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House Speaker Speaks Up

Posted on May 14, 2009

Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi stammered her way through a statement at a tense news conference on Thursday, acknowledging she had learned as early as February 2003 of the CIA’s waterboarding practices. She defended her position on the grounds of being “misled”  by the CIA and she accused Republicans of scapegoating her to divert attention away from those actually responsible for the acts.

The New York Times:

But she said the fact that she did not speak out at the time due to secrecy rules did not make her complicit in any abuse of detainees. She accused the C.I.A. and Bush administration of lying to Congress about what was actually transpiring with the detainees.

The Republican-driven furor over what Ms. Pelosi knew about waterboarding and other techniques has put the speaker on the defensive. She repeatedly referred to a carefully prepared statement to respond to multiple questions at the session with reporters.

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Robert Scheer believes the incident begs a much bigger question:

It is a nonsensical distraction to place her failure to speak out courageously as a critic of the Bush policies on the same level as those who engineered one of the most shameful debacles in U.S. history.

But what she, and anyone else who went along with this evil, as lackadaisically as she now claims, should be confronted with are the serious implications of their passive acquiescence. Why did she not speak up, or if it were a matter of a lack of reliable information, demand an accounting from the executive branch, as befits a leader of the loyal opposition in Congress?

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By dcole, May 16, 2009 at 7:13 am Link to this comment
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Really tired of the whole who knew what when crap.  As a centrist I care more about being lied to by the bush administration.  Newt is full of crap and so is Nancy.  Get your act together and start paying attention to what the American People want, not what party leaders preach.  We want a REAL end to partisan politics and for both parties to start working together, DESPITE party line crap.  START AIMING TO COMPROMISE ON EVERY BILL AND ARGUMENT!!!!  That is the real issue!!!

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By Noticed, May 15, 2009 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
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Was Nancy Pelosi the only person in the room at these briefings?  I can’t help but notice she’s the only one whose head we’re calling for. 

“There is no difference between chasing Pelosi’s tale than there was in ignoring the Elephant in the room during Abu Ghraib trials and sending Lindy England to jail.”

I’m sensing a pattern here.  The women take the fall for the men’s ideas.  That’s fair.

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By Folktruther, May 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Pelosi didn’t have to put her career on the like to oppose torture; there were ways of doing so safely.  But should would have lost power over it since the ruling class controls both the parties and the mass media.  And this isn’t how she got to be speaker.  Or Obama got to be president.  They will promote any barbaric policy to maintain and increase their personal career.

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By AFriend, May 14, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Nothing will make me more terse than this wretched woman.

If there is any justice in Washington Nancy Pelosi needs to step down immediately and the Justice Dept. needs to begin the indictment process for treason. For her own political gain she lied to Americans, gave aid to our enemies and knowingly slandered the Commander in Chief during a time of war. She directly stood in the way of gaining ground while men and woman died in battle.

Not only did Mrs. Pelosi say just a month ago that she did not know that water boarding was taking place in 2002-03, only now to admit she did know, but for seven years during the Clinton administration she told the world Saddam Hussein held banned chemical and biological weapons and was a danger to the United States and it’s global interests. It is a demonstrable fact that she claimed these weapons existed right up until none were found. Only then did she explain her mistake by claiming to have been mislead by the Bush administration since 1993.

I have been saying this for more than six years. “Nancy Pelosi is lying”.

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By TheRealFish, May 14, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment


The reporting here states: “The CA sweetheart defended her position on the grounds of being constantly ‘misled’  by the CIA and attacked the Republican Party of scapegoating her in order trying to divert attention away from those actually responsible for the act.”

So, while we have a former vice president publicly admitting, oh, about every other minute, that sure, he and the former president signed off on the use of torture—and almost everybody but the 21% that still identify themselves as Republicans acknowledge the simple truth that torture is not simply a crime, but a crime against humanity, a war crime—so, while this is all ongoing we sit here and talk about what the speaker of the house did or didn’t know, when she knew it and whether we should hold her accountable???

There is no difference between chasing Pelosi’s tale than there was in ignoring the Elephant in the room during Abu Ghraib trials and sending Lindy England to jail.

Certainly, England was complicit. She participated in torture practices. Perhaps Pelosi is also complicit by not doing a Dixie Chicks or Bill Maher back then and placing her career on the line to Do the Right Thing.

But while we chase down this story, fill the airwaves with this story, and dedicate endless column-inches (virtual or otherwise), that pulls fire from raining down where it should: The authors of an American torture program, those who pushed to place us on the same level as any other common terrorist state.

Maybe Pelosi had actionable info she could have brought to a justice department that was directly involved in the program, or to a congress that was controlled by the torture authors, or to an American public that actually paused and entertained the idea that maybe the Dixie Chicks *were* a little un-American at the time for just a moment.

And she didn’t. Or maybe she is telling the truth when she suggests the intelligence agencies and that White House were lying to congress. Like that is hard to believe, right?

But, no. Here we are doing the bidding of the 21% and suddenly turning so much attention to a side issue and away from the true center of the story. We focus our attention on the crumbs that fall from a rotted table, ignoring the fetid feast from which all the crumbs fall.

Bravo (or brava).

Maybe, just maybe, it would be worthwhile to keep all the attention on cleaning up that fetid feast first. The will be plenty of time for clearing up crumbs after.

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By samosamo, May 14, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Oh, so they misled you and your revenge was ‘impeachment is off the table’?

This country would undoubtly do a lot better without traitors like you and all your other obstructionist friends and it saddens me to see those soldiers cozying up to you when I would think they would be beating the hell out of you but again, selected audiences are always a pleasure to walk around in and makes for great photo ops.

I guess you’re lucky that you and the ilk like you have the oversight all locked down so your and other’s crime will never see the light of day and you won’t have your day on the dock, how much this country misses a responsible citizenry that would actually control the people they elected to office but all the razzle dazzle and ‘high tech’ toys has diverted most everyone’s short attention span away from the treason of you and yours that have placed this country in the disaster it is in now.

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