Why would Nancy Pelosi say she didn't know about waterboarding?

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By stating she didn't know anything about waterboarding, Nancy Pelosi has opened herself up to scrutiny...the old..."what did she know and when did she know it?"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/08/AR2007120801664.html
http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0409/Pelosi_briefed_on_waterboarding_in_02_.html

It doesn't make any sense. Unless of course at the time she thought so little of it that she forgot?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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She doesnt want to admit that the Democrats turned yellow in the face of a Republican admin out of control and a public reacting out of fear. But it doesnt really matter since the Republicans had complete control of Congress and the WH.

It always makes me chuckle when the Republicans say that such and such was reported to Congress - as if there was something that Congress, and in particular, the Democrats, could do to stop the insanity.

How many times did the Bush admin tell Congress, in so many words, where they could stick the Constitution? How many subpoenas were refused?
 
  • #3
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She doesnt want to admit that the Democrats turned yellow in the face of a Republican admin out of control and a public reacting out of fear. But it doesnt really matter since the Republicans had complete control of Congress and the WH.

It always makes me chuckle when the Republicans say that such and such was reported to Congress - as if there was something that Congress, and in particular, the Democrats, could do to stop the insanity.

How many times did the Bush admin tell Congress, in so many words, where they could stick the Constitution? How many subpoenas were refused?
Are you sure it's not because she/they agreed with the policy at the time? By denying any knowledge, when she was clearly briefed, seems ridiculous.
 
  • #4
mheslep
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She doesnt want to admit that the Democrats turned yellow in the face of a Republican admin out of control and a public reacting out of fear. But it doesnt really matter since the Republicans had complete control of Congress and the WH.
Not true. Democrats had control of the Senate when the CIA briefings to Congress on in Sept 2002 on the subject, which Pelosi attended.


It always makes me chuckle when the Republicans say that such and such was reported to Congress - as if there was something that Congress, and in particular, the Democrats, could do to stop the insanity.
There's plenty a member can do to object even in the minority that doesn't involve public release of classified information, but then according this she didn't try to stop it, she supported it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/08/AR2007120801664.html
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
...
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,"
said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange. ...
The attitude was, 'We don't care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.' "
 
  • #5
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Given a virtual tour??
 
  • #6
turbo
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Given a virtual tour??
Sure! It was absolutely guaranteed to have been "fair and balanced" with all the legal reservations of wide-respected judges and political appointees omitted in the briefings. My niece turned up pregnant shortly before her engineering unit was tasked to take over Abu Grhaib prison. As a Lt, I would not have envied her position, as Bush/Cheney et al try to push the blame down the ranks.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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Not true. Democrats had control of the Senate when the CIA briefings to Congress on in Sept 2002 on the subject, which Pelosi attended.
Whoops, you are correct. Of course Pelosi is in the House, not the Senate. The Senate Republicans obtained a majority in November.

There's plenty a member can do to object even in the minority that doesn't involve public release of classified information, but then according this she didn't try to stop it, she supported it.
They can object, just as Congress objected to the WH denying the subpoena power of Congress.

In fact, I didn't see anything about her supporting it. It said there was no objections. But later we find

Congressional officials say the groups' ability to challenge the practices was hampered by strict rules of secrecy that prohibited them from being able to take notes or consult legal experts or members of their own staffs. And while various officials have described the briefings as detailed and graphic, it is unclear precisely what members were told about waterboarding and how it is conducted.

...Harman, who replaced Pelosi as the committee's top Democrat in January 2003, disclosed Friday that she filed a classified letter to the CIA in February of that year as an official protest about the interrogation program. Harman said she had been prevented from publicly discussing the letter or the CIA's program because of strict rules of secrecy.

"When you serve on intelligence committee you sign a second oath -- one of secrecy," she said. "I was briefed, but the information was closely held to just the Gang of Four. I was not free to disclose anything."
Which is just another example of how Bush sought to subvert the legal authority of Congress - no notes or any proof of what was said. Bush and Cheney have stolen our history from a time of a national emergency. How patriotic is that?
 
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  • #8
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Again, if this is accurate...
from Ivans post
"..Harman, who replaced Pelosi as the committee's top Democrat in January 2003, disclosed Friday that she filed a classified letter to the CIA in February of that year as an official protest about the interrogation program. Harman said she had been prevented from publicly discussing the letter or the CIA's program because of strict rules of secrecy."

Why does she now say she didn't know about it? She didn't say she protested...she said she didn't know.

She lied this week...why is she telling a lie?
 
  • #9
Astronuc
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It's fair to ask "what did she know and when did she know it?", and the same of Reid, and any other senator or congressperson.

They had to have known given the discussion going on, and the leaking, etc.


This is the famous Sgt. Schultz syndrome - "I know nothing!"


I would hope such people resign from congress/senate, or that the good citizens have the sense not to re-elect them.
 
  • #10
Ivan Seeking
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Is it possible that Pelosi thought the meeting was still classified information, so she had no choice but to lie? I don't see why she would lie when she had formally protested the tactics.
 
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  • #11
Ivan Seeking
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It's fair to ask "what did she know and when did she know it?", and the same of Reid, and any other senator or congressperson.

They had to have known given the discussion going on, and the leaking, etc.


This is the famous Sgt. Schultz syndrome - "I know nothing!"
Is it? What could they do to stop the Bush admin? Also, as reported, Pelosi did protest, but she wasn't free to disclose her protest. You can't hold people responsible for what they knew if they didn't have the power to stop the abusive policies and practices.

Btw, I really have no motive to defend Pelosi. As a rule I can't stand her.
 
  • #12
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It's fair to ask "what did she know and when did she know it?", and the same of Reid, and any other senator or congressperson.

They had to have known given the discussion going on, and the leaking, etc.


This is the famous Sgt. Schultz syndrome - "I know nothing!"


I would hope such people resign from congress/senate, or that the good citizens have the sense not to re-elect them.

This is one of those situations where hind-sight is 20/20. On September 12, 2001 every man, woman and child in America wanted protection from future terrorist attacks. The leadership of our country worked together and took action.

As citizens, we made sacrifices (especially when traveling) gave up some of our rights (electronic surveillance) for the cause. Some of the actions by our elected leaders were later deemed excessive and were reversed.

We will never know if additional attacks would have been undertaken or if additional people (even 1 person) would have died. We do know that the enhanced techniques/torture didn't kill anyone (not 1 terror suspect) and there were no additional attacks on US soil since the initial attack.

This witch hunt sideshow is just a diversion from our real problems...present and future.
 
  • #13
Astronuc
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Yes - now is after the fact. Since all of this has come out in the open, why not say that one know at the time. Pelosi and others could have objected in secret.

As I read the OP and subsequent commentary, is the question about whether or not Pelosi knew about waterboarding, or more generally about the torture being used by CIA and non-governmental (paramilitary) groups in the 'extreme rendition' program?

It appears that Pelosi is now claiming she didn't know about the waterboarding - yes, no?. But wasn't she in a position to learn about it - if she asked. She presumably knew about the torture program, but if so, why now deny she didn't - if this is the case?

As it turns out perhaps 70% or more of the people kidnapped were innocent, or at least were not involved in insurgency activities against the US. If it's not OK to have US government kidnapping American citizens and torturing, it's not OK for US government kidnapping innocent people from any nation and/or torturing them, and I suspect it is a violation of international law. So not only is kidnapping and torture abusive, it is illegal. That's the problem I have with it.
 
  • #14
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As I read the OP and subsequent commentary, is the question about whether or not Pelosi knew about waterboarding, or more generally about the torture being used by CIA and non-governmental (paramilitary) groups in the 'extreme rendition' program?

It appears that Pelosi is now claiming she didn't know about the waterboarding - yes, no?. But wasn't she in a position to learn about it - if she asked. She presumably knew about the torture program, but if so, why now deny she didn't - if this is the case?

It has been reported that Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the enhanced techniques. Why does she find it necessary to say she didn't know anything...why lie?

All it does is make her look...well, like a liar.

If she is this willing to lie when nobody even inquired as to her "involvement", how can we ever believe her in the future? She has lost all credibility.
 
  • #15
LowlyPion
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Attacking Nancy Pelosi is just a red herring.

It's irrelevant. She wasn't the one pursuing a policy of violating the Geneva Convention.

By their very actions of not allowing legal consultation or taking notes or having aides, and the shoddy opinions from the Office of Legal Counsel, the Bush Administration reveals the extra legal nature of what they knew they were doing. Instead they would hide behind trying to say that Pelosi was complicitous because they shaped a presentation to her under the veil of Secrecy with little opportunity to offer objection?

Time for Bush and Cheney to man up and admit they knew what they were doing was against the law. Not likely
 
  • #16
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Attacking Nancy Pelosi is just a red herring.

It's irrelevant. She wasn't the one pursuing a policy of violating the Geneva Convention.

By their very actions of not allowing legal consultation or taking notes or having aides, and the shoddy opinions from the Office of Legal Counsel, the Bush Administration reveals the extra legal nature of what they knew they were doing. Instead they would hide behind trying to say that Pelosi was complicitous because they shaped a presentation to her under the veil of Secrecy with little opportunity to offer objection?

Time for Bush and Cheney to man up and admit they knew what they were doing was against the law. Not likely
Again, why would she lie?

As far as I know...nobody is blaming her for torture...including me.
 
  • #17
T.S.Morgan
It has been reported that Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the enhanced techniques. Why does she find it necessary to say she didn't know anything...why lie?

All it does is make her look...well, like a liar.

If she is this willing to lie when nobody even inquired as to her "involvement", how can we ever believe her in the future? She has lost all credibility.
Pelosi wants a "truth commission" to investigate the CIA's "torture methods". If anyone is guilty of allowing this , they would be the ones who knew about it.Therefore she MUST say she knew nothing about it.
 
  • #18
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Pelosi wants a "truth commission" to investigate the CIA's "torture methods". If anyone is guilty of allowing this , they would be the ones who knew about it.Therefore she MUST say she knew nothing about it.
Let me see if I understand...she has to lie about her knowledge of the policy...in order to start a "truth commission" to investigate the policy?
 
  • #19
T.S.Morgan
Let me see if I understand...she has to lie about her knowledge of the policy...in order to start a "truth commission" to investigate the policy?
More like she has to lie now to avoid being caught up in her own truth comm.
 
  • #20
LowlyPion
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Let me see if I understand...she has to lie about her knowledge of the policy...in order to start a "truth commission" to investigate the policy?
Her knowledge, or lack of knowledge, is irrelevant. Whether she was told with or without understanding what she was being told, still doesn't matter.

If there is to be a Truth Commission it will necessarily fall on Bush Administration officials to explain themselves.

Shrillly calling her a liar accomplishes nothing good ... not even for Republicans. For if indeed it should have been obvious to her in her limited access to what was going on then it falls squarely on them for pursuing a policy that should be so obviously against International Law.
 
  • #21
T.S.Morgan
Her knowledge, or lack of knowledge, is irrelevant. Whether she was told with or without understanding what she was being told, still doesn't matter.

If there is to be a Truth Commission it will necessarily fall on Bush Administration officials to explain themselves.

Shrillly calling her a liar accomplishes nothing good ... not even for Republicans. For if indeed it should have been obvious to her in her limited access to what was going on then it falls squarely on them for pursuing a policy that should be so obviously against International Law.
Just as it falls squarely on Pelosi and other Dems in power then that agreed to use those CIA methods and policy that has kept you safe and alive for the past 8 years.
 
  • #22
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Her knowledge, or lack of knowledge, is irrelevant. Whether she was told with or without understanding what she was being told, still doesn't matter.

If there is to be a Truth Commission it will necessarily fall on Bush Administration officials to explain themselves.

Shrillly calling her a liar accomplishes nothing good ... not even for Republicans. For if indeed it should have been obvious to her in her limited access to what was going on then it falls squarely on them for pursuing a policy that should be so obviously against International Law.
This thread has nothing to do with anyone except Pelosi.

Her knowledge is relevant...she claims she didn't know...reports say she did. If she didn't understand, she should have said she didn't understand.

Again, why lie?
 
  • #23
LowlyPion
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This thread has nothing to do with anyone except Pelosi.

Her knowledge is relevant...she claims she didn't know...reports say she did. If she didn't understand, she should have said she didn't understand.

Again, why lie?
No one has established that she has lied. There is no disclosure of what she was told or the circumstances under which she was told. And as is relevant, if it was supposed to be so obvious, how is it that the Administration was pursuing something that was so obviously illegal?
 
  • #24
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From mheslep post #4
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...120801664.html [Broken]

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
...
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange. ...
The attitude was, 'We don't care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.' "

Looks like she lied...
 
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  • #25
LowlyPion
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Looks like she lied...
Or it looks like she was not fully informed about the legalities or did not fully understand what was being described to her. Hardly to the threshold of a lie. If from the limited look that the Select members were permitted it was supposed to have been obvious that it was illegal, then that looks like a standard that should tighten a number of former administration sphincters, given that they would have known in even greater detail than any limited and controlled briefing to uninvolved members of Congress.

You know I started out thinking it was probably better to move on and not waste much effort on looking backwards, but the more I hear of these specious arguments attempting to gloss over and misdirect attention from what Bush Cheney were up to, the more I am becoming convinced that being gracious and magnanimous with the defeated is maybe not the right course. If you're thinking that the Bush Cheney Rove way of doing things, subverting the intent of the Constitution and International Law, to pursue ideological and personal and maybe even religious agendas is acceptable, then the greater I am coming to see the importance of holding such shallow people to the fire and making them wear the responsibility of their actions into the gaping jaws of history.
 

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