Friday, May 15, 2009

Why Can't We Be Friends?

"I heard you're working for the CIA/They would not have you in the Maf-Eye-Ay."
-- War, "Why Can't We Be Friends"

For a woman who had enough skills and intellgence to fight her way through Congress to the Speaker's chair, you would think that Nancy Pelosi would have the common sense to know better than to accuse the CIA of lying. She did it, though.

For the first time, Pelosi (D-Calif.) acknowledged that in 2003 she was informed by an aide that the CIA had told others in Congress that officials had used waterboarding during interrogations. But she insisted, contrary to CIA accounts, that she was not told about waterboarding during a September 2002 briefing by agency officials. Asked whether she was accusing the CIA of lying, she replied, "Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States."

Let's be honest -- the CIA has never been the same since the ravages it undertook in the wake of the Church Commission hearings back in the 1970s. Still, given the nature of the work it is tasked to do, the CIA always manages to find people who (a) are very smart, (b) pay a lot of attention to detail and (c) don't have a problem being ruthless. And most of the people at Langley are just bureaucrats. But very smart ones.

Do you suppose that the CIA has plenty of information about what they told Congress in September 2002? I do. Do you think Dick Cheney knows what they know? I do. Do you suppose that the CIA would not hesitate to leak something that undercuts Pelosi's assertions? I do.

And I'm hardly the only one. Rep. Steny Hoyer, Pelosi's ostensible deputy/rival, isn't exactly rushing to Madame Speaker's defense:

But when asked directly whether he shares Pelosi's belief that the CIA misled Congress, he backed off.

"I have no idea of that. I don't have a belief of that nature because I have no basis on which to base such a belief," Hoyer said. "And I certainly hope that's not the case. And I don't draw that conclusion."

Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Lieberman said this about the CIA:

No, on that specific point, I totally disagree. You have to have confidence in the CIA. And over the 20 years I’ve been here, I’ve been briefed constantly by the CIA and I’d say that they’ve told me the truth, as they see it.

It's good to have friends. It would appear that Nancy Pelosi doesn't have too many right now.


W.B. Picklesworth said...

If she's telling the truth, then I support her 100%. We need people in government to stand up for the truth, no matter the consequences. Most especially in the face of intimidation.

Gino said...

how many have to be lying in order for pelosi to be telling the truth?

this is great theater.

and i doubt the spooks have plenty of info to drop on pelosi. she's fighting with the wrong people on this one.

Anonymous said...

It looks to me like the Pelosi briefings should be declassified, and it appears that both sides should agree to this. I hope they do this soon. Like you, I suspect Pelosi would come out on the losing end of this. Nothing would please me more than to see her unseated, and see someone competent, like Hoyer, take her place.