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This delightful display of obfuscation, incoherence, and characteristic slippery-slitheriness on the part of the pythoness, Nancy Pelosi, comes from a report by Politico:

Nancy Pelosi sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley tonight and gave her most detailed – and passionate – explanation of her muted behavior during an initial classified briefing on enhanced interrogation procedures in 2002.

Crowley kicked it off by asking the Speaker about about a column by former CIA director and ex-House intel chairman Porter Goss accusing Democrats of collective "amnesia" for urging investigations of waterboarding after remaining relatively mute during those first classified briefings.

PELOSI: Well, first of all, let me say that perhaps we do live in an alternate universe, Porter and I.

Porter’s orientation is that he was a member of the CIA before he came to Congress and he speaks now as a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

CROWLEY: Is he wrong?

PELOSI: Perhaps he is seeing it from his perspective. If they say we have a legal opinion, it means we’re going to use it. That’s not how I heard it. They said they had a legal opinion. They said they weren’t going to use and when they did they would come back to Congress to report to us on that. But that’s how I heard that.

Let me say what’s important about how we go forward. Because for some reason the Republicans, while I am barred from talking about what goes on in meetings and I could be charged for revealing classified information, they seem to feel at liberty to talk about everything that went on at every meeting as they saw it.

She went on to make the argument, refuted by the current ranking Republican on the intelligence committee Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), that she didn’t raise objections because they would have served no practical purpose.

So as we go from here, he said-she said, it can go on forever. What we should do is to say more members should have access to this so that there can be accountability and you can talk about it.

You’re really a hostage if you’re notified that something has happened. They’re not asking for your thoughts. They are notifying you that this is their opinion. They later may have notified, I don’t know, because I wasn’t part of any of those briefings, of what they were doing, but they notify you that they have an opinion.

If you want to take it to another place, who do you call, the chief justice of the Supreme Court? The president of the United States whose policies these are? You have no recourse or else you are breaking the law. 

Crowley then asked why she didn’t raise objections to the briefers, which riled up the Speaker.

PELOSI: To what end? To what end? No, we’re not – they didn’t say they were doing it. But you know what, I’m not getting into that. The fact is, is that I know what they told us and I know that they did not share our values.

So any briefing that you would get from the Bush administration on the subject is one that is probably something you’re not going to agree with, and two, maybe not the whole truth anyway.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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