Did then Speaker of the House Pelosi Lie About Her Knowledge of Waterboarding?
Yes she did, according to a new book by the CIA's former counterterrorism chief, Jose Rodriguez.
In his new book, “Hard Measures,” Rodriguez reveals that he led a CIA briefing of Pelosi, where the techniques being used in the interrogation of senior al-Qaeda facilitator Abu Zubaida were described in detail. Her claim that she was not told about waterboarding at that briefing, he writes, “is untrue.”
“We explained that as a result of the techniques, Abu Zubaydah was compliant and providing good intelligence. We made crystal clear that authorized techniques, including waterboarding, had by then been used on Zubaydah.” Rodriguez writes that he told Pelosi everything, adding, “We held back nothing.”
How did she respond when presented with this information? Rodriguez writes that neither Pelosi nor anyone else in the briefing objected to the techniques being used.
During George W. Bush's presidency, Pelosi used her position as Speaker of the House to undermine Bush and the war effort at every turn. She used waterboarding to accuse the Bush administration of torturing captured al Qaeda terrorists, only to have that blow up in her face when news broke that the CIA had briefed her and other congressional leaders on waterboarding, in detail, and she did not object at the time. She claimed that the CIA had misled her in the 2002 briefing, but Rodriguez led that briefing. The House later took up the allegation that she was lying. Scratch that -- the House Republicans tried to launch a probe into whether or not she had lied, in 2009, and the Democrats used their control of the House at the time to block that probe.
With the publication of Rodriguez's book, the GOP-controlled House should revisit the issue.
More: This point needs to be driven home. When Pelosi accused the CIA of misleading her, she was accusing people who at the time could not defend themselves. They performed dangerous, vital work in the nation's clandestine services during war time -- because of this, they were forbidden to say or do anything about Pelosi's allegations. Pelosi knew that they could not fight back.
It was their intel that eventually led to rolling up and destroying al Qaeda, and to killing Osama bin Laden. Obama rode to power on the anti-war movement that Pelosi powered from her position as speaker. If she lied, pile it up among the lies Democrats told to undermine the war. And her lies should factor into our understanding of what happened a year ago, when SEAL Team Six got Osama. Pelosi smeared the people who made that mission possible.