By Rick Saunders
Yesterday, America’s Right may very well have been the first commentary site or media outlet to go out on a limb and predict that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is burned toast. Regardless, Pelosi’s nonstop multi-somersaults of excuses, fabrications and dissemblings calculated to insulate her from blame or complicity in the CIA’s September 2002 briefing of her and other members of Congress on, among other things, “waterboarding,” have now nonetheless spun completely out of control. Her press conference yesterday–which can be only be described as “clumsy” to say the least (perhaps she should consider collaborating with TOTUS, the president’s TelePrompTer)–demonstrates this fact in spades.
Her feckless explanation for her amorphous positions and recollections translates roughly to: “well, it depends on what your definition of ‘briefing’ is.” For a more accurate, and therefore helpful recitation of what happened, former CIA Director Porter Goss laid it out last month. Here’s an excerpt from his April 24 Washington Post commentary, previously described here at America’s Right as a “must read”:
Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as “waterboarding” were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.
Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:
- The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.
- We understood what the CIA was doing.
- We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.
- We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.
- On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.
I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding. And for those who now reveal filed “memorandums for the record” suggesting concern, real concern should have been expressed immediately — to the committee chairs, the briefers, the House speaker or minority leader, the CIA director or the president’s national security adviser — and not quietly filed away in case the day came when the political winds shifted. And shifted they have.
Today, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich unloaded–to put it lightly and politely–on Pelosi, calling her “despicable,” “dishonest,” “vicious” and a “trivial politician viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes.” Oh, yeah, and a “liar” too.
Message received, Newt.
If you are an American first and a member of a political party second (or third, or fourth or seventeenth), you need to listen to Gingrich’s remarks about Pelosi. You need to listen to them not because they are made by a former Speaker enraged that the current occupant of the position has besmirched the House of Representatives by denigrating, in a feeble attempt to cover-up her role in the 2002 CIA briefings on “enhanced interrogation techniques,” the very people trying to protect us from Islamist terrorists who want to decapitate us on videotape, but rather because the growing mountain of evidence seems unequivocally to confirm that they are true. Pelosi has lied. She has lied to the House. She has lied to the press. And, most importantly, she has lied to the American people. That means you.
This isn’t a Democrat or Republican thing. Both should be equally outraged at the overt lies. Regardless of party, it is in the best interests of America and the American people to cull the most corrupt in the pack, to dispose of the bad eggs — and that makes Nancy Pelosi the congressional equivalent of Varuca Salt.
When Pelosi first became Speaker of the House during the final term of Bush 43, she went before the cameras and assured everyone that hers would be a reign of “partnership, not partisanship.” Quite apart from breaking that promise roughly two nanoseconds after taking possession of the Speaker’s gavel, over the ensuing two and one-half years, Pelosi has done more to sully and ruin the reputation of the House of Representatives than any prior Speaker. Her arrogance, her solipsism, her disdain and intolerance for dissenting views from both Republicans and some members of her own party have been, to understate the matter, a disgrace.
The voters of her district in the People’s Republic of San Francisco–the very people who sent her to Capitol Hill–should be ashamed, as should be all of the Democrat House members who elected her Speaker. But they will never admit to shame: libs don’t believe in admissions of shame or remorse. Those conditions are too proximate to redemption from sins and, of course, since redemption from sin is a religious concept, it cannot be tolerated in the halls of Congress without raising the ire of the ACLU.
However, the most interesting part of the spectacle remains to unfold: will The Chosen One come to her defense or not? One indication (not good for Pelosi) is that the Obama campaign bus has been fueled up, washed and, word has it, it is now parked on the street in front of Pelosi’s D.C. office. And, despite the notion that there may not be much room under there next to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s grandmother and others, I’m sure that the president can find room.
Burned toast, they say, contains elevated levels of carbon. If the Obama administration throws Pelosi under the bus, as it should, the action will likely leave a long carbon footprint smear on the street. The environment, however, will be the better for it.
Rick Saunders is a freelance writer who splits his time between endeavors in southern California and the American southwest. He began writing for America’s Right in December 2008. Jeff Schreiber started America’s Right in January 2008.