All these unhinged right-wingers are calling on Nancy Pelosi to resign, but nobody wants there to be a commission to establish the truth (or lack thereof) to the torture charges. Did America torture? Were Bush and Cheney complicit in ordering torture? How many laws were broken, and how many people need to go to jail?
Personally, I really don't care whether Pelosi resigns or not. I just want a bipartisan commission to look into the charges and find out the truth. (You remember, "the whole truth and nothing but the truth.") Once we know that, if it turns out that Pelosi was complicit, she can face the same charges as the rest of them.
Now, why would the CIA lie about briefing her? But then again, the same question goes for Pelosi. One of them did a bad thing and doesn't want to admit it. Either Pelosi lied and was briefed, or Leon Panetta lied and she wasn't.
Or maybe, just maybe, the truth lies somewhere between.
On the other hand (or maybe on the third hand - I've lost count), the CIA is one of the groups who would probably be complicit if a full torture investigation were to take place. So maybe they're a little more motivated to lie, if you think about it.
The CIA is claiming to have records of having briefed Nancy Pelosi, which she is disputing. Unfortunately, as there's ample evidence that the CIA records are riddled with errors, perhaps those same records aren't the best evidence that she was told anything (as Emptywheel, over on Firedoglake amply demonstrates - for that matter, Professor Goodman from Johns Hopkins, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, lists several examples of the CIA lying to Congress throughout the latter half of the 20th Century).
And as time goes on, more and more people are coming forward to question the CIA's record keeping. Congressman David Obey revealed that the CIA memos name an appropriations committee aide as present at one briefing, when the aide recalls being told he was not cleared to stay there. So Obey is joining Jay Rockefeller and Bob Graham in questioning the accuracy of the CIA memos. Even newly-minted Democrat Arlen Specter is almost (but not quite) coming out and saying that maybe the CIA needs to double-check their records.
For example, according to the CIA, Congressman Porter Goss got a briefing on March 8, 2005, even though he was not only no longer a congressman at the time, he was the director of the CIA. Now, if they can't even get the simple details like who's their boss straight, maybe there's some problems in the CIA records over there.
One of the chief people coming forward to say "She's lying! She needs to resign!" is Newt Gingrich. (Really? Mr "Family Values"? The guy who served his wife with divorce papers while she was lying in the hospital recovering from cancer? Yup, there's the perfect role model for the GOP.)
Part of the reason Newt lost his position as Speaker was that the American people began to see what a petty, small-minded man he was, with his fixation on bringing down Clinton and his 1995 "government shutdown" - as Tom Delay explained it in his biography No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight, "He told a room full of reporters that he forced the shutdown because Clinton had rudely made him and Bob Dole sit at the back of Air Force One." (Three years later, he paid $300,000 in ethics sanctions, including claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes.)
Does it seem like I'm bringing up unrelated parts of Newt's past, kind of an ad hominem attack? (That means "attacking the messenger, not the message." See there? I'm being educational again!) Well, he seems to be holding Nancy Pelosi up to some unreasonably high standard of behavior - it would be nice if he could live up to any part of it. If you're going to make personal attacks, you open yourself up for exactly the same treatment.
And it has to be a personal attack, too. Good old Newtie can't be as angry about Pelosi attacking the honesty of the CIA as he claims. Because he did exactly the same thing last year.
Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for February 2008: the National Intelligence Estimate had just come out, and the CIA had explained that there was no good reason to spend a few trillion dollars and several hundred American lives to invade Iran. Our boy Newt felt that he had to go on stage in front of Conservative Political Action Conference (or CPAC) make the following statement:
We have a large proportion of the Intelligence community deeply committed to defeating the policies of President Bush. The fact that he is the elected Commander in Chief of the American people, the fact that the laws have been passed by the elected legislators of the American people, seems to be no matter to this bureaucratic elite, which arrogates to itself the right to do things that are stunningly destructive.Now, why is it that Nancy Pelosi can't suggest that, as the evidence is beginning to show, the CIA's record keeping could use some help, but Newton Leroy McPherson Gingrich is allowed to say that the CIA is trying to overthrow the President?
The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran can only be understood as a bureaucratic coup d’état, deliberately designed to undermine the policies of the United States, on behalf of some weird goal.
Is it possible that this is just some empty political rhetoric from a well-educated, morally-deficient, puffy-featured empty suit? Could that be what's going on?
But that's where the entire GOP is slipping away from reality. You can't say "Pelosi KNEW! She's GUILTY!" without admitting "OK, Bush and Cheney broke the law and need to go to jail." Somebody really needs to pick a position here.