Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 5:24 AM
Pelosi: They mislead us all the time.
Reporter: Madam Speaker, just to be clear, you’re accusing the CIA of lying to you…
(Pelosi on May 20 insisting the CIA never told her that its agents were waterboarding, i.e. torturing, terror suspects.)
Of course, accusing CIA agents of lying is rather like accusing them of spying … duh!
Therefore, this silly spat is far more about Pelosi’s political ignorance and arrogance than about the CIA’s mandated mission, which, in effect, is for its agents to mislead (or lie) to everyone except their commander in chief, the president of the United States.
Specifically, it was ignorant of her to make this public accusation; and it is arrogant of her to refuse to “clarify” it.
But nobody should be surprised that President Bush instructed the CIA to mislead Pelosi (and other members of Congress) about the true nature of the enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, being employed to extract information from terror suspects in the wake of 9/11.
After all, he knew full well that it was in America’s national security interest to keep top secret the fact that CIA agents were torturing Osama’s little helpers. And, given her accusation, nobody can deny that Pelosi has neither the discretion nor the temperament to be trusted with such national security secrets.
Indeed, never mind all of the hue and cry over the alleged torturing of a few terror suspects. Just imagine the fallout if the CIA had to brief Congressional leaders like Pelosi with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth every time the president ordered it to undertake ”black ops”; especially given recent disclosures about such ”family jewels” as the assassination of foreign leaders and overthrowing of foreign governments….
Of course, Republicans attempting to exploit her ignorance and arrogance for political gain is no different than Democrats exploiting Bush’s for the same purpose….
All the same, I urge President Obama to end this she-said, they-said farce by declaring that the resolution of it in any public forum would compromise national security (as CIA Director Leon Panetta has now indicated). He should then prevail upon Pelosi to issue a statement expressing regret for what is just all a big misunderstanding. Because only this in turn will end the grandstanding by politicians calling for a truth commission (and even an FBI investigation) to determine the obvious; i.e., that CIA agents misled Pelosi, but that she erred in accusing them of doing so.
Incidentally, Obama is giving a major speech today on national security in which he’s expected to explain his decision to continue many of Bush’s war-on-terror policies as well as update the nation on his plan to close Guantanamo Bay. Therefore, you might be interested in the commentary I wrote a week ago today, which I concluded as follows:
I think Obama should cease his political posturing about closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo). Because, as much as I loathe his politics, Cheney is right here too:
Gitmo is a transparently well-run prison; worldwide nimbyism precludes any country taking the al-Qaeda terrorists detained there (most notable in this regard is the irrational, scaremongering, politically expedient, bipartisan nimbyism that precludes them being imprisoned in the US); and, if they are ever released, they will certainly launch new attacks on America.
[Obama angers liberals by governing just like Bush, TIJ, May 14, 2009]