Pelosi Admits She Was Briefed About Torture But Claims Ignorance

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Rachel Maddow talks to Jonathan Turley about why Judge Bybee is lobbying the Nevada congressional delegation to, as Think Progress notes, tell his side of the story. As Turley points out this is more likely a matter for a world court than it is for a state to become involved with since it deals with international agreements on war crimes which is something a state has no authority to act upon.

They also discuss Nancy Pelosi's double speak on what she knew about our "enhanced interrogation program"...a.k.a. torture and why she never allowed the Bush administration to be investigated for that and why she said that impeachment was "off the table".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to fend off criticism over her knowledge of the Bush Administration’s plan to torture detainees. Pelosi has adopted a highly lawyered exclamation that she was briefed on the plan but never told that they were implementing the plan. It is a distinction lost on civil libertarians. She was still briefed on a war crime and did not act to stop it.

So, here is the analogy. Someone briefs you on their conclusion that they are allowed to burn down buildings, but you are not responsible unless you personally see the smoke or you are told about the arsons. I was not aware that asserting the right to commit war crimes was not a concern for congressional oversight. So, the Bush Administration went to all the trouble of securing formal opinions to allow it to torture people and to brief high ranking democrats, but Pelosi did not consider it a matter of sufficient concern to call for action from the Committees. This occurred at the same time that Bush and others were calling for rough treatment of detainees and publicly questioning the application of things like the Geneva Conventions.

Notably, lawyers are required to act when a client tells them that they are considering an action that could result in physical injury or death in other individuals. Yet, when Pelosi is told about the Administration belief that it can commit war crimes, she feels no compulsion to act until after the war crimes are committed.

You can read the rest of his post here.

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