Rich Galen

Let's summarize the situation: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was embarrassed by Dana Bash of CNN; was teased by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post; was taken to task by Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal; and, was called a liar by CIA director Leon Panetta.

How's that for about five days in the life of the Speaker?

This whole thing started when Barack Obama, in a fit of childish pique, decided to stick it to Dick Cheney after Cheney said he thought the nation was less safe under Obama than it had been under former President George W. Bush.

Obama released a series of memos detailing the legal authority for the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" to, literally, squeeze information out of terrorists about their plans to attack America.

That fell under the Law of Unintended Consequences which was invoked after Congressional Democrats called for the establishment of an Orwellian-named "Truth Commission" to find out who, in the Bush Administration, should be arrested, indicted, tried and thrown in jail for … keeping America safe since 9/11.

Caught in the backwash was Nancy Pelosi who used to be the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and who claimed she didn't know nothin' about no enhanced interrogation techniques notwithstanding the fact that the CIA said it had briefed the top Intel Committee members on the whole thing back in September of 2002.

Following a long-established tactic of answering a question which was never asked, Pelosi claimed the CIA had lied to the Congress about using the enhanced techniques - not that she was unaware of the potential of using them.

In a press briefing late last week, Pelosi tried to gloss over the whole thing, but was called back to the podium by CNN's senior Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash and asked, point-blank whether she had been told about the CIA's activities.

The scene was described - not by CNN - but by the Washington Post's Dana Milbank (no relation):

The speaker of the House had just read a statement accusing the CIA of lying and was trying to beat a hasty retreat from her news conference before reporters could point out contradictions between her current position and her previous statements.

"Madam Speaker!" [Bash] called out. "I think there's one other question that I would like to ask, if that's okay."

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at