Friday, May 15, 2009

Wire: Speaker Pelosi Backpedals on Claims CIA Lied, Blames Bush

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:
EDITOR'S NOTE: As of Saturday, this story has become buried deep within the bowels of the lost weekend news cycle. So far, only The Politico and The Hill, both Washington politics Web sites, have reported that Pelosi late Friday issued yet another in a growing list of contradictory statements. When the press isn't ignoring Pelosi, they seem to be framing the controversy (in uniform code-speak) as a "distraction"ginned up by Republicans. Even in the most simplistic terms, it is anything but a distraction. The issue is about the integrity of career politicians who put their desire for power ahead of the needs of the nation.
WASHINGTON, May 15, 2009 -- Newswires reported this evening that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backpedaled Friday on her claims that the CIA lied to her about water-boarding.

Rebuffed by the Democratic head of the CIA and left hanging by a Democratic White House, San Fransisco Democrat Pelosi issued a statement moving into the slow weekend news cycle late Friday shifting her criticism to the Bush administration just hours after CIA Director Leon Panetta defended his agency against Pelosi’s charges.

"My criticism of the manner in which the Bush administration did not appropriately inform Congress is separate from my respect for those in the intelligence community who work to keep our country safe," Pelosi said in a statement late Friday, according to The Politico Web site.

But she didn’t back off her central claim, that she wasn’t informed about the use of water-boarding against a key terror suspect in September 2002.

The Politico speculated that Pelosi may have been waiting for the White House to come to her defense before making her statement late Friday. However, this seems counter-intuitive since the CIA is an executive branch agency that reports to the Director of National Intelligence under the president.

Former House Speaker, Republican Newt Gingrich, in an interview Friday on Sean Hannity's talk-radio program called for Pelosi to be suspended from her position as Speaker pending a bipartisan investigation.

Gingrich said Pelosi "lied to the House" when she earlier claimed that the CIA had never briefed her about the Bush administration's use of interrogation methods like waterboarding, which is considered torture by the current administration.

"I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don't think the speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters," the Gingrich said in an interview with ABC Radio.

The Speaker of the House is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President, and the position is considered by some to be the second most powerful political office in the nation.

This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Nancy Pelosi backpedals on CIA claims
Gingrich: 'Absolute obligation' to investigate Pelosi

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