Thursday, May 14, 2009

Test your IQ! Can you figure out Speaker Pelosi's story?
Tom Smith

Remember -- the challenge is to figure out, not whether it is true or not, but just what it is!

(CNN-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused CIA officials Thursday of misleading her in 2002 about the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding, which simulates drowning and has been described by critics as torture.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she was misled about the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she was misled about the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques."

Pelosi reiterated an earlier claim that she was briefed on such techniques only once -- in September 2002 -- and that she was told at the time that the techniques were not being used.

OK -- so she says the CIA did not tell here waterboarding had been used in September 2002.

A recently released Justice Department memo says that the CIA used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, a suspected al Qaeda leader imprisoned at U.S. facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But DOJ says waterboarding had been used at least 83 times by then -- OK.

Pelosi said that one month later, she was told only that the Justice Department had concluded that such techniques were legal, not that they were being used.

But Pelosi says she was only told DOJ had said such tactics were legal, not that they had already been used.

"That's the only mention, that they were not using it. And we now know that earlier, they were," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference.


Pelosi said the briefing she received from the CIA was incomplete and inaccurate, and she called on the CIA to release a full transcript of the briefing.

So it's the CIA's fault for not telling her.  Release the transcripts!  Clever girl!  If the CIA doesn't have them, and they very well may not, then they will look like they are covering up.  But if they do, Pelosi's goose may be cooked.  That's her story and she's stickin' to it.

She said that in February 2003, a member of her staff told her that the Republican chairman and the new Democratic ranking member of the Intelligence Committee had been briefed on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.

Ah, but five months later she did hear about ETI's through her staff!

Pelosi said that after that briefing, the Democratic ranking member of the committee responded by sending a letter of protest, but "no letter could change [the Bush administration's] policy."

And that's when the ranking Democrat sent a letter of protest, not she.

Last month, however, Pelosi told reporters that she was not told waterboarding or any other enhanced interrogation methods were being used. That was before reports came out claiming she was told by her aide about waterboarding in February.

Ouch.  Well, no story is perfect.  She can still cover perhaps by saying she meant she had not been told by the CIA and had just heard something indirectly from her staff, which is not completely reliable of course.

Asked why she didn't mention that before, Pelosi said, "I told you what our briefing was."

Good answer, but to a different question.  The lady is a pro!

"When my assistant told me that the committee had been briefed -- now, I'm not on that committee any more. I'm now out of it. We have a new -- that ranking member wrote the appropriate letter to protest that," she said.

Oh I get it.  She did not find out anything until it was no longer her responsibility.  Rather well played.

"But the committees can look into and see the timing of who knew what and when and what the nature of the briefing was. I have not been briefed as to what they were briefed on in February. I was just briefed that they were informed that some of the enhanced situations were used," she said.

All in all, an impressive performance.  The ball is now back in the CIA's court to produce something that shows they did not lie about what they briefed Pelosi on.  Of course, they already did release that memo which summarized the briefing, and recorded that ETI's had been discussed in the past tense.  But Pelosi can still say that summary is inaccurate, and demand a transcript, which I doubt exists.  She retains what is called "plausible deniability" which is often all that a liar can reasonably aspire to.

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Test your IQ! Can you figure out Speaker Pelosi's story?
Tom Smith


All this seems to be affecting Pelosi's most recent book tour:

Posted by: Melvin Winter | May 16, 2009 6:21:23 AM

She is lying, like you say, what else is there to say, she's a bitch.... You spelled it out, follow the story, just focus!

Posted by: Jimi Hahn | May 29, 2009 1:58:50 PM

I'm sure she's lying, but wow, it must have been hard for her to always make up some new lie and still keep the line. Hmm....that means I figured it out so what is my IQ? :-)

Posted by: What is my IQ at this test? | Aug 27, 2009 9:22:27 AM