Pelosi on Waterboarding: What she Knew and When she Knew It

May 14, 2009

(ChattahBox)—House Speaker Pelosi held a news conference today to put to rest the suggestions made by Republican leaders that she was informed that waterboarding was being used on detainees at Guantanamo, and she did not raise objections. Pelosi provided additional details on the timeline of what she knew and when she knew it, claiming she was never personally briefed by the CIA during the Bush administration that waterboarding was being used on detainees.

Pelosi was briefed by the CIA in 2002 along with three additional congressional leaders, where Pelosi was informed of enhanced interrogation techniques, and was told that White House lawyers concluded that waterboarding was legal. The CIA told Pelosi at the 2002 briefing that waterboarding was not being used.

Speaker Pelosi claims that the 2002 CIA briefing was the only instance when she was briefed in her capacity as the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee. A second CIA briefing in 2003 advised those lawmakers present that waterboarding was being used, but Speaker Pelosi was not present at that briefing.

She blasted the CIA claiming the agency misled Congress in the same way Bush misled the public using non-existent weapons of mass destruction as a pretext to go to war with Iraq.

Pelosi noted that Congress now knows that the Bush administration employed waterboarding in 2002 and declined to inform Congress. “We had to get a new president to change the policy,” said Pelosi.

She again called, for an independent truth commission supported by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont to get to the heart of the misuse of intelligence of the Bush administration leading up to the Iraq war, and to investigate the Bush administration’s use of illegal torture.

Pelosi believes the American people support an investigation into abuses committed by the Bush administration. “I think they want to know how we got to this place,” she said.

Meanwhile, House Republican leader John Boehner claims house Democrats were aware of the enhanced interrogation techniques being employed. Boehner can’t fathom why the Bush administration would have “…mislead anyone.” Boehner is against a truth commission believing it would harm national security.

Boehner also believes there are unreleased and unclassified documents proving that waterboarding worked and called for the release of those documents. Dick Cheney made a similar claim last week, calling for reports showing the useful information, he claims, was obtained by torturing detainees.

However, A CIA Inspector General’s report, completed in May 2004, is about to be declassified and released by the Obama administration, and is said to cast serious doubt on claims made by Cheney, Boehner and other Republicans that torture worked.

The IG report concluded that it was difficult “to determine conclusively whether interrogations have provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks.” The CIA IG report is due to be released within days.



2 Responses to “Pelosi on Waterboarding: What she Knew and When she Knew It”

  1. Old Man Dotes on May 14th, 2009 2:27 pm

    “Boehner is against a truth commission believing it would harm national security.”

    Bull! Boehner is against a truth commission believing it would harm the Republican Party’s next attempt to abrogate or revoke the Constitution.

  2. Igor Marxomarxovich on May 14th, 2009 5:13 pm

    ld Russian saying…You can tell same lie 1000 times but not change truth!

    Difference between USSR Communist media and USA “mainstream media”

    In Russia government make media say what they want – even if lie.
    In USA “mainstream media” try make government what they want – even if lie..
    …..eventually they become same thing?!

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