Let’s talk about the Culture of Corruption, a term first used by Howard Dean and made popular by Nancy Pelosi in response to Tom DeLay’s shady dealings, painting the Republican-led Congress with the same brush. When the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, Pelosi famously promised that the Democrat party would “intend to lead the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history.” Well, we know that’s not true, from the number of tax cheats initially appointed to Obama’s cabinet to Pelosi’s lying about what she knew about harsh interrogation tactics of terrorists. Focusing on Nancy, let’s take a look at her recent press conference:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, her eyes wide, her hands gesticulating wildly, on Thursday laid out a third version of what she knew and when she knew it about the Bush administration’s interrogation policies, edging ever closer to debating what the meaning of the word “is” is.
With even her own second-in-command now demanding more answers, the California Democrat, her voice barely audible at times, read a rambling statement at her weekly press briefing about her prior knowledge of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs) employed under President Bush, insisting that she was not told in a September 2002 briefing that the U.S. government used waterboarding.
Minutes later, though, she acknowledged for the first time that her top security adviser had learned details of a February 2003 briefing in which lawmakers were told that American interrogators were in fact waterboarding suspected terrorists.
“My statement is clear, and let me read it again. Let me read it again. I’m sorry. I have to find the page,” said a flustered Mrs. Pelosi, shuffling through papers, her hands quivering a bit, as she sought to stick to her prepared text.
That’s your most ethical Congress? The truth is really easy to remember. If you have to shuffle papers around to find what your statement is supposed to say, it’s clear whatever’s in those papers is somewhat less than the truth. When Pelosi was initially caught out in her lying about being briefed by the CIA about waterboarding, she claimed:
A besieged Pelosi told reporters she had only been told that the Bush administration had legal opinions that concluded the use of these procedures were legal, not that the tactics had been used. “The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed,” she said.
The CIA said then it had not used them yet when in fact they had already been used, Pelosi said.
Goss, however, wrote in The Washington Post on April 25 that he and Pelosi and their counterparts in the Senate had been briefed that “the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.”
“We understood what the CIA was doing,” he said.
CIA spokesman George Little stuck to the agency’s language. “The language in the chart — ‘a description of the particular EITs that had been employed’ — is true to the language in the agency’s records.”
Not only that, but Pelosi claimed that the CIA are serial liars:
“They mislead us all the time,” she said. And when a reporter asked whether the agency lied, she did not disagree.
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.
Pelosi contended that Democrats did what they could to stop the use of waterboarding. The senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee who received the 2003 briefing on the practice, sent the CIA a formal letter of protest, she said.
But Pelosi defended her own lack of action on the issue, saying her focus at the time was on wresting congressional control from Republicans so her party could change course.
Nancy Pelosi evidently hasn’t considered the idea that because she and her fellow Democrats continue to play partisan political games with the safety of the American people, the same sword could be pointed at her. Redefining torture to include waterboarding after the fact in order to criminalize the Bush administration’s efforts to get vital information from terrorists is a truly sickening example of the lack of responsibility the Democrat party feels toward national security. They’d rather play gotcha than govern. So of course the Republicans are going to give it back to her: she’s led the charge to make them criminals. It’s only natural that in all that splashing around, Pelosi was going to get wet, too. By her own admission she was too busy solidifying her position as Speaker (that is, politicking) to actually govern. If she really found waterboarding to be that objectionable a practice when she learned about it several years ago, she would have done something about it. You make time for the important things.
Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values. 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.” Ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.
We’ll see if Pelosi can dodge this bullet, or if it’ll knock her out of her position as Speaker. The Democrats were playing partisan political games with the War on Terror when Bush was in office, and they’re doing it now with Obama as president. It’s almost as if they’re not really serious on issues of national security.