Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nancy Pelosi: Release these memos. Bring it on!

Pelosi has come out fighting the Republicans who keep claiming that she knew waterboarding was being carried out on US prisoners of war.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today accused the CIA of lying to her when it first briefed her about "enhanced'' interrogation techniques that were being deployed against detainees - "We were told explicitly that waterboarding was not being used,'' Pelosi told reporters today, as she recounted what she was told in a CIA briefing in the fall of 2002.

She maintained that she and other congressional leaders were told several months later about waterboarding that already was being used when she first was briefed, as recently released Bush Justice Department memoranda have described.

"They mislead us all the time,'' Pelosi said at a news conference today.

The CIA maintains that its notes show that Pelosi was indeed briefed abut the waterboarding that had been approved in that Sept. 4, 2002, briefing.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) held his own news conference afterward, and asserted that he strongly doubts that the CIA lied to anyone in Congress about interrogation tactics on which congressional leaders were fully briefed.

"I think the problem is that the speaker has had way too many stories on this issue,'' Boehner said today. "She's posed more questions than she has provided answers...

Pelosi has called Boehner's bluff by calling the CIA liars and asking for all the memos to be released.
The speaker maintains that Republican criticism of her over what she knew when about the interrogations are a "diversionary'' tactic.

"They misrepresented every step of the way,'' she said, "and they don't want that focus on them, so they try to turn the focus on us.'
Even if she had been told she would not have been allowed to tell us about it, so I see no reason for her to lie about that at this point in time.

I think the Republicans are simply issuing silly threats and I think a full disclosure of who knew what and when would be the only way to completely clear this matter up. Pelosi makes it very clear here that she is perfectly happy to have these briefings released. She states clearly that the CIA lied to Congress.

Boehner's claim that Pelosi was somehow in on this appears to have backfired, as Pelosi - to paraphrase Bush - appears to be telling Boehner to, "Bring it on."


Boehner can't think of any circumstances in which the American intelligence services would ever mislead Congress. Not even whilst they were engaging in war crimes. He simply can't imagine such a thing.

That says more about his spectacular lack of imagination than it does about anything else.

I mean, seriously, Iran-Contra?

Hat tip to The Swamp.

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