The Glass Shatters
A source close to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now confirms that Pelosi was told in February 2003 by her intelligence aide, Michael Sheehy, that waterboarding was actually used on CIA detainee Abu Zubaydah.
This appears to contradict Pelosi's account that she was never told waterboarding actually happened, only that the administration was considering using it.
Sheehy attended a briefing in which waterboarding was discussed in February 2003, with Rep. Jane Harman, D-California, who took over Pelosi's spot as the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
This source says Pelosi didn't object when she learned that waterboarding was being used because she had not been personally briefed about it -- only her aide had been told.
The source said Pelosi supported a letter that Harman sent to the administration at the time raising concerns. The source asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of matters discussed in classified intelligence briefings.
Pelosi admits attending one briefing in September 2002, but at a news conference last month, she was adamant that she did not know waterboarding was used.
"At that or any other briefing, and that was the only briefing that I was briefed on in that regard, we were not -- I repeat, we were not -- told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used, " Pelosi said on April 23.
Some Republicans have called for Pelosi to testify at congressional hearings.
The number two House Democrat -- Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland -- said Tuesday, "I think the facts need to get out" regarding what members of Congress had been told about harsh interrogations.
But when asked whether Pelosi testifying would be appropriate, Hoyer did not directly answer the question, saying, "The issue is what was done. If you don't have the facts pounded on the table, they (Republicans) are pounding on the table, or they are pounding on Speaker Pelosi. Take your pick. But they are doing so as a distraction, as a distraction from what was done in this case."
Majority Leader Hoyer can claim this as a distraction all he desires, but the simple fact remains that she is not being forthright about what she knew. See the problem we have here is that those in Congress do not wish to have the culpability test passed onto them despite the fact that they did sign off on what the CIA was doing.
I will be clear here, in the interest of disclosure, that neither Thomas or myself feel that the enhanced interrogation techniques constitute torture. What was done to the three people in question -- Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri -- was not torture. Their lives were never in danger, and based on what the memos released by President Obama state, they were told that interrogators would not put their life in jeopardy. Liberals love to claim that waterboarding is torture, but they never admit that those detainees that endured this technique were told basically what we tell soldiers who endure this. Remember, pilots and special operations operators go through this during SERE training. It is so they know what to expect should they be captured.
Speaker Pelosi needs to be brought before whatever hearing is convened, and she needs to be grilled. The CIA has already released memos showing that she knew more than what she claims. It is time they put her under oath and find out the truth. If Majority Leader Hoyer is serious about getting to the bottom of this issue, then he needs to make sure those who were aware of what was going on are brought before any sort of "truth commission" and given no quarter. Of course no one should be holding their breath regarding members of Congress summoned to testify. The cronyism within the halls of Congress is nearly as nauseating as it is in the Democrat party.