Update: Link-Around-Pelosi

Wall St. Journal: Pelosi’s Self-torture

Given House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s acknowledged skill at torturing the Bush Administration in recent years, it no doubt afforded her critics some pleasure yesterday to watch her twist in the wind in front of the press over what she knew and when about the CIA’s terrorist interrogations. With mockery even from Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, Mrs. Pelosi has turned herself into a spectacle about a subject that she and fellow Democrats had themselves reduced to a spectacle of demagogic accusation and blame, repeatedly threatening to put Bush officials in the dock for “condoning torture.”……

Asked this week about Mrs. Pelosi’s variable recollections, Senator Feinstein, who chairs the Intelligence Committee, responded: “I think it’s a tempest in a teapot really to say, Well, Speaker Pelosi should have known all of this, she should have stopped this, she should have done this or done that. I don’t want to make an apology for anybody, but in 2002, it wasn’t 2006, ’07, ’08 or ’09. It was right after 9/11, and there were in fact discussions about a second wave of attacks.”……

If Washington were still able to conduct a national-security policy fitting the world’s lone superpower, the Feinstein standard would apply to both Nancy Pelosi and the Bush officials. Instead, Congressional Democrats, unable to let go of their long Bush obsession, persist in calling for a Truth Commission, as did Ms. Pelosi herself yesterday in her prepared statement.

Michelle Malkin waxes poetic with the Pelosi haiku of called Pelosiku of Jim Treacher

HotAir: Pelosi + Haiku=Pelosiku

Real time Twitter Pelosiku

Link – Around – Pelosi

Ashes, ashes…the truth will out Pelosi!

The Torture Debate-Continued – Charles Krauthammer

“So what happened? The reason Pelosi raised no objection to waterboarding at the time, the reason the American people (who by 2004 knew what was going on) strongly reelected the man who ordered these interrogations, is not because she and the rest of the American people suffered a years-long moral psychosis from which they have just now awoken. It is because at that time they were aware of the existing conditions — our blindness to al-Qaeda’s plans, the urgency of the threat, the magnitude of the suffering that might be caused by a second 9/11, the likelihood that the interrogation would extract intelligence that President Obama’s own director of national intelligence now tells us was indeed “high-value information” — and concluded that on balance it was a reasonable response to a terrible threat.

And they were right.”

The Wall St Journal Time-line-intelligence trail:

What Pelosi said she knew

  • August 2002: Justice Department authorizes waterboarding and other ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques (EITs). The CIA uses the technique.
  • September 2002: Nancy Pelosi, ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, is briefed on the techniques.
  • February 2003: A Pelosi aide attends a briefing with the new ranking member on the committee, Jane Harman. Pelosi later says that she learns after this meeting that the techniques have already been used, and that she ‘concurred’ with Harman’s letter to the CIA protesting the decision to use them.
  • December 2007: A news report quotes two officials who say Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding and raised no objections. Pelosi issues a statement confirming she was briefed on one occasion in the fall of 2002 ‘on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future.’
  • April 23, 2009: After the Obama administration releases four memos approving the use of waterboarding, Pelosi says that in September 2002, ‘We were not …told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used.’
  • May 5, 2009: Intelligence officials send lawmakers a list of 40 congressional briefings on EITs, saying lawmakers ‘will have to determine whether this information is an accurate summary of what actually happened.’ The list says Pelosi was told that some EITs had been employed, but doesn’t specify waterboarding.
  • May 8, 2009: Pelosi repeats that she was briefed on techniques that would be used in the future
  • May 14, 2009: Pelosi says she wasn’t told in September 2002 that waterboarding was being used, and says ‘the CIA was misleading Congress.’

In case you missed it and hadn’t already guessed: “Pelosi: Utterly Contemptible” – here’s Charles Krauthammer, impeccable on the subject, if reason still matters?

Nancy Pelosi Explains What She Knew About Waterboarding

In her own words, you decide!

HotAir on Ed’s Post and More : Pelosi goes nuclear on CIA over torture as Cheney’s memo request is denied:

Meanwhile, as this soap opera’s playing out, Dick Cheney’s request to declassify the two CIA memos which he claims prove that torture works has been denied. Surprise. Exit quotation: “President Obama has the legal authority to declassify the documents ‘with the wave of his hand,’ according to one expert.”

Update: I want to highlight this bit from Ed’s post because it really is the million-dollar question:

And if the CIA really had lied to her in the briefings, why didn’t Pelosi start out with that explanation? In fact, why didn’t she mention that in 2005 when both the EITs and the briefings were made public? Coming four years later, this explanation lacks any kind of credibility.

The killer quote from today’s presser is “they mislead us all the time,” a reference to the CIA’s bad intel on Iraq’s WMD. If there really is a pattern of deception going on, why would she wait until there’s a Democrat in the White House to complain when she could have pinned the whole thing on Bush by screaming about it earlier?

New Majority: Former CIA Sources Respond to Pelosi: Congress Knew Everything