After admitting that she knew the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was torturing detainees from as early as 2003 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has effectively said that for three years (Democrats retook Congress in 2006) she stood quietly and allowed others to break our laws and international treaties.
Pelosi has even asserted that she and other members of congress were lied too by the CIA about the types of techniques being used on detainees.
I didn’t believe Bush and Cheney then, I don’t believe Speaker Pelosi and the CIA now.
They were all telling lies.
And I think one of the reasons those briefings are as vague as they are, in part, is to protect the politicians.
These agencies expect politicians to protect their interests first and a combination of fuzzy memories and ambiguous documents give them the cover to do that.
We’ve seen it play out before a member of congress is being pressured for information on a controversial topic or issue she/he fingers or blames some governmental agency, opposition members pressure the agency, in this case it’s CIA, in order to clear their name the CIA waves their records (the intelligence briefings) around asserting, “Of course the member knew what we were doing. Look it says so right here!”
In effect it forces the issue to a stalemate and who are we to believe in a situation like that?
A member of congress trying to cover her assets or a political agency seeking support for its past illegal actions? Hmm..it’s a tough one isn’t it?
I do think the Speaker of the House has given the Republicans the opening they were looking for. Her rambling press conference yesterday, the constant changing of her stories and her tacit support for their actions by her inaction, will allow Republicans to exploit the situation and damage her reputation.
Pelosi should’ve known and expected that the use of these enhanced interrogation techniques was going to comeback to haunt her and if she truly believed that what the Bush administration was doing was wrong and illegal she should have been more vigorous in her disapproval and more importantly have a record of her actions. And if she really wanted to make a stand against them she should’ve resigned and then speak out.
She wasn’t powerless and to suggest that she was Pelosi does herself and the United States Congress the biggest disservice.