House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was not always House Speaker. There was a time, back in the good old days of 2002 when Republicans ruled the universe which included the Administration, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, when she was just plain old Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco.
Ms. Pelosi was also a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
According to the Washington Post - which has never been seen as a tool of the Bush Administration - the CIA had briefed the bipartisan leadership of the House Intel Committee about … note this language by Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen …
"a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody."
"Wringing vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody" is now called: Torture.
This is a piece written in December, 2007, remember, and the two reporters out Nancy Pelosi as having been in that briefing.
While Obama tries keep us safe by urging the "world to sing in purr-fect har-moh-nee" the Post reporters wrote
"The CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of [waterboarding] and other harsh interrogation methods."According to one official in the briefings,
"There was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, 'We don't care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.'"
Which happens to be my position on the issue.
Barack Obama is selectively releasing documents about how we squeezed information out of terrorist and has now made it clear that he would not be opposed to prosecuting those who authorized it.
But there is now proof that his chief ally in the Congress, Speaker Pelosi, has known about "enhanced interrogation techniques" since at least 2002.
This is 2009. Even people like me, who never developed the Math Gene, can calculate that for some seven years the woman who is now the Speaker of the House has known about the fact that U.S. employees were torturing terrorists to get information which has kept America from being attacked again.
Rep. Jane Harmon, who succeeded Pelosi on the House Intel Committee, actually wrote a secret letter complaining about the interrogation techniques, which was all she could do.
But, in the ensuing seven years Pelosi hasn't even bothered to put pen to paper yet now she is the Keener-in-Chief about the horrors of Americans pouring water in the face of terrorists to get them to talk.
Don't expect a big outcry about the Pelosi involvement in torture. Any more than the one-day-story about Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd having taken huge amounts of money from AIG before secretly inserting language into a bill to preserve those bonuses. Or the no-day-story about how Pelosi-pal, John Murtha, is using the Federal Treasury as the national piggy bank for worthless projects in his Pennsylvania district.
If Obama decides to launch prosecutions against Executive Branch officials, doesn't it stand to reason that Legislative Branch officials - like Pelosi - should be prosecuted as accessories to whatever crime will be alleged?
At a minimum, if Obama prosecutes, Pelosi will be called as a witness to describe what she knew, and when she knew it.
Last night came reports that Obama is going to accede to a demand by the ACLU that photos of abuse of terrorists be release. According to a piece in the LA Times by Peter Wallsten, Julian Barnes and Greg Miller, the fear is "the release could incite a backlash in the Middle East."
If the White House releases photos which "incite a backlash" leading to attacks on America or Americans, then those attacks will like squarely on the head of Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, our enemies continue to plot.