Thursday, May 7, 2009
Despite vigorously claiming she was never briefed on the use of controversial torture techniques such as waterboarding, it appears House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finds herself in a quandary.
According to a 10-page CIA memo outlining a nearly seven-year history of classified briefings, intelligence officials contradict Pelosi’s claims. The memo says then-Rep. Pelosi was one of the first two members of Congress to be briefed on harsh interrogation tactics. The other was then-Rep. Porter Goss.
The memo, issued by the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency to Capitol Hill, notes the Pelosi-Goss briefing covered “EITs including the use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah.” EIT is an acronym for enhanced interrogation technique. Zubaydah was one of the first valuable al-Qaeda members captured and the first to have the controversial tactic known as water boarding used against him.
The issue of what Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew and when she knew it has become a matter of heated debate on Capitol Hill. Republicans have accused her of knowing for many years precisely the techniques CIA agents were using in interrogations, and only protesting the tactics when they became public and liberal antiwar activists protested.
The time has arrived for the speaker to tender her resignation. I think, and I believe, the details contained in the CIA memo make it abundantly clear that Pelosi is unable to effectively lead the House of Representatives at this critical time in our nation’s history.