Gingrich: House Has “Obligation” to Investigate Pelosi

225px-Newt-2004-clippedNewt Gingrich found a new level of hypocrisy this week in insisting that the Congress has “an obligation” to investigate Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I have been highly critical of Pelosi who at a minimum appears to have abandoned her duties of oversight for political convenience and at worst is outright lying. However, Gingrich who says that Pelosi is acting in a “despicable, dishonest and vicious” way, does not believe that there is any need to call for an investigation into torture and the commission of both federal and war crimes.

Gingrich called Pelosi is a “trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes.” Of course, Gingrich has opposed any investigation into a myriad of Bush violations and alleged crimes. What astonishes me is how comfortable both Democratic and Republican leaders are in such hypocrisy. I discussed the Pelosi story last night on this segment of Countdown.

The fact is that Pelosi should be held accountable for her failure to act on torture and her effort to block any investigation into torture. The support of her district shows precisely the same type of blind party loyalty that Republicans showed to their members from Randy Cunningham to Ted Stevens. This is precisely why the GOP lost power. Voters stand with politicians rather than principles — encouraging this type of flagrant hypocrisy. The manipulation of this scandal by both the Democratic and Republic leadership shows an utter contempt for the intelligence of voters. Likewise, Obama’s abandonment of core civil liberties principles shows that the White House has concluded that the left will never withdraw its support for Obama, even when he is adopting the very same policies as the prior Administration on civil liberties.

For the interview, click here.

For the full story, click here.

83 thoughts on “Gingrich: House Has “Obligation” to Investigate Pelosi”

  1. Critics (and the left) Still Haven’t Read the ‘Torture’ Memos

    The CIA proposed the methods. The Justice Department gave its advice.

    By VICTORIA TOENSING

    Sen. Patrick Leahy wants an independent commission to investigate them. Rep. John Conyers wants the Obama Justice Department to prosecute them. Liberal lawyers want to disbar them, and the media maligns them.

    What did the Justice Department attorneys at George W. Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) — John Yoo and Jay Bybee — do to garner such scorn? They analyzed a 1994 criminal statute prohibiting torture when the CIA asked for legal guidance on interrogation techniques for a high-level al Qaeda detainee (Abu Zubaydah).

    In the mid-1980s, when I supervised the legality of apprehending terrorists to stand trial, I relied on a decades-old Supreme Court standard: Our capture and treatment could not “shock the conscience” of the court. The OLC lawyers, however, were not asked what treatment was legal to preserve a prosecution. They were asked what treatment was legal for a detainee who they were told had knowledge of future attacks on Americans.

    The 1994 law was passed pursuant to an international treaty, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment. The law’s definition of torture is circular. Torture under that law means “severe physical or mental pain or suffering,” which in turn means “prolonged mental harm,” which must be caused by one of four prohibited acts. The only relevant one to the CIA inquiry was threatening or inflicting “severe physical pain or suffering.” What is “prolonged mental suffering”? The term appears nowhere else in the U.S. Code.

    Congress required, in order for there to be a violation of the law, that an interrogator specifically intend that the detainee suffer prolonged physical or mental suffering as a result of the prohibited conduct. Just knowing a person could be injured from the interrogation method is not a violation under Supreme Court rulings interpreting “specific intent” in other criminal statutes.

    In the summer of 2002, the CIA outlined 10 interrogation methods that would be used only on Abu Zubaydah, who it told the lawyers was “one of the highest ranking members of” al Qaeda, serving as “Usama Bin Laden’s senior lieutenant.” According to the CIA, Zubaydah had “been involved in every major” al Qaeda terrorist operation including 9/11, and was “planning future terrorist attacks” against U.S. interests.

    Most importantly, the lawyers were told that Zubaydah — who was well-versed in American interrogation techniques, having written al Qaeda’s manual on the subject — “displays no signs of willingness” to provide information and “has come to expect that no physical harm will be done to him.” When the usual interrogation methods were used, he had maintained his “unabated desire to kill Americans and Jews.”

    The CIA and Department of Justice lawyers had two options: continue questioning Zubaydah by a process that had not worked or escalate the interrogation techniques in compliance with U.S. law. They chose the latter.

    The Justice Department lawyers wrote two opinions totaling 54 pages. One went to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, the other to the CIA general counsel.

    Both memos noted that the legislative history of the 1994 torture statute was “scant.” Neither house of Congress had hearings, debates or amendments, or provided clarification about terms such as “severe” or “prolonged mental harm.” There is no record of Rep. Jerrold Nadler — who now calls for impeachment and a criminal investigation of the lawyers — trying to make any act (e.g., waterboarding) illegal, or attempting to lessen the specific intent standard.

    The Gonzales memo analyzed “torture” under American and international law. It noted that our courts, under a civil statute, have interpreted “severe” physical or mental pain or suffering to require extreme acts: The person had to be shot, beaten or raped, threatened with death or removal of extremities, or denied medical care. One federal court distinguished between torture and acts that were “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.” So have international courts. The European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ireland v. United Kingdom (1978) specifically found that wall standing (to produce muscle fatigue), hooding, and sleep and food deprivation were not torture.

    The U.N. treaty defined torture as “severe pain and suffering.” The Justice Department witness for the Senate treaty hearings testified that “[t]orture is understood to be barbaric cruelty . . . the mere mention of which sends chills down one’s spine.” He gave examples of “the needle under the fingernail, the application of electrical shock to the genital area, the piercing of eyeballs. . . .” Mental torture was an act “designed to damage and destroy the human personality.”

    The treaty had a specific provision stating that nothing, not even war, justifies torture. Congress removed that provision when drafting the 1994 law against torture, thereby permitting someone accused of violating the statute to invoke the long-established defense of necessity.

    The memo to the CIA discussed 10 requested interrogation techniques and how each should be limited so as not to violate the statute. The lawyers warned that no procedure could be used that “interferes with the proper healing of Zubaydah’s wound,” which he incurred during capture. They observed that all the techniques, including waterboarding, were used on our military trainees, and that the CIA had conducted an “extensive inquiry” with experts and psychologists.

    But now, safe in ivory towers eight years removed from 9/11, critics demand criminalization of the techniques and the prosecution or disbarment of the lawyers who advised the CIA. Contrary to columnist Frank Rich’s uninformed accusation in the New York Times that the lawyers “proposed using” the techniques, they did no such thing. They were asked to provide legal guidance on whether the CIA’s proposed methods violated the law.

    Then there is Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, who declared that “waterboarding will almost certainly be deemed illegal if put under judicial scrutiny,” depending on which “of several possibly applicable legal standards” apply. Does he know the Senate rejected a bill in 2006 to make waterboarding illegal? That fact alone negates criminalization of the act. So quick to condemn, Mr. Robinson later replied to a TV interview question that he did not know how long sleep deprivation could go before it was “immoral.” It is “a nuance,” he said.

    Yet the CIA asked those OLC lawyers to figure out exactly where that nuance stopped in the context of preventing another attack. There should be a rule that all persons proposing investigation, prosecution or disbarment must read the two memos and all underlying documents and then draft a dissenting analysis.

    Ms. Toensing was chief counsel for the Senate Intelligence Committee and deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration.

  2. Anon:

    I think it was Lucy, Peppermint Patty was the other one. And wasnt it Pig Pen with the cloud? But you knew that.

  3. “FORMER DEM 1, May 16, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Here I am, relatively misinformed, uneducated, I rarely have an original thought, I am just following orders and I am unintelligent person arguing with one schizophrenic guy with many different personalities (Myself) with a blog with a lot of alter egos that goes on Countdown 1) because I get paid and 2) because he has nothing better to do.”

    *********************************************************

    I thought so. I cannot disagree with you at all.

  4. Here I am, a relatively informed, educated, and intelligent person arguing with one schizophrenic guy with a blog with a lot of alter egos that goes on Countdown 1) because he gets paid and 2) because he has nothing better to do.

  5. Bron98,

    Nah, we are not one in the same. He does write better than I. I think he is in AZ if memory serves me correctly, they used to have some fairly good smoke. Buttons were not to bad either. But on this list I would never admit to anything like that and if I did the SOL has clearly run.

  6. Why do I suspect this screwball blog is a lot like the plot of “fight club”………….?

  7. ANON:

    No not a troll, you and FFLEO write sometimes like Mark Twain, i.e., tat ole houn dawg musn be qwite lazie jusn sitn upn tat tare ole pouch

  8. Bron98,

    rule of law in my case pertaining to constitutional principles. hopefully there are still enough people to actually believe in an objective set of standards by which to run our civilization.

    That I can agree with. I just want to make sure we are on the same page. It is the rule of construction that defines and defies interpretation at times. Scalia proves that so many time.
    *****************************

    “by the way what is it with you and FFLEO and PattyC? She is a little eccentric”

    You have to have money or power to be eccentric or you are just plain crazy. That I can see as well.
    *****************************

    “I can picture her working in her garden with a broad brim hat and a long flowing peasant dress hands stained brown from that good New England loam. And telling the tomatoes grow, grow, grow and become what you are meant to become. And encouraging the Trillium’s to multiply and spread their dainty flowers.

    This I can see as well but does not make you crazy in my book or even eccentric.

    ****************************
    I may as well sign off as Waynebro, Cromagnon, Bartlebee and someone else I cant remember. To her I am the trinity of Trolldom.

    You post here as well as a lot of others and I either respond or not. This is my choice. Attacks are neither warranted or desired unless you assail someone for a differing point of view. I leave it alone. Some feel as they have a self appointed role. special relationship with the owner of this blawg and tend to spout it off. That is where I came up with teh word Fashionation.
    *****************************
    I am amazed she hasn’t accused you and FFLEO as being one and the same.

    I assure you sir it is only a matter of time, a matter of time. She has blasted some misspelled words that I have had. I search the blog and low and behold she has typos too, so does the professor.

    ******************************
    You actually might be as FFLEO writes in the vernacular sometime and you do too, hmm connection?

    I need clarification. If you are asking if I am a Troll, not that I am aware of. Please explain.

  9. Anon:

    rule of law in my case pertaining to constitutional principles. hopefully there are still enough people to actually believe in an objective set of standards by which to run our civilization.

    by the way what is it with you and FFLEO and PattyC? She is a little eccentric, I can picture her working in her garden with a broad brim hat and a long flowing peasant dress hands stained brown from that good New England loam. And telling the tomatoes grow, grow, grow and become what you are meant to become. And encouraging the Trillium’s to multiply and spread their dainty flowers.

    I may as well sign off as Waynebro, Cromagnon, Bartlebee and someone else I cant remember. To her I am the trinity of Trolldom. I am amazed she hasn’t accused you and FFLEO as being one and the same. You actually might be as FFLEO writes in the vernacular sometime and you do too, hmm connection?

  10. Direct and mostly incorrect. What was that annoying girl in Charlie Brown? The one with the Annoying Voice? the 5 cent Opinions? The Doctor is in? Oh what was that annoying pest name?

    What were her annoying friend that always had the dark cloud over his head? Dang.

    Just can’t not think about that gum on the sole of your shoe until you either scrap it off or get it filled up with the grunge off of the street and then its annoying because its stuck on your sole, so its better to just scrap it off to start with.

    But whats that annoying girls name in Charlie Brown?

  11. Former Federal LEO 1, May 16, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    AnonY:

    Catch 22, let us agree to ignore and forget, for now—

    —-

    Unlike you two AND Jill, I am very direct.

    Grow up or leave me alone AND leave my success out of the equation. I will not apologize for my ability to do more than just ‘survive’.

  12. Bron98,

    The Rule of Law? Does that not depend on the person enforcing the same?

  13. bUDDHA:

    What have you been doing? Love finally snagged you?

    Hope all is well in your world.

    Mapley goodness is hanging over both sides of the aisle this night. I must say I am a bit excited about the possibility of a new day in Washington. this may actually throw all the rascals out.

    I have a feeling that Prof. Turley’s invitations to cocktail parties has declined somewhat in the last few days. I hope he is able to see this through to completion, then maybe we really can get some people devouted to the rule of law running things.

  14. rcampbell
    1, May 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm
    FORMER DEM

    Please tell me what a blue dog Democrat is….

    The definition of a Blue Dog Democrat is one who adheres to the philosphy that they would “…sooner vote for a blue dog than vote for a Republican…”
    ———
    No, those are Yellow Dog Democrats. I kid you not. I come from a family of Yellow Dog Democrats. The links are entertaining on the subjet of Yello v Blue:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Dog_Coalition

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_dog_Democrat

  15. Well Buddha,

    Welcome back. Maple syrpel I’ll have you know. Dang me, Dang me. They ought to take a rope and hang me, High from the Highest Tree….

    They do have a couple of shuttered Prison in Michigan’s UP, I am sure the state would let then go for a song.

  16. I’ve been busy so I drop by and what do I find?

    Maple syrup everywhere.

    Gingrich going after those far enough up the food chain to be a threat instead of passing the blame off on soldiers shows me one thing and one thing only.

    Neocon Fear.

    They know it’s going to be hot time for Dick and they are attempting to deflect as much as possible. Bad news. There’s plenty of prison space left for traitors and torturers from either side of the aisle.

  17. Former Dem:

    I am for the second amendment, for low taxes, against abortion, don’t believe in income redistribution and I am probably more conservative than you are.

    But you cannot have the state sanctioning morality. It is none of their business what someone does in their private life. And please, I am talking about consenting adults.

    If you are against abortion educate people and offer them options for adoption. The state cannot be involved, as much as I would like to wave a magic wand and have abortions stop today it cannot be done by the state. Look what they do in China-the state makes you have abortions, it is the other side of the same coin.

    You must be a recent convert to either Christianity or the republican party or both.
    If you say it enough times you will believe it. Are you trying to evangelize the people on this web site? You aren’t doing a very good job.

    Tell me why we should not have gay marriage, give me more than its against Gods law. Why do we have a second amendment, or why is income redistribution bad, do you even know the philosophical arguments against wealth redistribution other than it is bad?

    Most of your stuff is just parroting of other peoples works, you don’t really know why you believe the way you do, you take it on faith that income redistribution is bad but you like most republicans cannot articulate an argument against it other than “it bad”. Now that I think about it you and your type are why I left the party, no depth of thought and the lefties clean your clock all day long because they know what they believe and why or at least the old style lefties did. Neo-Con + Neo-Lib equals Neo-Bullshit.

    Go read some good books and come back in about 5 years when you can think about what you believe and not parrot other peoples works.

  18. FF LEO,

    I am sorry. It just felt good, you impeccable immortal imbecile. lol

  19. I admit it. I worked on Nixons Campaign. Yes I did. I admit it I voted for RWR. I cannot say its name now. I once was lost and now I see. I then went to the other side and worked and voted for Democrats. This last year. I did not vote Rep or Democrat. I vote my conscience and voted for Nader. Yes, I did. I voted my conscience can you say that you did the same Presently Republican? I do not think you are smart enough to have been independent enough to even for one moment ever voted democratic. See it this way. You have to be able to chew gum and walk. Know why a single issue party will destruct in of itself.

    As Lincoln stated “a house divided will not stand.” And that ain’t a redneck solution for a divorce settlement, where you saw the mobile home in half. She get hers and I get mine. It did happen in Tennessee though.

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