Pelosi Knocked Off Her Game: Tortureous Explanations Punishes the Facts

For Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), it’s a new week of old questions: What did she know about harsh Bush administration interrogation techniques, and when did she know it?

Usually a master of message discipline, Pelosi has been thrown off balance by a mounting firestorm over whether she or her staff learned six years ago that intelligence officials were using extreme tactics such as waterboarding.

By Tory Newmyer and Steven T. Dennis
Roll Call Staff

For weeks, the Speaker has insisted she didn’t, though a declassified report last week suggested otherwise.

And Republicans, sensing a rare opportunity, are moving to keep the heat on the discrepancy over competing versions of what precisely was disclosed at the classified briefings in question. The GOP is demanding the CIA release more documents showing exactly what Pelosi was told in 2002, as they continue a wider offensive targeting Democrats on security issues like the planned closure of the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detainee prison.

With a series of torture investigations already in the works, Attorney General Eric Holder set to appear Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee and the likelihood of either a series of Congressional hearings or a “truth commission,” the issue simply isn’t going away.

Pelosi’s camp is braced for the buzz saw awaiting the Speaker upon her return today from a surprise trip to Iraq. Their strategy: stick to their script and blast the GOP attacks as a politically motivated attempt to distract from abuses sanctioned by the Bush administration.

For Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), it’s a new week of old questions: What did she know about harsh Bush administration interrogation techniques, and when did she know it?

Usually a master of message discipline, Pelosi has been thrown off balance by a mounting firestorm over whether she or her staff learned six years ago that intelligence officials were using extreme tactics such as waterboarding.

For weeks, the Speaker has insisted she didn’t, though a declassified report last week suggested otherwise.

And Republicans, sensing a rare opportunity, are moving to keep the heat on the discrepancy over competing versions of what precisely was disclosed at the classified briefings in question. The GOP is demanding the CIA release more documents showing exactly what Pelosi was told in 2002, as they continue a wider offensive targeting Democrats on security issues like the planned closure of the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detainee prison.

With a series of torture investigations already in the works, Attorney General Eric Holder set to appear Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee and the likelihood of either a series of Congressional hearings or a “truth commission,” the issue simply isn’t going away.

Pelosi’s camp is braced for the buzz saw awaiting the Speaker upon her return today from a surprise trip to Iraq. Their strategy: stick to their script and blast the GOP attacks as a politically motivated attempt to distract from abuses sanctioned by the Bush administration.

Read the rest:
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/54_129
/news/34823-1.html?type=printer_friendly

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