Don't Blink or You'll Miss It
05-19-2009
It is probably unnecessary for me to pile on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at this point, as Congressional Republicans and assorted conservative elites have already been doing so for almost a week now, in the wake of her disastrous press conference on the infamous contested CIA waterboarding briefing. At least she received a few kind words from President Obama earlier today.
 
I will say that for me the issue is not whether Speaker Pelosi was fully briefed and is now lying, was sort of briefed, was misled, or is just faulty in her recollection of what information was provided to her by the CIA seven years ago. The reality is that at the time many Congressional Democrats acquiesced to the Bush Administration’s prosecution of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for fear of being branded unpatriotic, and the rest were just as willing to bring every possible resource to bear on the conflicts as the Republicans.
 
So, I’m just not convinced she would have taken a strong stance against the interrogation practice, even with full information. In retrospect, Pelosi and other Democrats may feel embarrassed by that now, but I don’t think it would have made any difference at the time. As a result, this whole discussion about what Pelosi was or was not told seems moot to me, given the tenor of our national politics in 2002-03.


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