Pelosi: BushCo Misled Me On Waterboarding
Nancy Pelosi faced the cameras Thursday morning and said she was misled by the Bush administration on the waterboarding of detainees, and strongly rebutted claims she was an accomplice to torture.
“To the contrary … we were told explicitly that waterboarding was not being used,” she told reporters, referring to a formal CIA briefing she received in the fall of 2002.
Pelosi said she subsequently learned that other lawmakers were told several months later by the CIA about the use of waterboarding.
“I wasn’t briefed, I was informed that somebody else had been briefed about it,” she said.
Pelosi said Democrats did what they could to stop waterboarding, but that no letter was going to change that policy.
She also suggested that the current Republican criticism marked an attempt to divert attention from the Bush administration’s actions.
“They misrepresented every step of the way, and they don’t want that focus on them, so they try to turn the focus on us,” she said.
And, not surprisingly, the right wing has taken the blame for torture and placed it squarely on Nancy Pelosi, removing themselves from the equation. Karl Rove in the WSJ even goes so far as to accuse Pelosi as being “an accessory to the crime of torture,” (if it was torture, that is).
If Mrs. Pelosi considers the enhanced interrogation techniques to be torture, didn’t she have a responsibility to complain at the time, introduce legislation to end the practices, or attempt to deny funding for the CIA’s use of them? If she knew what was going on and did nothing, does that make her an accessory to a crime of torture, as many Democrats are calling enhanced interrogation?
As the Auburn Journal‘s Skeptic points out:
In other words, the politicians on the right are condemning her for not publicly opposing torture at the same time they are claiming torture is vital to our “national security.”
But they are vague about what exactly they think Pelosi (then the minority leader) should have done when she was informed of the Bush administration’s plan to use different interrogation “techniques.”
Should…Pelosi have held a press conference and outed Bush? Should she have leaked classified information? Should she have tried to stop Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld by any means possible? And how do you suppose the Republicans would have responded if Pelosi had tried to impede Bush? (which is something they now condemn her for NOT doing).Click here for reuse options!
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