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The Pelosi Puzzle

It’s been a rough week for Our Lady Speaker of the House. In Act I, she claimed ignorance about the full extent of the CIA’s torture repertoire. However, thanks to the magic of technology and documentation, her version of the story clashed with that of a pissed-off Leon Panetta.

The New York Times:

After many failed efforts, Republicans have finally found a weak spot in Nancy Pelosi’s political armor as a fight over detainee interrogations engulfs Ms. Pelosi, Republicans and intelligence officials.

Lawmakers and senior government officials say the public furor could also give momentum to the push for an inquiry into the Bush administration’s interrogation policies as well as into what senior members of Congress knew about the treatment of detainees. In his statement, Mr. Panetta said it would ultimately be “up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.”

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Here’s a Truthdig recap of the Pelosi saga thus far:

It all started when a memo was released stating Pelosi and then-Rep. Porter Goss were the first two members of Congress to be briefed on the CIA’s interrogation methods.

Pelosi proceeded to deny she was initially briefed about the use of waterboarding.

Robert Scheer sees this denial as symptomatic of larger concerns about her public accountability.

She then stammered through a statement claiming she had, in fact, been briefed but misled by the CIA and the Bush administration.

To this, Newt (He Who Is Fully Qualified to Judge) Gingrich called for the speaker’s head, saying we have an “absolute obligation to open an inquiry” into her allegations.

Finally, CIA Director Leon Panetta stepped up to defend his agency and confirmed that congressional leaders were in fact briefed in full about interrogation techniques being used.

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