Pelosi Now Says- CIA Are Liars Not Me
QUESTION: Madam Speaker, just to be clear, you’re accusing the CIA of lying to you in September of 2002?
PELOSI: Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States, misleading the Congress of the United States. I am.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Speaking Out On the Lies of the CIA
May 14, 2009
Pelosi was particularly harsh in describing the CIA.
“They mislead us all the time,” she said. And when a reporter asked whether the agency lied, she did not disagree.
She also suggested that the current Republican criticism marked an attempt to divert attention from the Bush administration’s actions.
“They misrepresented every step of the way, and they don’t want that focus on them, so they try to turn the attention on us,” she said.
Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino chimed in on Pelosi’s latest press briefing:
Former Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino, writing in the Arena on POLITICO, said the speaker did herself more harm then good.
“A goal of any press conference should be to answer questions – not conjure up more. Unfortunately for the Speaker, she seems to have fallen short of that objective,” wrote Perino.
Republicans pounced on the Speaker’s latest story:
“It’s hard for me to imagine anyone in our intelligence area would ever mislead a member of Congress,” House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said at his weekly news conference. “They come to the Hill to brief us because they’re required to under the law. I don’t know what motivation they would have to mislead anyone.”
The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., told FOX News that Pelosi’s accusation against the CIA is “not credible.”
“I am afraid she has disremembered what she went through,” he said. “We have had not only the records from the CIA but the contemporaries who were there with her had other views on it, so I am afraid that this is not a credible explanation.”
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence committee has already submitted a request for the briefing documents Pelosi requested today. Like Perino, he was less than impressed by Pelosi’s responses today.
“This is Version 5.0 from Nancy on what happened in that Sept. meeting — I’m not sure what today’s explanation means,” Hoekstra told my colleague Alex Isenstadt. “I believe that information should be released. Ive called for it to be released.”
On Pelosi’s claim she was lied to, he replied, “That’s a very, very serious charge. If you’re the Speaker of the House and you say you were lied to on a national security issue, that’s a serious charge.”
In related news… The Obama White House has denied Dick Cheney’s request for the declassification of two CIA reports on the effectiveness of the Agency’s detainee program, including waterboarding.
What a shock.