Pelosi is not backing down:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today accused intelligence officials of giving her “inaccurate and incomplete information” on the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics by the Bush administration, saying that CIA officials are guilty of “misleading the Congress of the United States.”***
Pelosi expressed an openness to further congressional inquiries into what members of Congress were told about the interrogation tactics, and repeated her call for a “truth commission” to probe the matter. She also accused Republicans of playing political games over what she knew and when she knew it.
“This is a diversionary tactic, to take the spotlight off of those who conceived, developed, and implemented these policies, which all of us [Democratic leaders] opposed,” she said. “Understand — this is their policy, all of them.”
So if the Democrats want a truth commission, and the Republicans and Dick Cheney want a truth commission, why can’t we order up a double order of truth commission? Am I missing something here? Didn’t Petere Hoekstra signal interest in this last week?
Make it happen.
I still maintain that I would be flabbergasted to learn that the Democrats knew nothing. I would suspect they were told the minimum and everyone involved liked it that way, given the political climate at the time. This from the actual presser didn’t exactly inspire confidence in Pelosi’s assertion that she knew nothing:
QUESTION: You say that Mr. Sheehy did tell you, your staff did tell you.
PELOSI: He informed me that the briefing had taken place. We were not in a place where he could — that was all that he was required to do. We’re not in a setting — we weren’t in — I’m no longer the ranking member on intelligence. He just informed me and that the letter was sent. That is the proper person to send the letter, the ranking member of the — of the Intelligence Committee.
So my statement is clear, and let me read it again. Let me read it again. I’m sorry. I have to find the page.
I was informed that the Department of Justice opinions had concluded that the use of enhanced interrogations was legal. The only mention of waterboarding was that the briefing — in the briefing was that it was not being employed.
A moment later, she said the following:
QUESTION: … Sheehy did not tell you that the — he was informed that they were actually using the techniques?
PELOSI: No, he did say that. He said that the — the committee chair and ranking member and appropriate staff had been briefed that these techniques were now being used. They — that’s all I was informed, that they were being used and that a letter was sent.
And that is a complete — my responsibility — it’s different. I’m no longer the ranking member. Appropriately, the ranking member sent the letter.
At any rate, this broad salvo from Pelosi is sure to create fireworks and a heated response from Republicans, so it might have the effect of creating the political will to hold a truth commission.