Pelosi Changes Account On Briefing On Torture

220px-nancy_pelositorture -abu ghraibSpeaker Nancy Pelosi has issued a new statement (and explanation) after released documents appeared to contradict her earlier denials that she had ever been briefed on the use of torture. As discussed in a prior blog, Pelosi previously insisted that she was never told that these “enhanced techniques” (aka torture) were being used and assumed that the briefing concerned just a hypothetical use of the methods. Now, she is changing her story to acknowledge that she, at a minimum, knew that the methods would be used — even though she is denying that she was actually told that they had been used. I discussed the story on this segment of Rachel Maddow’s show.

Here is the new spin:

“As I said in my statement of December 9, 2007: ‘I was briefed on interrogation techniques the (Bush) administration was considering using in the future. The administration advised that legal counsel for both the CIA and the Department of Justice had concluded that the techniques were legal.'”

The latest effort to explain her collusion in the torture program falls a bit short. First, the CIA memo dated to Sept. 4, 2002 says Pelosi received a “briefing on EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques), including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities and a description of particular EITs that had been employed.”

Second, it hardly amounts to a morally superior position to say that I was told that they were going to torture people, not that they had already tortured people. Describing war crimes in the future tense has never been a viable defense. It is like saying that the White House was describing a murder in the future tense, so I really did not see why I had to act to stop it.

Third, this is not what she previously told the public. Here is what she told Rachel Maddow:

(on camera): September 2002, you were briefed on CIA detention issues and enhanced interrogation issues. Because of those briefings, and I know you that you expressed concerns to the NSA after that October 2001 briefing, you released that publicly in 2006. You didn`t express public concerns at the time after those briefings. Does that raise a complication?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: No, no. The fact is they did not brief – first of all, we`re not allowed to talk about what happens, but I can say this. They did not brief us that these enhanced interrogations were taking place. They did not brief us that was – they were talking about an array of interrogations that they might have at their disposal.

MADDOW: Techniques in the abstract, as if they were not being used?

PELOSI: We were never told they were being used.

MADDOW: Were you told they weren`t being used?

PELOSI: Well, they just talked about them, but they – the inference to be drawn from what they told us was these are things that we think could be legal and we have a difference of opinion on that.

But they never told us that they were being used because that would be a different story altogether. And we had many disagreements with them all along the way on how they collect information in their country and what they think might be acceptable.

They have never gotten any comfort from me on any of these issues, no matter what they want to say publicly. And they know that I cannot speak specifically to the classified briefing of that kind. But I can say flat out they never told us that these enhanced interrogations were being used.

“They did not brief us that these enhanced interrogations were taking place. They did not brief us that was – they were talking about an array of interrogations that they might have at their disposal.” Now, Pelosi is admitting that, at a minimum, she knew that these techniques were going to be used. She knew about the torture program and did not act to stop it.

Finally, this argument completely abandons any semblance of oversight responsibility. It amounts to arguing “if you can’t believe the Bush White House on international law, who can you believe?” What is particularly striking is that Pelosi is using precisely the same argument that she rejected from Jane Harman on the unlawful surveillance program. Harman insisted that, while she was the critical oversight authority in Congress, she had no knowledge of the law in the area and specifically FISA. She just had to accept the Bush Administration’s insistence that it was legal and did not even have the ability to ask for general information on the law in the area. Now, Pelosi is saying that she just had to accept that a torture program was lawful because the White House said it was. The primary oversight responsibility of these members is to be sure that the Executive Branch is complying with the laws written by Congress. It makes a mockery of the system for Pelosi and Harman to simply take their word for it. The federal law gives Pelosi and Harman the obligation to serve as a check on executive authority, but they believe that this role compels them to accept whatever they are told on the legality of the program. They are simply informed and have not obligations or responsibilities — even when they are given a description of torture.

Pelosi’s claim that she could not take any further steps because of the classified nature of the briefing is equally bizarre. Since when can the White House classified a crime — and a war crime to boot? At a minimum, Pelosi could have demanded classified hearings and move to legislatively block the program — while demanding prosecution. She could have demanded a full legal briefing (classified if needed) from democratic staffers on the Intelligence Committee on torture. She could have publicly stated that she believed that the White House was engaged in violations of international law and demand the release of information.

There were an estimated 65 members briefed on 40 different occasions. There were many things that she could have done in the face of a war crime. Instead, she and dozens of legislators were ultimately briefed on a program and remains silent — as they campaigned on their commitment to human rights and civil liberties.

The Bush Administration knew these members all too well. They fully briefed them on torture on the anniversary of 9-11, knowing that they would not dare to try to stop the program. Then, they held these briefing over their heads over years as the Democrats quietly blocked investigations and protected people like former Attorney General Michael Mukasey from having to answer questions on torture.

Democrats cannot demand justice for Bush officials without holding these democratic members also accountable. This is becoming a party of chumps, who will accept any spin to excuse the conduct of their own leaders while denouncing the conduct of GOP leaders. These very same Democratic members, particularly Pelosi, blocked past efforts to investigate the torture allegations and blocked any effort to look into impeachment due to the commission of war crimes. It is now clear (as some of us have been saying for years) that these investigations would have revealed the involvement of Democratic members.

On the face of this latest explanation, Democratic voters should be outraged on the lack of personal responsibility claimed by leaders like Pelosi. They are basically claimed that oversight means little more than being briefed with no affirmative duty to challenge such claims as torture being perfectly legal. Any research into waterboarding would have shown that it has long been defined as torture and a crime by the United States. Yet, these members did not want to be in a position of having to question a popular president, particularly on the anniversary of 9-11. They preferred to remain in willful blindness and public popularity. Now that the public is outraged by the torture, there is an effort to re-write the history and excuse the lack of action.

For Pelosi’s statement, click here.

61 thoughts on “Pelosi Changes Account On Briefing On Torture

  1. Looking forward her to being FROG MARCHED out of Congress and put in the slammer – not for approving torture – but for lying about what she knew & when she knew it.

  2. Mr. Turely, wateboarding was done to over 40,000 American soldiers to train them. Did we torture our own soldiers?

    I am wondering, next attack on America which is no doubt planning now, who will you blame then for your Bush is not around.

  3. Pelosi was in this group wasn’t she:

    One Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, a group wearing “BOYCOTT ISRAEL” T-shirts entered a French branch of Carrefour, the world’s largest supermarket chain, and announced themselves. They then systematically advanced down every aisle examining every product, seizing all the items made in Israel and piling them into carts to take away and destroy. Judging from the video they made, the protesters were mostly Muslim immigrants and a few French leftists. But more relevant was the passivity of everyone else in the store, both staff and shoppers, all of whom stood idly by as private property was ransacked and smashed, and many of whom when invited to comment expressed support for the destruction.

    “Others may find Germany in the ’30s the more instructive comparison….” Judge for yourself. Here once again is the video.

  4. rut roh:

    “Mr. Turely, wateboarding was done to over 40,000 American soldiers to train them. Did we torture our own soldiers?”


    You waive this talking point around like some novel banner of enlightened thought which decimates your opponents. All that banner does is proclaim the stupidity of the standard bearer.

  5. Prof Turley,

    I saw you on the Rachel clip and it could not have been put more simply than you did.

    I watch these politicians dangle and flutter in the wind over this issue, changing, lying, covering up for each other.

    Then, I see someone like you, stating simply and perfectly the real issues and obviousness of their complicity in these acts and I can’t help wonder why more people aren’t outraged and demanding accountability (not just in this issue, but all issues). Is there anything they do that can be trusted? Telecom Immunity? Look at their coffers. Bank bail outs? Coffers.

    We need to abolish the Demublican Party by realizing what crooked and OWNED people they have become and vote their asses out.

    You are a Patriot for standing up and I thank you!


  6. Beulah:

    The truth can often be stated with elegant simplicity; it is deceit which always needs convolutions to be believed. Good to see you back!

  7. Let me get this straight:
    Both Nancy Pelosi and Jane Harmon had oversight responsibility for acts being committed by the Bush administration relative to international laws on torture and domestic surveillance, yet they were not familiar with the relevant laws on those subjects? They were ignorant of the laws they were responsible for upholding? Are you kidding me?

    If I were responsible for overseeing quality control in the manufacture of products sold by my company, and I had no knowledge of the industry’s quality control standards, wouldn’t I have the responsibility, first to become familiar with those standards and then to report violations to the managers and owners of the company? And if I did not exercise my oversight responsibility and the company’s products injured or killed someone and caused the company to suffer damages, wouldn’t I be named in the ensuing lawsuits?

    Not even knowing the laws these legislators were responsible for seeing that the administration followed – and just accepting the administration’s definition of those laws – is gross negligence, if not incompetence. They should be censured, even impeached for their dereliction.

    I’m a Democrat, but this plea of stupidity by Pelosi and Harmon is embarrassing, unforgiveable and intolerable.

  8. Yo B’Man,

    From one ‘hick’ to ‘nother, us’n po’folk is fixin’ to git this govmit workin’ ‘gin, pert nigh directly, I’ll tell ya what!

  9. Hey mespo,

    I am a silent daily RSS lurker for the most part. Hope all is well and remember, I am looking in…

    Former Federal LEO,

    You’re no hick. Any hick knows to use “ya’ll”, not ‘ya”.

    Busted as an imposter. But I don’t blame you for wanting to be like me.


  10. QoS,

    Seconded! I’ve always found it repugnant when a public official demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of the fundamentals of their responsibilities.

  11. The whole Democrati party is a scandal in itself.

    Anybody that votes for the party that mortgages our children’s future – the Democratic party – to buy votes to day is foolish.

  12. I will support torture allegations investigations when the following despicable thieves and liars resign:

    Murtha resigns

    Rangle resigns

    Dodd resigns

    Frank resigns

    Pelosi resigns

    Wasserman-Schultz resigns

    Nadler resigns

    Waters resigns

    Hoyer resigns

    Conrad resigns

    and another 40 crooked Democrats in the House resign

    and another 10 crooked Democrats in the Senate resign.

    So I will support the investigations as soon as the above resign.

  13. Rut Roh:

    thanks for the link, if true that was very disturbing. They should have been whistleing
    the Milice:

    We shall smite the Jews and the Marxists,
    We shall avenge our brothers killed by them,
    So that the National Socialist ideal
    Should one day be proud and victorious

    Or the Horst Wessel Song.

  14. It has been disturbing to see Democrats place the blame for everything on Republicans while it’s obvious neither party has clean hands.

    Because I do feel it is incredibly dangerous to have people in postitions of power who are completely lawless and have no compunctions about lying to the people here’s what I believe sould happen.

    Each and every person involved in war crimes, from top to bottom should be given a pardon provided they do two things: 1. resign from the govt. and very importantly, 2. write a full account of everything they know and did in connection with war crimes. Should they fail to do either of these things, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    In the meantime Holder should immediately appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate and charge anyone involved in war crimes. This must take place as a parallel step for the pardon in exchange for resignation/truth telling to have any teeth.

    I further hope that despite any and all threats (blackmail and other types), people who care about this country will continue to leak everything they can on the corruption at the very core of our govt.

    Finally, I hope citizens will stop accepting all excuses and rationals given by their leaders for failure to act on clear evidence of crimes. This cannot be finessed out of existence. Other countries are going to ask for our war criminals’ extradition. It’s probable that our current leadership will refuse this request and protect wrongdoers instead. We have to acknowledge the dangerous state of living in a society where the top people in our govt. participated in war crimes, are currently participating in financial crimes, are likely even now, participating in war crimes and use lies and propaganda to keep people cowed into submission.

    Dick Cheney will once again tell his story on TV this Sunday. I’d like to see him arrested on the spot and in front of the viewers. I would also like to have the arresting officers read him his rights, and tell him he is welcome to a full pardon provided he admit guilt and reveal everything he took part in. The fact that he is running around speaking everywhere is proof of a propaganda campaign against the people of the US. He should have been arrested and offered the pardon deal a long time ago. This same holds true for any and all Democrats involved in the war and financial crimes our entire society is paying for at this time and will continue to pay for many years to come.

  15. FFN,

    The 3rd leg of the government (m)bilking stool/trifecta:

    Like Sausage, Citizens do not want to observe how it is made…

  16. Wasn’t Pelosi also briefed on the false intelligence about WMD as the reason to invade Iraq and she did nothing about that as well?

  17. Again, a federal pardon will NOT protect these people from other prosecutions and lawsuits – foreign or domestic.

    Certainly, any defense they might, otherwise, have under a liablity contract will not proceed toward providing their defense and/or indemnification for admittedly ‘illegal’ acts. Period.

    In order to retain any personal protections, they would be ill-advised to essentially admit to ever having committed war crimes.

    Like it or not, that’s one of the problems and likely one reason why George Bush did not grant a ‘blanket pardon’. He would have had to ask permission because none of the alleged potential defendants ever applied for a pardon. It could be inferred as his entire administration’s ‘blanket confession’, as well.

    It’s easy for someone who has no legal training to say what these alleged potential defendants should do, because you are not in their position .

    It’s a smidge more complex than some are willing to realize, apparently.

    As Obama recently stated with respect to the many issues facing him coming in – ‘if it was easy, it would have already been done by now’ or words to that effect.

  18. Rut Roh

    You need to actually pay attention to what’s been said on this forum. Few here would object to dislodging Pelosi, etal. over their knowledge and passivity when it comes to torture as long as you agree that all Republicans in on the deal, including Bush and Cheney, are subjected to the same investigations and punishments. Agreed?

    If so, instead of being an offensive troll, you would find yourself in harmonious concert with most of us. If not, you’re a troll and a pest simply out to propagate the Limbaugh party’s feeble agenda which consists solely of braying like the asses you are.

  19. To all:

    PattyC stated:
    “Like it or not, that’s one of the problems and likely one reason why George Bush did not grant a ‘blanket pardon’. He would have had to ask permission because none of the alleged potential defendants ever applied for a pardon. It could be inferred as his entire administration’s ‘blanket confession’, as well.”

    Two questions, can you pardon someone in advance of a conviction and wouldn’t asking for a pardon be admitting guilt? Although I suppose you could be asking because you are worried that even though innocent you would be painted with the same brush as others.

  20. “Finally, this argument completely abandons any semblance of oversight responsibility. It amounts to arguing “if you can’t believe the Bush White House on international law, who can you believe?”

    In a comment dripping with salience, this to me is the most salient of all. It is the continuation of the old Cold War bi-partisan foreign policy “shtick” that has gotten the US into so much trouble in the last 50 or so years. Ms. Pelosi, was probably so honored by her insider status and by those “serious” people who were briefing her, that she swallowed any qualms she might have had and totally abdicated her clear constitutional responsibility. This to me is why the Bush/Cheney Gang got away with treasonous/illegal actions for so long, our constitutionally mandated “overseers” were awash in unjustified wishful thinking accepting the credibility of an un-credible administration. It becomes tedious to continually point out that the King is naked, when the “serious” people are viewing his attire as fashionable finery.

  21. I am a Democrat. But it becomes increasingly clear that some Democrat politicians may have been complicit in the torture. Of course one can argue degree of complicity. Say those words over in your head and think about them. Anyone who didn’t speak complicit. Of course this is easy for me to say: I did object and I wasn’t a poltician so I had nothing to lose (except for donations to the ACLU to fight torture). Ms. Pelosi should be judged by what she did and did not do. I doubt if she is the only Democrat politician who was too scared of being painted “unpatriotic” to stand up for what is right…and to not stand up against torture is to condone torture.

  22. Patty C 1, May 9, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Again, a federal pardon will NOT protect these people from other prosecutions and lawsuits – foreign or domestic.

    I beg to differ with you on the issue of a Domestic Pardons. I agree with you on the international pardons, a Presidential pardon will have no effect nor will it affect international civil litigation. But it is an absolute defense to any Criminal Prosecution. However a civil-domestic lawsuit is another story.

    But then again, you can sue anybody for anything. It goes on everyday.

  23. A.Y.,

    I agree that it will not protect our war criminals from foreign prosecution or domestic lawsuits. Here’s is my reasoning on using the pardon.

    As to international prosecutions. Every country undertaking war crimes prosecutions against our people have stated that they would prefer the US to take up the cases. They have said they will drop their case if the US investigates and prosecutes its own people. I admire the nations who are willing to stand up to the world’s biggest bully, but I’m certain they would rather not do so. There is a lot at stake for them in proceeding. I have faith they will proceed if we do not, but I do not underestimate the cost of such courage.

    Secondly, a pardon with the condition of resigning from any govt. position and a full confession does two important things: 1. it gets rid of some very bad actors in the govt. and 2. it will be the best chance we have of getting a real understanding of just how bad everything that went on was/is.

    The threat of civil lawsuits may be quite useful. There are places in the world that won’t extradite our criminals and perhaps those are great places for these people to retire.

    I see no good way to do this. I am seeking a way of acting that has the least chance of causing these very powerful, well-connected and evil people from doing more harm to our nation. Standing up to these people could end in disaster. They’ve already shown they will do anything to anyone, so even this action could provoke severe retaliation. But not standing up to them will end in a complete dismantling of our govt.

    It would be great to hear other people’s ideas as to how to proceed.

  24. Jill,

    You will be pleased to know that a Pardon will not even save a member of congress from Impeachment proceedings.

  25. And a pardon doesn’t prevent the US from making extensive financial reparations to those whom we tortured, the families of those we killed, or to the soldiers and their families whom we sent into battle on a lie.

  26. I don’t understand why you are are jumping on the politicizing bandwagon and in particular, by claiming that Democrats want to prosecute the Bush Administration and yet allow complicit Democrats to skip.

    This discussion is not a Democratic plot. This discussion was engendered by the ICRC report that found the Bush Administration had a torture program. That politicians try to occlude that by pointing fingers at their opposition is not surprising; that you do is disappointing.

    There are a number of critiques that can be made about Congressional Democratic leaders and their actions. I myself will always think of those members as belonging to the Torturing 110th Congress. But there is no useful critique whose conclusion is an exhortation to outrage when what we most need is focus, thoughtfulness and direction.

    It may make for good television but it isn’t conducive to informed civic engagement.

  27. E Ferrari,

    I cannot tell if you have a genuine concern about only one party being castigated or not. On this Blawg, I think that most of us want anyone involved to be prosecuted.

    Now if you are a Troll, I am sorry I wasted my breath.

  28. Actually, I’m someone who has followed this story very closely since 2002. And who, as someone in Pelosi’s district, has put it as close to her face as I possibly could. See this, for example:

    That being said, the more we politicize this, the harder it will be to get the justice we want. It’s not that I don’t agree with Jonathan about the role of Congressional Democrats. It’s more that, that isn’t the way forward. Kicking over political anthills will not produce the accountability that is needed here.

  29. Elizabeth Ferrari,
    Welcome to this site. I see nothing trollish in your statements, or in your point of view. It is certainly valid and on point. The link to your OpEd News story was informative in providing context as to where you are coming from. Please stick around, despite the rocky first experience. Intelligent comment is welcome here and if a comment is made with thoughtfulness, I believe we have no test of political correctness, as much as I hate that term.

  30. One thing you might to consider is that exactly this kind of finger pointing happened when the illegal wiretapping story broke.

    It was even the same Democrats and the same Republicans that were fingered, the very same crew. Go back and look at the way the story unfolded if you’re interested.

    This new diversion is following the same template.

    Politicizing the issue in that way got us exactly nowhere. It was theater. A lot of us were “outraged” and that outrage might have burned calories but it didn’t really shed any light on the wiretapping program, didn’t forward any kind of accountability, and didn’t stop the program.

    As soon as we pull political parties into this problem, we take focus and energy away from the actual problem. From the bakers and goat herds and religious pilgrims and grandfathers that were sold to Rumsfeld and tortured at Guantanamo, for example. As soon as we make that move, we’re going off topic and away from the process that will bring tortures to justice and toward yet another episode of political theater that gets us nowhere but that gives politicians something to talk about to the media while they continue to avoid their responsibility to the nation, imo.

    If pointing that out to Jonathan makes me a “troll”, well, there it is.

  31. EF:

    “I don’t understand why you are jumping on the politicizing bandwagon and in particular, by claiming that Democrats want to prosecute the Bush Administration and yet allow complicit Democrats to skip.”

    Please explain your perspective for me. Where and when do you conclude that Professor Turley politicizes jumping on the band wagon and that democats are exzempt from investigation and possible prosecution or pardons?

  32. Truly amazing- Pelosi was caught lying red-handed… and she’s STILL lying.

    Of course, she had no objection to the use of EITs for almost 5 years- until she was Speaker in 2007 and the antiwar left raised it as an issue. Suddenly she’s against it, and/or “knew nothing”. And obviously willing to lie to the whole country to create a more favorable reality.

    Apparently Obama and Pelosi forgot something: the CIA kills people… it’s in their job description. Did they really think these killers were going to meekly take one for the team… when the team captain is a lying, incompetent, arrogant nebbish with no real-world experience and who told them they need to kiss his ring? – please

    Pelosi is a no-talent hack who’s made a lot of enemies. Going to be hard to BS her way out of this one- her approval rating was like 9% before this story even broke.

  33. Jonathan’s entire post could be subtitled, “And you Democrats, too”.

    And that’s fair enough. As I said up thread, I don’t disagree with him on any of those points. As an impeachment activist in Pelosi’s district, I don’t know too many people who are harder on Pelosi than I am or continue to be. If anything, I suspect most Democratic voters who have followed this issue are far more angry with their own party than with the Bush Administration.

    The question I raised here is, does politicizing this issue in this way further the project of accountability? My position is that it does not. It simply leads us further into the weeds.

  34. Mike Spindell: Thank you. I am guilty of being very direct at times and it’s easy to see how that would be suspect or something as a first post.

    But, I have been following this story since 2002 and that is my first interest. Thanks.

  35. Elizabeth Ferrari welcome aboard.

    Your op-ed to Pelosi was well done. I’m glad you clarified your comment with “Jonathan’s entire post could be subtitled, “And you Democrats, too”. This forum/blog is one of the few I have visited that is (troll and spam aside) evenhanded in its condemnation of wrongdoing.

    As for me, I no longer even care for the (rational and prudent) arguments to drag it out to the point that a consensus against torture is present among the electorate before an investigation is started. I know that’s probably not wise after seeing the ease with which someone like the traitor North can get off by using a few tears in a court of law but it’s where time and a good measure of free-floating disgust with both sides of the aisle in Washington has brought me.

    I am perfectly happy to see Washington, metaphorically, burned to the ground by a thorough investigation of everyone involved. I want the debate on the nature of our soul (as a nation) currently and for the future to be loud, contentious, (ugly as hell if needs be) and defining.

    This slow drift away from substantial political debate and into ‘spin’ and ‘parsing’ on every issue is just withering my soul. I don’t even care what the actual answer is anymore, I just want to know what kind of country I live in and will spend the rest of my life in.

    Uh, yes, Senator Sam ‘Because English is my first language’ Ervin is one of my hero’s. What I wouldn’t give for just one day of real debate at the highest level of government.

    Please visit again, you will be welcome here I’m sure.

  36. Pelosi is such a scoundrel just like all the democrats in Congress. Filthy liars, all of them.

  37. Russia warns World in Soviet-style show of might

    May 9 08:20 AM US/Eastern

    Russia on Saturday sternly warned the world as it put on a Soviet-style show of military might in Red Square including nuclear capable missiles.

    The display to mark the 64th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II came amid renewed tensions with the United States & Georgia after NATO’s decision to hold war games in the Caucasus country infuriated Moscow.

    “We are sure that any aggression against our citizens will be given a worthy reply,” President Dmitry Medvedev said in a speech in Red Square side-by-side with powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.


  38. Obama Bans the Commonfolk from Normandyby John Romano

    A lot of the difference, the change if you will, between Obama and Bush has much to do with the word humility.

    George Bush is and was a humble man. Obama thinks the world counts on him and him alone to lead us. Bush went to church and prayed often. Obama puts out press releases about his supposed piety. The left sold a great bill of goods to the American people claiming that Bush, et al. were arrogant while insisting that Obama was a “man of the people.”

    The 65th Anniversary of D-Day is fast approaching. Barack Obama will attend the events on June 6th as George Bush did in 2004 for the sixtieth memorial service. Here is the rub, as of now Obama’s State Department has asked (read demanded) the French government not allow tour guide services to operate that day. It is a big day for Normandy tourism. Yet, the king will not allow those not connected with government to enjoy the day. Obama is very important you know. This is an unprecedented request. I hope the French come to their senses and deny it.

    Compare that with 2004. Security was tight as President Bush and other world leaders were in attendance, but the event was still open to all. A friend relayed the story of waiting in line to use a port-a-potty (a French port-a-potty no doubt, yuck, believe me.) She looks to her left and who he is in the next line waiting patiently? President Bush. Sure he had Secret Service nearby, but he waited like everyone else.

    Contrast that with Team Obama not even allowing regular people near Colleville-Sur-Mer that day. A shame indeed. Especially as the last of our WW II vets are expiring.

    As the Bamsters unemployment rate pushes 10% (double the Bush average) and his 3.5 trillion dollar budget breaks the USA (the press of course focuses on his 17 billion in “savings.” Way to go 4th Estate.), Obama has more to worry about then denying people the right to attend a memorial service on June 6th.

    It’s as if Obama has to let it be known that he is more important than honoring the events and the 9,387 mostly young Americans who died invading Normandy 65 years ago. Will Obama apologize for American actions during WW II at the event?

    I think the following quote from Obama himself sums it all up: “a light will shine down from somewhere…. You will experience an epiphany. And you will say to yourself, ‘I have to vote for Barack.’” Watch for yourself:

    The guy can’t even bring himself to say “shine down from heaven.” Do you really expect him to line up to use the can with the commoners at a Normandy celebration? Americans may start to miss the guy with the humility.

    Universal Healthcare, unchecked unions, government run banks, government run autos, cap and trade, turning the 20 million undocumented Democrats into voters: That isn’t America and it surely isn’t what those young boys died at Normandy for.

    We elected a fairy tale. We can start the road back to reality in 2010 with the mid-term elections.

  39. ‘But it is an absolute defense to any Criminal Prosecution

    No, only as to the designated offense being pardoned. It would not apply, for instance, to other possible charges brought later on.

    And it could not apply to any cases in individual States. Only sitting governors may exercise their own State pardon powers.

    I recommend EF use JT’s ‘Search’feature to locate any article under the keyword ‘Pelosi’ he’s written, even before he created the #1 Law Professor AND Legsl Theory Blawg’.

  40. Patty C.

    You are smart enough to know that if it involves a Federal Pardon it is only for Federal Issues. Surly the absurdity is not lost on its author.

    I recalled all I remembered from my lil ole brain cell. Because of your insistence to correct and criticize rather than educate and inform, I feel compelled to respond in kind.

    “One limitation is that a pardon cannot be issued for a crime that has not yet been committed. Pardons also don’t affect civil cases, or state or local cases. Pardons are meant to dismiss sentences stemming from affronts to the United States through the breaking of laws.”

    I have attached the link:

    If I had gone to med school, I assure you, my bed side manners would never be called into question, nor my ethics. Can you say the same?

  41. elizabeth

    Obama Bans the Commonfolk from Normandyby John Romano

    A lot of the difference, the change if you will, between Obama and Bush has much to do with the word humility.

    did you ever see W when he was at his impromptu Press Conferences and he was fumbling worse than a Detroit Lion. He either was still cranked up from the night before or his other meds were working overtime.

    But I understand a Troll has its marching Orders and must do what a Troll must do. If any original thought is required you’d probably not be more humble than Georges fumbles.

  42. elizabeth 1, May 9, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Russia warns World in Soviet-style show of might

    May 9 08:20 AM US/Eastern

    Russia on Saturday sternly warned the world as it put on a Soviet-style show of military might in Red Square including nuclear capable missiles.

    Please Misses Troll or Mistress Troll,

    I am on a Roll. Please look at December 2006.

    Tuesday, December 26, 2006. some news about georgia/south-caucasus. Turkey, Georgia to Share Giant Caspian Field Gas 5

    What ya think that is all about?

    Russia-Georgia Conflict in South Ossetia: Context
    and Implications for U.S. Interests

    Updated September 2008.

    Do you think that having Oil there shows what interest Cheney had in Georgia?

    Oh, by the way Troll, Obama did not get elected until November 2008 and sworn in January 2009. Did you know that.

  43. lottakatz: Wow. You people really do get trolls here.

    But the admin should be able to verify the different ISPs. Is this what they do, spoof other posters? What a waste of time. Breitbart? Good grief.

  44. Elizabeth Ferrari,

    We, I think I can speak for a number of folks on here, get a “fair” number of trolls here. It is a chance to affirm our belief in my convictions. I welcome you here. Please share what it is you have to offer, on topic off topic whatever ails you.

    There are a number of folks that words are much more eloquent than mine. But a sincere welcome to this site, not to be confused with a cite.

  45. Elizabeth Ferrari,
    We do get a number of trolls here, but they usually are the hit and run types, who don’t even follow the thread. This “Elizabeth” was a higher order troll in that he/she had been following the thread and decided to add a little mischief to the misinformation. Jonathan, basically runs this himself and so cannot be expected to be constantly perusing everything. Also my he gives wide latitude to free speech and expects the rest of us to step in and do our parts.

    Regarding your comments and the initial reaction of some that they were trollish, I think that can be ascribed to the fact that political discourse in this country has been cheapened to the point where it has become a battle of memes and mythology. Due to that words take on far more meaning than their original definition. I decry that fact, try to go beyond it, but 40 years of propaganda by paid for by the moneyed elite have wrought their mischief.

    Therefore your “politicizing” can be taken in the context of the shrill Republican screaming that every issue brought by Democrats was partisan, of course while they in fact were operating from a solely partisan viewpoint. I surmise that some read your post too quickly and were overtaken by this context, even though that was clearly not your intent.

    In a sense the recent spate of Trolling here can be viewed as a good sign for this site, since it means that JT has had some telling effect in highlighting this issue and that brings on the Trolls, both the misinformed and the paid.

  46. Nancy Pelosi has been a War Criminal for years in funding, conspiring and waging Wars of Aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. She could be arrested today under USC TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 118 > § 2441 – War Crimes and other laws.

  47. 51 lottakatz
    1, May 9, 2009 at 9:52 pm :-) Maybe I spoke (above) too soon. Stealth-trolling Liz? :-)

    Elizabeth Ferrari: ” Wow. You people really do get trolls here… spoof ”

    I wasn’t sure so I added smileys so as not to offend you if you (Elizabeth Ferrari) weren’t pulling a switch-up. I apologize for casting aspersions.

  48. “One limitation is that a pardon cannot be issued for a crime that has not yet been committed. Pardons also don’t affect civil cases, or state or local cases. Pardons are meant to dismiss sentences stemming from affronts to the United States through the breaking of laws.”

    You missed my point, again and you are mistaken, again.

    A presidential pardon granted will not apply toward any other federal offenses charged in the future, even if arising out of the original offense for which the pardon was granted.

    Actually, I was NOT attempting to make your point, but since you brought it up, the power to issue an amnesty and the effect of an amnesty are the same as those for a pardon.

    There are a few different powers to pardon AND a few different kinds of pardons.

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