Is Nancy Pelosi Lying?

by James Kirchick | May 13, 2009

Seems so. CNN is reporting:

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.

Adding insult to injury was Eli Lake's story last week showing that Jane Harman wrote a letter to the CIA in 2003 questioning the legality and prudence of waterboarding (Harman also requested that the CIA not destroy tapes of Abu Zubaydah's interrogation. The agency did in 2005). So all along it was the hawkish Harman -- scourge of the Democratic Left, enemy of Pelosi, spuriously accused of being an Israeli spy by the usual cast of characters due to a politically charged and out-of-context leak -- who had the moral qualms about waterboarding and brought those qualms to the appropriate people. Meanwhile, Pelosi not only remained silent about the tactic that she and liberal allies now deem to be "torture," but apparently approved of it.

 --James Kirchick

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/nancy-pelosi-lying