everything in his power, with his patron, Rupert Murdoch, to sacrifice every American life and every American dollar at a thankless, useless, arrogant Israel.

Kristol, if you love Israel so much, go there and get the hell out of OUR country.
Loser. What a debacle you've caused, you blind fool.

Posted by: dblakeross | May 18, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

It is almost as painful reading Bill Kristol's pathetically lame columns trying to make something of nothing regarding any aspect of President Obama's administration. Kristol really should take a deep breath and accept that his ideological ilk have almost ruined this country and the working middle class (formally known as the backbone of America) single handedly and it will take a Herculean effort by President Obama to straighten it out. Bill Kristol is as tiresome, as listening to that cast of morons appearing nightly on Fox News trying rip anything President Obama tries in mopping up the mess left by the last 8 years of the most inept and incompetent administration since Warren Harding and Herbert Hoover graced the White House. Bill go peddle your garbage to Dick Cheney or Karl Rove, but America is tired of yours and their propaganda.....American's spoke resoundingly last November, now be a good boy and take your medicine!

Posted by: MDT1 | May 18, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

How easily the sheep are lead.

When Obama took office he thought he had the support of a Democratic Congress; when he spoke they would jump.

When the Congress turned Democratic they thought they had an office boy to run errands.

There is more trouble between the White House and the Congress than between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Obama tries to push his program through Congress; Pelosi and Reid tell Obama to go fish.

Obama demands even the smallest of budget cuts, really just for the show; Congress howls over all these very necessary programs.

Now Nancy has screwed the pooch. She has been caught in a lie because she did approve waterboarding and she did know it was being done when it was being done.

Panetta's letter is all about the White House telling Nancy that (in the words of LBJ) if she wants to get along she better go along.

Play nice with Obama or get shredded over waterboarding.

People, this is what happens when politicians lie.

Posted by: krankyman | May 18, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi failed the American people, especially the democrats, if she was aware of so-called torture back then, and failed to do anything about it, or at the very least, failed to express her concerns At That Time. To bring up her concerns after-the-fact is nothing but politics and manipulation. But, what else do we expect from the flaky left-wing democrats?

Posted by: ohioan | May 18, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

What Did Rahm Know?

Not as much as Bush, Tenet, Cheney, Rice, Perle, Wolfowitz, Bybee and Yoo did.

Posted by: lichtme | May 18, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

it seems to me that the repubs are falling for nancey and rahms trap.
it seems we will get what most of us want. the sending of some these bums to jail. NICE!!!

Posted by: mech126 | May 18, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Nobody here has discussed the important role of congress, as one party in national decisions. Ms. Pelosi was only one of many who were briefed. Apparently nobody baulked at any of the war decisions. For her to go it alone at this late point speaks to her real motive----get Bush.

Posted by: rybons | May 18, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse


Changing my voter Registration to Independent Party, so that never again, will Congress ignore the bales of snail mail, emails , and phone calls saying "no" on a bailout bill.... "No" on following stimulous bills...and 'no" on prokulous, felt great!!!!

It was refreshing to dump what is wrong, and demand better. Like a terrible weight is MIA and the hope of change controlled by the people, and not false promises.

The hope of many American's enmasse is to place Independent Party into all seats this round.

Pelosi is just another Obama victim like many others besides Blago, Rev. Wright, and us now, instead of the superior ego she was.
Has been comes to mind.

Keep the money in the matress, when Biden is placed, there will be a great market to invest in. He at least meets criteria for the job, and can run the next 3 1/2 years just fine compared to what we have now.

Posted by: dottydo | May 18, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

If America is a "Big" nation confident of its character and ability to meet and beat any challenge, why do we have to immediately resort in desperation to torture against individuals? Little nations vulnerable to internal as well as external strife will succumb to the easy temptation to torture because they lack the confidence in themselves. Why do we want to admit that our Democratic institutions are so weak that we resort to illegal measures and deny rights to our captives? How can we recommend fair trials while we demonstrate that we don't trust them ourselves?

Posted by: tigman_2 | May 18, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Glory Hallelujah, people! You wanted it, you're about to get it.

Yes, the CIA lies, yes, politicians lie, yes, the NeoCons want the Federal Government 'down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub', yes, they believe that they are the purveyors of truth, justice and the 'American' way, and yes, God knows those on the left think they can get to the root of all evil.

President Obama was going to let it go, to move on, to let it be, which would probably have been the right thing to do. However, Kristol, Cheney and Boeher are blind and base enough to strangle themselves in Jacob's Ladder.

The evidence mounts that Cheney's torture to bring Kristol's war only gave information that mimicked their beliefs and had no relationship with reality, and this furor will bring that into sharp, 3-D focus. But that will be nothing compared to the bloody hell the investigations to follow are going to bring out.

Let the Truth Commissions begin; there's no stopping them now. Calls from the right and left, from the people and the politicians and the media are louder than those that still want to put a lid on it.

The people and the media may not see it, Bill Kristol certainly doesn't, and Cheney never will, but the roller coaster has gone over the tallest hill and is headed down--get ready for the ride!

Every photo, every meeting and every piece of evidence will come out into the open, and there are so many here and abroad that want to know what we've done. We're all going to find out who we are, or at least who we've been. And most are not going to like what they see in the mirror.

Posted by: twilightblue | May 18, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Well Bill, you point out the glaring angle, and Leon wants to throw in the towel
and have Congress get back to normal?

Frankly, Democrats and Republicans want to break the mess called The Hill, and put the Country back into the hands of the people.

So far back to normals means corruption that has been a disaster for the Country.

Posted by: dottydo | May 19, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Your late and not on point for the Party dear...Leon announced a truce.
Acorn hitting the wall by supporting last point before the flip flop = wallnut

"We are a nation at war," "We have to confront that reality every day. And while it's important to learn the lessons of the past, we must not do it in a way that sacrifices our capability to stay focused on the present, stay focused on the future, and stay focused on those who threaten the United States of America."

Sounds Bushy...but Panneta said it.

Posted by: dottydo | May 19, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

This is not a story about Cheney or Bush this time nor what that administration did or did not do to detainees/terrorists. its a story about the speaker of the house being thrown under the bus by her own team and why. Like or not, it is a STORY folks and a very interesting one and I await more. The CIA is not the Mickey Mouse Club. If Obama's guy is putting it out there, that they played by the rules and went to congress with their plans and were "approved" , why is everyone so intent on fanning the fires? Bottom line: the entire 9/11 mess was an act of war and after that, decsions were made with the goal of keeping people in the U.S. safe from any more attacks. Since we have had no more attacks here, I will give the Bush administration my thanks .The decisions they made regarding these techniques were not politically motivated. Talk of prosecuting them for it, on the other hand, is. A big show of power. Let's face it. As Nancy was lowering her hammer to nail all the Bush admin folks, it ricocheted and she is now getting exactly what she deserves and we, Kristol's entertaining story. Stop whining!!!

Posted by: cordelia22 | May 19, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Just one question for all of those who are angry at Rep Pelosi: What if anything could the Speaker or other members of Congress do even if they where informed in 2002 about the torture of detainees without compromising national security?

Posted by: youngj1 | May 19, 2009 3:01 AM | Report abuse

What did Rahm know? What did Bill Kristol
know? Kristol is writing sweeping editorials
about the Bush administration's torture
policy with "unclean hands."

Posted by: gaga19832002 | May 19, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody think that the CIA minions would lie to Panetta?

I tend to believe Bob Graham, he kept his famous notes, and he is beyond reproach, he says they were not briefed on the specifics the CIA claims they briefed his committee on.

The CIA is in the business of lying to further their agenda. It's a slam dunk that they will mislead. It's what they do.

Posted by: ORNOT | May 19, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Bill, The White House had to know. They micro manage everything. The key is will they push her our or sit back and let her take a beating in the media to deflect any wrongdoing on there part?

Posted by: tjzukoski | May 19, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Mr. Kristol is actually in favor of getting information from the WhiteHouse? I seem to remember when Mr. Rove, Scooter Libby, and Mr. Cheney (not Mr. Bush, he was WAY out of the loop to be involved in such important decisions) were making decisions I don't remember Mr. Kristol worrying too much about what information could be gotten from the Whitehouse. I guess maybe we could at least look at the Whitehouse emails from the Bush Presidency to see if anything like that happened then. Ohh, wait a minute, the emails during the Bush Presidency were conveniently lost, not backed up, deleted, etc...

Posted by: JSKEVV | May 19, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Cordella 22, you are a fool. The Bush administration did not do one thing to prevent the 9/11 attack after the August 6th presidential daily briefing. So while giving George & his inept team thanks, thank them for being asleep at the switch on that fateful day. That was the day they rolled out their defense that would become their mantra: it was Clinton's fault. Now that's leadership.

Posted by: gfinley | May 19, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

OMG, the Post is STILL wasting precious $$$ on this smirking neocon gassbag! Seriously, is there anyone left (short of the Fox zombies)that has the slightest interest in what this fool has to say?

Posted by: mybandy | May 19, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I do not know if Panetta ran his broadside by Rahm, but I am pretty sure Pelosi did not touch base much with The White House. The Truth Commission will be an all-out Congressional circus that will postpone, if not destroy completion of the Obama agenda. Of course, that will mean another delay in organising a national healthcare system...or any system in our healthcare networks; it will delay any real focus on getting Americans back to work; it will delay any possible legislation that will prevent even more catastrophe to overwhelm our economy; it will delay any real effort to put our governmental financial house in order before the world turns its back on the American dollar and so pauperises our country. But what the hell! Congressional egos must be stroked. God save the Republic!

Posted by: hyood | May 19, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering: if Pelosi is wrong and culpable for not stopping Cheney and Bush, does that mean that Cheney and Bush are guilty? If so, what about the "Lord Haw Haw"s of the neo-con press?

Posted by: JimBfromNC | May 19, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Do you do anything real? This partisan babble seems to be about all you do.

Posted by: anders1 | May 19, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Okay let's just blame everyone. Would that make everyone happy? Just get your own house in order. This is one subject that just gets worse. Look the who Nation is at fault. Say,"I" did it. Simple as that. We all made this situation possible. So, we all should be trying to improve our part as Americans and try to rebuild what has been torn down.

Posted by: Scar1 | May 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The CIA did NOT engage in torture of detainees, They merely conducted "Undocumented Interviews".

Posted by: KenD1 | May 19, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse


Good job at being your usual idiotic self. Again, another ridiculous screed by Mr. Warmonger torturer.

You are a total embarrassment to the United States of America. Any chance you will move far away?

One can only hope....

Posted by: koolaid1 | May 20, 2009 5:08 AM | Report abuse

Kristol's columns should be marked off with crime scene tape. When it comes to honest discourse, he's an unrepentant serial killer.

Posted by: klcscott | May 20, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I hope you are right. I have been waiting for the White House to sit on the Speaker and tell her to shut it. She is the single biggest threat to Obama's re-election. If I lived in San Fran I would have declared against her yesterday and based my whole campaign on her failure to support the President and his agenda. How can you be in support of the President when you talked about things that happened 7 years ago? Obama is abou the future and Pelosi is about the past. She and Harry Reid need to remember we voted for change and part of that change was a change from their poor leadership and bad behavior.

Posted by: telecommutenow | May 20, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

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