Surprise, surprise. Nancy Pelosi was for enhanced interrogation techniques before she was against them. This damning coverage by Fox News (hat tip to Redstate’s Moe Lane who wrote about this in an excellent column) reports that the CIA claims that Pelosi was briefed in 2002 about waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques, which directly contradicts her previous story where she claims that she was not told about the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected Al Qaeda terrorists.
I think that Charles Krauthammer hit it out of the park, in regard to Pelosi’s behavior, in his recent column titled, “Pelosi: Utterly Contemptible”, when he stated the following–
Today Pelosi protests “we were not — I repeat — were not told that waterboarding or any other of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.” She imagines that this distinction between past and present, Clintonian in its parsing, is exonerating.
On the contrary. It is self-indicting. If you are told about torture that has already occurred, you might justify silence on the grounds that what’s done is done and you are simply being used in a post-facto exercise to cover the CIA’s rear end. The time to protest torture, if you really are as outraged as you now pretend to be, is when the CIA tells you what it is planning to do “in the future.”
But Pelosi did nothing. No protest. No move to cut off funding. No letter to the president or the CIA chief or anyone else saying “Don’t do it.”
On the contrary, notes Porter Goss, then chairman of the House intelligence committee: The members briefed on these techniques did not just refrain from objecting, “on a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.”
More support, mind you. Which makes the current spectacle of self-righteous condemnation not just cowardly but hollow. It is one thing to have disagreed at the time and said so. It is utterly contemptible, however, to have been silent then and to rise now “on a bright, sunny, safe day in April 2009” (the words are Blair’s) to excoriate those who kept us safe these harrowing last eight years.
Now, the funny thing is that I could actually forgive Nancy Pelosi this one factual inaccuracy (OK–outright lie) if this was her first brush with idiotic and untrustworthy behavior–but, unfortunately for the country, it’s not.
Remember during the whole TARP/Bailout bill fiasco when Pelosi gave that God-awful partisan speech–which gave cover to both Republicans and Democrats (who were already skeptical of the bill) to vote against it? (The embed is below). In this ridiculous turkey of a speech, Mrs. Pelosi actually has the unmitigated gall to make a fuss over seven hundred billion dollars (even though Obama’s porkulus/stimulus bill, that Pelosi subsequently helped write, will eventually cost the taxpayers over a trillion dollars). Furthermore, Nancy Pelosi also states, in the first two minutes of the video, that “the golden parachute and the government bailing you out–those days are over”. Well, again, Mrs. Pelosi was being disingenuous to say the least (OK–again, she was lying), because in the recent stimulus/porkulus bill, ACORN was given a 5.2 billion dollar bailout. Yeah, that ACORN who is under investigation by the FBI for voter fraud in thirteen different states. Oh, and who could forget about the recent AIG bonus debacle as covered by Dan Spencer or Obama’s recent bailout of the auto industries that even some Democrats opposed, but I digress. (I guess the days of government bailouts aren’t over yet, are they?)
Now, whether you were for or against the TARP/Bailout bill is neither here nor there. My point is that in another speech (which went viral under the title, “Nancy Pelosi: Dumber than Soap”–the embeded is below), Pelosi claimed that if we didn’t pass President Obama’s stimulus/porkulus bill IMMEDIATELY, that “five hundred million Americans would lose their jobs” (where she got that figure from, I don’t know–I don’t think that anyone knows). Anyway, my point is that Nancy Pelosi thought that it was urgent to pass the Obama stimulus package immediately in order to prevent millions of Americans from losing their jobs, and yet, she was willing to play partisan politics with the TARP bill which, to paraphrase Daniel Henninger of the WSJ, caused “the terrified stock market” to crater “wiping out individual voter wealth” when it fell apart? To quote Charles Krauthammer, that is “utterly contemptible”.
Now, I bet you are asking yourselves right now, “Can Nancy Pelosi’s tom-foolery, hypocrisy, disingenuousness, and out-right idiocy get any worse?” Well, I’m here to answer your question ladies and gentlemen–yes it can. Back in 2006 when Pelosi first became Speaker of the House she requested “regular military flights not only for herself and her staff, but also for relatives and for other members of the California delegation.” Now, it should be noted that the Bush Administration’s Department of Defense offered Pelosi the same plane to fly in that Dennis Hastert used when he was Speaker of the House, but Pelosi declined to use it because “She found it was not big enough for staff, supporters and other members.” However, in August in 2008, when asked why she was against offshore oil drilling, even though gas prices were going through the roof at the time, Pelosi replied by stating that, “I’m trying to save the planet”. OK–let me get this straight. Nancy Pelosi is “trying save the planet” by regularly flying herself and her posse across the country (creating a carbon foot-print the size of a Sasquatch’s), but we poor plebiscites are supposed to suck it up and pay $4.00 a gallon for gas, because she has a problem with offshore drilling. Man, that’s really rich. It kind of reminds me of President Obama telling us to turn down our thermostats while he cranks his up, but I digress.
However, if anyone was really interested in getting a clear view into both Nancy Pelosi’s character and competency, one only needed to look at who she initially tried to appoint to be the House Majority Leader, as well as who she eventually appointed to be be the head of the House Intelligence Committee, back in 2006 when she first became the Speaker of the House. In 2006 when the Democrats first took back the House and the Senate, the very liberal LA Times wrote a scathing op-ed about Nancy Pelosi titled, “Don’t Snub Harman”. Below is an excerpt from the column–
NEWLY MINTED House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is off to a rocky start. On the same day she was formally elected to lead the new Democratic majority, party colleagues refused to endorse her bizarre choice of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), who was investigated but not charged in the Abscam scandal more than two decades ago, as her second-in-command.
That embarrassing experience should induce Pelosi (D-San Francisco) — who appeared chastened before reporters Thursday — to reconsider another ill-advised promotion: Her apparent intention to bestow the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee not on the panel’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), but on Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.).
Hastings, like Murtha, seems an unlikely choice for a leadership role in what Pelosi has been advertising as “the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history.” Hastings was impeached as a federal judge and removed from office in the late 1980s (although he was acquitted of bribery in a criminal trial in 1983).
A litany of explanations have been adduced to explain why Pelosi would bypass Harman, an expert on intelligence matters who has won the respect of both parties while criticizing some of the Bush administration’s excesses in the war on terror. None of them is persuasive. Harman has earned this chairmanship.
But, what this op-ed doesn’t mention is WHO exactly Nancy Pelosi wound up picking to head the House Intelligence committee. After Pelosi found herself the butt of much ridicule due to her “bizarre” and ethically challenged choices after hammering Republicans for having a “culture of corruption”, she settled on Sylvester Reyes (D-TX) to head the House Intelligence Committee–a man who did not know the difference between a Sunni and a Shia Muslim. Furthermore, when Reyes was pressed to answer if he knew anything at all about Hezbollah (the Shia Iranian terrorist group), Reyes responded by using the Sammy Sosa Defense (i.e., the “No habla Ingles”/”I speak no English” defense). I’m not kidding. This is the man that Nancy Pelosi put in charge of the House Intelligence Committee–think about that for a second. It clearly demonstrates just how seriously she takes our national security.
Now, I realize that Harman is embroiled in a semi-scandal of her own having to do with the Israeli Public Affairs Committee (although, the LA Times has an interesting column saying that the Harman scandal is really just some members of the Obama Administration’s Justice Department engaging in CYA–you can be the judge); however, I would be willing to bet dollars to donuts that Jane Harman knows the difference between a Sunni and a Shia, and that she wouldn’t use the “Sammy Sosa Defense” if she didn’t know the answer to a question.
But, what I find the most troubling is something that I read from a liberal blog called The Reaction. In their column, they basically admit that (and I’m paraphrasing) “Harman was backed by the Blue Dog Coalition”….”she is respected by her colleagues on both sides of the isle”….”Pelosi didn’t consider Harman partisan enough and thought that she has not been a tough enough critic of the Bush Administration”…..they quote and cite Robert Novak as saying that “Pelosi’s judgment might be distorted by personal considerations”…..and finally that “Pelosi needs to look beyond herself to the good of the country”. If this is true, then to me it is “utterly contemptible” that Nancy Pelosi would jeopardize our national security–by appointing a man to head the House Intelligence Committee who doesn’t know the difference between a Sunni and a Shia–simply because she’s involved in some kind of p*ssing contest with Jane Harman. Not to mention, it’s also pathetic, immature, catty and embarrassing, but I digress.
So, in conclusion, I feel that it’s time to bring the Nancy Pelosi circus to an end. Yes, she had an amusing run there for a time, all the while providing great fodder for pundits and bloggers everywhere, but enough is enough. The national security of the country is at stake and this woman is at best a half-wit and a hypocrite, and at worst, she’s a slightly unbalanced liar. By the way, this is not an easy diary for me to write. I never agreed with Nancy Pelosi’s politics, but I was proud when the first woman was made Speaker of the House and I didn’t want her to turn out to be a laughing stock. (I’m sorry, but that’s how I felt–write it down, take a picture, sue me, whatever. Oh, and for any of you lefty lurkers out there who don’t believe that Pelosi’s a laughing stock, check out the SNL video that I embedded below mocking her–and SNL is a predominantly liberal organization). However, my country comes first and I can no longer trust this woman–who has by all means proven herself to be “utterly contemptible”–with our national security for another second. It is time for the circus to hit the road. Nancy Pelosi needs to go–now!
Update: Today, Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has written an excellent column (citing The Washington Post) which provides further evidence that Nancy Pelosi lied about her knowledge of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques that were being used on high level Al Qaeda terrorists.
This diary is cross-posted on The Minority Report.