Submitted By Todd on May 14th at 9:35pm
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today accused the CIA of "misleading" her on the use of harsh interrogation techniques in the fall of 2002, acknowledging for the first time publicly she knew alleged terrorist detainees were subjected to waterboarding more than six years ago.Pelosi could learn from those who preceded her.
After weeks of sticking to prior statements that she then was never "briefed" about waterboarding's use, Pelosi today said her top security adviser was part of a briefing in February 2003 in which he learned interrogators were waterboarding terrorists.The Perils of Pelosi. What did she know, and when did she know it?
"It is not the policy of this Agency to mislead the United States Congress," CIA spokesman George Little said. He said it would be up to Congress to determine whether notes made by agency personnel at the time they briefed lawmakers were accurate."They lie to us all the time," said Pelosi today. As the Democrats try to hurt Republicans for having tried too hard to defend the country from terrorists, it is the Speaker and her party that are now in jeopardy.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) told reporters, "When you look at the number of briefings that the Speaker was in, and other Democrat members of the House and Senate, it's pretty clear that they were well aware of what these enhanced interrogation techniques were. They were well aware that they had been used. And it seems to me that they want to have it both ways." When Mrs. Pelosi's successor on the committee, Rep. Jane Harman (D., Calif.), learned in a February 2003 briefing that waterboarding was being used, she wrote a letter to the administration objecting. But Democrats said it had no effect.Combined with the President's flip flop on the release of interrogation photos this week, Democrats are looking like the Not Ready For Prime Time Players.
The spreading political fight over the interrogations is just the latest sign of how President George W. Bush's prosecution of the war on terror -- once seen as a political winner for Democrats in opposition -- is now putting the party on the defensive, as they face their own dilemmas now that they run the government.