The Nancy Pelosi Uproar Is An Absurd Distraction From Bush Administration Culpability

[media id=8282] Sean Hannity couldn't have been too pleased last night when his "All American Panel" -- which he usually manages to keep nicely docil

Sean Hannity couldn't have been too pleased last night when his "All American Panel" -- which he usually manages to keep nicely docile -- took a decidedly liberal detour on the subject of Nancy Pelosi's charge that the CIA lied to her.

First, Sunny Hostin, a former federal prosecutor, pointed out the obvious:

Why do we think that she is the liar?

Regina Calcaterra, a Democratic consultant, promptly chimed in:

It's a smokescreen. I think this is a smokescreen by Republicans, because Republicans are concerned about Congress holding the Truth Commission, which you know is going to be the parallel to the 9/11 Commission.

Later, Hostin raises the really relevant point:

The issue here is that everybody knows that waterboarding is torture. And that was an approved policy. It is torture! Everyone knows that. And that was the policy of the Bush administration. Why don't we talk about that?

Indeed. Because on Planet Wingnuttia, claiming that "Nancy Pelosi knew about it too" justifies the policy.

The bizarre thing about making this a "he said/she said" issue is that we already know for a fact that the CIA lied to Pelosi about the torture.

Marcy Wheeler points out that (as she's been reporting for weeks,) we already have documentary evidence that "when the CIA briefed Pelosi and Goss on September 4, 2002, it told them that waterboarding was not being employed."

Yet this was in fact a lie. Because we also know from Lawrence Wilkerson that the CIA had been engaging in waterboarding since at least February of that same year. As Marcy observes:

While we can't be sure of the date when Cheney started ordering people to be waterboarded even after they were compliant, we know this order had to have occurred before February 22, 2002--because that's when al-Libi first reported on ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.

... So sometime in February 2002--when Bush was declaring that the Geneva Convention did not apply to al Qaeda and when Bruce Jessen was pitching torture to JPRA--Cheney was personally (according to Wilkerson) ordering up waterboarding. The DIA immediately labeled the result of this session of waterboarding probable disinformation.

The Beltway pundits have been eager to cast Pelosi as a liar. (Wayne Simmons just called Pelosi a "pathological liar" on Fox.) Is Bob Graham a liar too? We're taking the word of the disgraced Porter Goss over the sitting Speaker of the House?

And gee, guess what we're not talking about here. Sonny Hostin, say it again:

The issue here is that everybody knows that waterboarding is torture. And that was an approved policy. It is torture! Everyone knows that. And that was the policy of the Bush administration. Why don't we talk about that?

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