Pelosi Now Claims That She Was Misled By CIA

220px-nancy_pelosiHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued her effort to explain past statements on torture and her failure to act to stop a war crime after she was briefed on the torture program. After being contradicted by both documents and one of her aides, Pelosi has now accused CIA officials misleading her in 2002.

While clearly flustered in the press conference, Pelosi continues to maintain that she was briefed on such techniques only once — in September 2002 — and that she was only told that the Administration has established that it could start to use waterboarding, a well-known form of torture. She said that in February 2003 she was only told by her staffer that the Republican chairman and the new Democratic ranking member of the Intelligence Committee had been briefed on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. That sounds like confirmation of torture to me. She added “I’ve dealt with our intelligence professionals for the last 3½ years on an almost daily basis.” Hmmm, after the weapons of mass destruction, the unlawful surveillance, the subsequent unlawful surveillance (after congressional intervention), and other Bush scandals, Pelosi saw no reason not to accept the legal and factual assertions of the agency that she was supposedly overseeing. This dovetails with Pelosi’s view that she had to accept the Bush Administration’s assurance that torture was lawful.
She did add: “I unequivocally oppose the use of torture.” However, she also blocked any effort to investigate torture during the Bush Administration or any effort to impeachment on the basis of war crimes because she insisted that she knew of no evidence to support such allegations.

By the way, Pelosi was protected by the Speech and Debate Clause and could not have been prosecuted for going to the House floor and saying that she believed that the Administration was committing a possible war crime. Moreover, it is simply not true that she was barred for taken other forms of action. She did not have to go to Adelphi to the answer on waterboarding. A simple google search would have revealed a couple hundred site discussing its status as torture and a war crime.

Finally, if Pelosi believes that she was intentionally misled, she should call of a special prosecutor. After all, giving knowingly giving false information to Congress is a crime under 18 U.S.C. 1001(c):

(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—
(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or
(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

Yet, the most she is willing to do is call for another 9-11 Commission — and not a special prosecutor. The value of the commission is obvious. The 9-11 Commission was filled with reliable democrats and republicans who immediately declared that they would not pursue individuals or assign individual blame. It has been ridiculed for its effort to protect leading figures from blame and leaving massive holes in its investigation.

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115 thoughts on “Pelosi Now Claims That She Was Misled By CIA”

  1. Debra,
    Thanks for your words of defense. Yes we do have different political views, but that is one of the really positive thing about this site. We mostly are able to discuss our different viewpoints without the shouting debates usually shown on the media. We do disagree on health care, but let’s leave that argument for another time. My only comment is that you have represented your distrust of government well, given your experiences. It is arguments like yours that advocates of a public health system, like myself, will have to deal with if the country is ever to have it.

    I would like to call your attention to an interesting truth as you continue to use this sight. That is that most people who post here, whatever their political beliefs, have a healthy skepticism about government.

  2. Peggy,
    Thank you so much for responding to my question. Your dispatch in clarifying your points was heartening.

    “Are you saying need clarification to clear your conscience?”

    No, my conscience is quite clear already thank you. I asked for clarification so that I could then in good conscience destroy your points, without misunderstanding you.

    “A man who claims he was classified 4F and not acceptable for military service?”

    Yes that is true I actually went for my draft physical, unlike Bush who’s Daddy got him into the National Guard, or Cheney who arranged never to be called. You know those two names, right, they are the traitors whose policies you followed slavishly. Now at my physical they discovered that I had very, high blood pressure and sent me for an overnight stay at a VA hospital, where after constant monitoring and blood tests they gave me a 2Y, deferring me for one year. I went back the next year and after the same readings and process I was permanently deferred. Since I’ve now suffered from High Blood Pressure 44 years, had 3 heart attacks and congestive heart failure, they seemed to have guessed correctly.

    “A man who claims what separated himself from a grunt is that he had certain talents in great demand and a Master’s Degree from an Ivy League School?”

    Totally orphaned a 18, with no inheritance and being the first in my family to go to college, I had to work my way through college at a variety of what some would call menial jobs. This is also unlike the people who you seem to follow, like G.W.Bush, who came from a rich family and had it all handed to them. you took my remark out of context though because I was comparing my entry level position, to that of a military entry level position, for the purpose of the point I was making. I apologize if I wasn’t clear enough, but I think it was really the fault of your reading and not understanding a clear statement.

    “A man who receiving a a good pension and great health care due to his years of service?”

    This is true, but due to the fact that I began work for NYC in the 60’s, when they had a good pension plan. They had and still do have great health plans for their employees, because they pay them so little. For instance, even though I became an executive, I still had to work at a night job and my wife had to work full time so that we could support our family and our lifestyle was in no way anything but middle class. Unlike those who you apparently adore in the Republican Party hierarchy, I was born and will die a child of the lower middle class and I’ve kept my faith with those in the same boat, or lower economically.

    “A man who thinks Saul Alinsky was a great man and believes it is an honor for himself to be compared to?”

    That is quite true. Mike A. above explains who Alinsky was quite well, so I have no need to. My supposition though is that you don’t know a thing about Alinsky or his work, other than Republican talking points, or reading my prior references to him. You can be forgiven your ignorance, since Alinsky is not a household name, but to use it accusingly does you no credit given your ignorance of the facts.

    “A man who has shown on this blog to have an over inflated academic opinion of himself?”

    Given my body of writing here, I don’t think you’re correct, but you certainly have a right to your opinion.

    “You don’t need clarification Mr. Spindell. Your just a bald headed asshole who knows it all, and the rest of us are just grunts.”

    You are correct I am bald and since I’m anatomically whole I do have the organ you refer to, although I rather think that it is not the sum total of my body. What my baldness has to do with my worthiness/unworthiness I fail to see, but taste is in the eye of the beholder. It happens to be one of the characteristics I share with Dick Cheney, although I am not a draft dodging traitor.

    Now to be honest this reply to you isn’t worth anyone’s time because your original comments weren’t worthy of discussion, but unfortunately, in a hubristic moment I did bring your response on myself and so felt obligated to do as I promised:

    Could you clarify your point please so I can destroy it with a clear conscience?”

  3. I’m at a loss for words to your circular logic – although very Jeffersonian as to your privilege to enjoy it.

    You keep returning to Military Medical as the basis for all your experience but simply dismiss my claim (of a good experience in the UK – I’m an American by the way) – apparently have no interest in discussing the potential of a Public health care system because you have made your decision as is evident by you singular determination that the stock market slogan is not analogous to government.

    As to your comments about police and fire – of which I am competently experienced – there are Federal guidelines, funding etc… but it is curious that you didn’t even see the potential for a Federal / State partnership. It is easy to see that you are exercising your right to “just say no!” – and that being the case – I will wish you all a fine weekend and good health.

  4. Well, unfortunately, this isn’t the UK. This is the US and we have to look at how they handle similar type systems. True, the system is not in place yet; however, if they can’t handle one system, it is highly probable that they won’t be able to handle this one. Police and Fire is paid for by local governments, not federal. The military medical system is funded and regulated by federal. By the way, when states cut budgets, Police, Fire and healthcare for the low income are cut.

    In the stock market, they say that past performance is not an indicator of future performance. However, with our government, past performance is an Highly accurate indicator of future performance.

  5. With all due respect to all the participants in this conversation about a Public Health Care system – how can one legitimately compare the awful experiences of a particular military medical engagement with a plan that currently doesn’t exist ?

    Being a proponent of Public Health, a veteran (corpsman), the beneficiary of military / private and public health (UK) systems – I’m forced to limit my anecdotes and focus on our broken system.

    We have a profit-driven health insurance industry that has added no less than two (and usually three) layers of overhead / profit to every health care dollar – and an immeasurable impediment to the delivery of basic services by design.

    Most health care professionals – not actuaries and health industry executives (the new buzz word for representatives of the administrative siphoning of the publics buying power) but real health care professionals, physicians, nurses and other caregivers. Overwhelmingly they support at minimum a single payer system, however my personal interviews of each yielded overwhelming consideration of a public health service not unlike the UK. If the profit is removed from health care, as it is from Police, Fire, water and sewer – which appear to work very well – shouldn’t we, at the very least, have a more comprehensive discussion about public health instead of creating horror story vignettes before there is actually a public health practice ??

    There are numerous reasons for not having a public health program. Most of them reside in the stockholder reports of insurance companies and the health businesses they own.

  6. The military system has its own rules that would never be carried over into any sort of civilian system. Nurses/PAs/Nurse practitioners do the job of doctors. Enlisted personnel with a few weeks of schooling do the job of nurses. This isn’t to discredit anyone who works in the medical part of the military– they do great work. The system is just totally screwed up from the top down. I am not necessarily in favor of a “nationalized” healthcare system, but using the military system as a comparison is a poor choice.

  7. I receive good health care from my current health practicianer that is a civilian doctor. But see, I had the choice to go to her for medical care. With nationalized or even managed care, you don’t get that, unless you have money or friends in high places. That’s just how it is.

  8. If Medicare is the same model used for universal health care, we should be OK.

    What I gather from your experience, and as you should from ours shared here, is that you did not receive completed care in that you are still questioning what happened 17 years ago and why.

    That would be most unlikely to occur in my practice.

  9. Peggy, I’ve been missing all of the controversy from the last few days since I’m quite busy at the moment, but I have to take the time to comment on your last rather nasty post. You can say what you wish about Mike S. He is more than capable of defending himself. However, your slur against Saul Alinsky displays a rather astonishing ignorance. Mr. Alinsky’s concerns his entire life were for those whom no one else ever cares about other than for their usefulness for purposes of economic exploitation. He recognized that the working poor can no more affect government policy than line workers can affect industrial policy unless they act in a concerted matter. He attempted to accomplish for the politically oppressed what unions were often able to accomplish for the economically oppressed. He understood that in the power game that is politics, those with money will always dominate those without money, and that organization and collective effort is the only equalizing force. If you find this reprehensible for any reason, then you are acknowledging complete ignorance of the social and industrial history of this country. It also means that you have bought into the Christian conservative myth that wealth is God’s reward for right living and that the wealthiest, being the most virtuous, can be trusted to fairly and equitably control the government and the economy.

  10. I know. You can’t sue them without their (The government) permission. However, since this nationalized medical system is being setup, I am certain that it will have similar regulations attached. There is no convincing me that this will work or be a good thing. Not when I’ve been on the receiving end of crappy medical care by a similar system.

  11. Anyone who is harmed by any medical provider who accepts Medicare payments is still subject to private civil claims for malpractice.

    Military doctors are not subject to the same private, civil (mal)practice standards.

  12. Well, since I had a history of respiratory problems and no female type problems, I doubt that there was any medical reason whatsoever. I have never had to deal with that ever since.

    However, this is why I am TOTALLY against Nationalized medical care. Right now, as a civilian, I can just go somewhere else and file a complaint for misbehavior or stupidity. I’m not stuck. A nationalized medical system, you are kind of stuck and certainly less options and more apt to have to deal with crap like this. I can only tell you what I have had to deal with in this kind of system. Do what you will. Don’t complain if it happens.

  13. Also, since when do you need a pelvic exam for a respiratory infection like broncitis. That was another situation I had to tollerate while I was in. uuuggg. I have so many others. Eight years in, I can fill a book–

    Dunno. There may have been a reaon.

    Unfortunately perhaps, I wasn’t there and you were not my patient.

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