Enhanced, Coercive Pelosification
I can't believe Pelosi is taking on the Agency that takes down foreign governments. She's double-downed, digging herself into a deeper hole, getting herself Krauthammered.
Dana Milbank's account:
Nancy Pelosi is a woman of many talents. Yesterday, she performed the delicate art of backtracking while walking sideways.
The speaker of the House had just read a statement accusing the CIA of lying and was trying to beat a hasty retreat from her news conference before reporters could point out contradictions between her current position and her previous statements.
"Thank you!" an aide called out to signal an end to the session. Pelosi walked, sideways, away from the lectern and, still sidling in a sort of crab walk, was halfway to the door when a yell from CNN's Dana Bash, rising above the rest of the shouting, froze her in the aisle.
"Madam Speaker!" the correspondent called out. "I think there's one other question that I would like to ask, if that's okay."
"Sure, okay," Pelosi said, in a way that indicated it was not okay. Pelosi had no choice but to sidle back to the lectern.
Over the next few minutes of shouted questions -- "They lied to you? Were you justified? When were you first told? Did you protest? Why didn't you tell us?" -- the speaker attempted the crab-walk retreat again, returned to the lectern again and then finally skittered out of the room.
If Mrs. Pelosi considers the enhanced interrogation techniques to be torture, didn't she have a responsibility to complain at the time, introduce legislation to end the practices, or attempt to deny funding for the CIA's use of them? If she knew what was going on and did nothing, does that make her an accessory to a crime of torture, as many Democrats are calling enhanced interrogation?
Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy wants an independent investigation of Bush administration officials. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers feels the Justice Department should investigate and prosecute anyone who violated laws against committing torture. Are these and other similarly minded Democrats willing to have Mrs. Pelosi thrown into their stew of torture conspirators as an accomplice?
It is clear that after the 9/11 attacks Mrs. Pelosi was briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques and the valuable information they produced. She not only agreed with what was being done, she apparently pressed the CIA to do more.
But when political winds shifted, Mrs. Pelosi seems to have decided to use enhanced interrogation as an issue to attack Republicans. It is disgraceful that Democrats who discovered their outrage years after the fact are now braying for disbarment of the government lawyers who justified EITs and the prosecution of Bush administration officials who authorized them. Mrs. Pelosi is hip-deep in dangerous waters, and they are rapidly rising.