The AP reports today on Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s latest denial that she was told in fall 2002 the CIA had used enhanced interrogation techniques.
The AP begins:
Under strong attack from Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA and Bush administration of misleading her about waterboarding detainees in the war on terror and sharply rebutted claims she was complicit in the method's use.Little’s assurance that CIA briefing notes could be made available “for staff review” suggests the CIA’s confident its notes will support its claim Pelosi attended a briefing in fall 202 at which the CIA reported in detail on specific enhanced interrogation techniques it had used.
"To the contrary ... we were told explicitly that waterboarding was not being used," she told reporters, referring to a formal CIA briefing she received in the fall of 2002.
Pelosi said she subsequently learned that other lawmakers were told several months later by the CIA about the use of waterboarding.
"I wasn't briefed, I was informed that somebody else had been briefed about it," she said. . . .
In a written response issued moments after Pelosi spoke, an official at the CIA neither disputed nor accepted the California Democrat's statements.
Instead, George Little, head of the CIA office of public affairs, said it would be up to Congress to determine whether notes made by agency personnel at the time they briefed lawmakers were accurate. He said the notes could be made available at the CIA "for staff review." …
That would directly contradict Pelosi's previous claims the CIA only told her it might use the techniques in the future.
I think Pelosi believes the CIA’s briefing notes will support what the agency’s been saying; and that the notes will sooner rather than later become public. That IMO explains why she’s now attacking the CIA for what she says is lying and misleading Americans "all the time."
Again from the AP’s story:
Pelosi was particularly harsh in describing the CIA.The entire AP story’s here.
"They mislead us all the time," she said. And when a reporter asked whether the agency had lied, Pelosi said yes.
She also suggested that the current Republican criticism marked an attempt to divert attention from the Bush administration's actions.
"They misrepresented every step of the way, and they don't want that focus on them, so they try to turn the attention on us," she said. …
Folks, we’ve witnessed so much corruption and party-before-country partisanship from top Dems that I wouldn’t blame people for reacting to Pelosi’s attack on the CIA today with a “so what’s new?” shrug.
That shouldn’t happen.
When someone in Pelosi’s position – co-head of one of the three branches of our federal government and second in the presidential succession line – accuses the CIA of misleading us “all the time” and outright lying, it’s time to get to the bottom of things.
I’ll repeat what I said here about 10 days ago: Pelosi needs to step down temporarily from the speakership and testify publicly under oath as to what she's known about enhanced interrogation, how she learned it, and when.
Pelosi should testify in a setting in which she can be cross examined and in which others with knowledge of the CIA's briefings of members of Congress can also testify.
If we care about our country and its safety, we need to treat Pelosi’s charges today as a very serious matter and not dismiss them as just part of every day life in Washington.