At issue today is Leon Panetta coming down on the side of his employees, as any good boss would do, and denying that the CIA withheld information on waterboarding in a 2002 briefing.
Said Panetta (from Politico):
“Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values. As the Agency indicated previously in response to Congressional inquiries, our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing “the enhanced techniques that had been employed.” Ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.”
Pelosi countered with this statement (also from Politico):
“We all share great respect for the dedicated men and women of the intelligence community who are deeply committed to the safety and security of the American people. My criticism of the manner in which the Bush Administration did not appropriately inform Congress is separate from my respect for those in the intelligence community who work to keep our country safe. What is important now is to be united in our commitment to ensuring the security of our country; that, and how Congress exercises its oversight responsibilities, will continue to be my focus as we move forward.”
Bottom line, the CIA was the lapdog of Dick Cheney, who used to run the thing when he worked for Dubya’s father. They did what he told them to do, and if that included torturing prisoners, why is it such a reach that they were also instructed to keep that from Congress?
But no. With Panetta saying one thing and Pelosi another, Republican lunatics are gleefully jumping up and down spouting all sorts of bile.
Congresscreep Steve King (R – Iowa):
“She is squealing because she is caught out in the open with a statement that is clearly not factually true. It’s not a question of whether Nancy Pelosi told the truth, it’s if and when she told the truth because I can’t verify that she did. I think we can verify that the CIA did, and those documents need to come out and then let the Democrats decide if they want to stand and defend the Speaker of the House who is undermining our national security actively without any reason except to protect her own political hide.”
Rush Limbaugh (Leader of the Republican Party)
“You know Pelosi is finding out what it’s like to be me everyday. That press conference yesterday? The media finally probing, the media finally asking for clarification, the media following up, the media asking all these tou. . . You know the Democrats get such softball treatment that when they get a true . . . ah . . . boring in question and answer session from the media they don’t know how to handle it. She was flustered as all get out. She was shaking. Well that could be botox withdrawl. I don’t want to be too hard on the shaking.”
Newt Gingrich (Official Has Been of the Republican Party):
“I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her.”
What are the Democrats saying on the other hand? This one just about summarizes it:
Rep. John Larson (D-CT):
“I will stand by her integrity any day of the week. Nancy Pelosi has more integrity in her pinky than Karl Rove and Dick Cheney possess in their entire body.”