Today, Nancy Pelosi finally spoke out the enhanced interrogation briefings she received from the CIA. Her claim is that she was briefed by Bush administration officials on the legal justification for using water boarding, but they never told her the technique was actually being used. The Nancy Pelosi version of “I tried it but I never inhaled.”
“In that or any other briefing we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used. What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel opinions that they could be used,”
There are two possibilities:
- Pelosi could be telling the truth. In that case, she was told all about water boarding procedure, she got the legal opinions saying that water boarding could be used, and assumed all that legal research was just an exercise. If this is what happened she is not a very smart person.
- The other possibility was Pelosi is lying not only was she briefed on the procedure but she even went to Gitmo to see how the prisoners were being interrogated. At least according to both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post:
Washington Post-In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said. “The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange…..Individual lawmakers’ recollections of the early briefings varied dramatically, but officials present during the meetings described the reaction as mostly quiet acquiescence, if not outright support. “Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing,” said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. “And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.”(Washington Post)
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Wall Street Journal-Beginning in 2002, Nancy Pelosi and other key Democrats (as well as Republicans) on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees were thoroughly, and repeatedly, briefed on the CIA’s covert antiterror interrogation programs. They did nothing to stop such activities, when they weren’t fully sanctioning them. If they now decide the tactics they heard about then amount to abuse, then by their own logic they themselves are complicit. Let’s review the history the political class would prefer to forget.
According to our sources and media reports we’ve corroborated, the classified briefings began in the spring of 2002 and dealt with the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, a high-value al Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan. In succeeding months and years, more than 30 Congressional sessions were specifically devoted to the interrogation program and its methods, including waterboarding and other aggressive techniques designed to squeeze intelligence out of hardened detainees like Zubaydah.
The briefings were first available to the Chairmen and ranking Members of the Intelligence Committees. From 2003 through 2006, that gang of four included Democrats Bob Graham and John D. Rockefeller in the Senate and Jane Harman in the House, as well as Republicans Porter Goss, Peter Hoekstra, Richard Shelby and Pat Roberts. Senior staffers were sometimes present. After September 2006, when President Bush publicly acknowledged the program, the interrogation briefings were opened to the full committees.
Wall Street Journal
Now if this is the correct scenario, Ms Pelosi thinks that the American People are all morons, that we will fall for her Sgt Shultz “I Know Nothing” act. So which is it Ms Pelosi, are you lying, or just an Idiot? Or maybe both?
Congressman Pete Hoekstra has his opinion: