On John King's State of the Union John Boehner feels that Nancy Pelosi should apologize for accusing the CIA of lying to Congress, but he doesn't supp
May 18, 2009

On John King's State of the Union John Boehner feels that Nancy Pelosi should apologize for accusing the CIA of lying to Congress, but he doesn't support having a Truth Commission to get to the bottom of it. He suggests that she should take whatever evidence she has that the CIA lied to her to the Justice Department and let them handle it. Just what evidence is he talking about here? He knows full well those meetings were top secret, they weren't allowed to take notes and that there is no evidence for her to bring them.

I was waiting for him to start crying again when he was going on about how wonderful our CIA is. Boehner seems to have a bad case of do as I say, but not as I do syndrome with his defense on why it was alright for him to question the integrity of the NIE report he didn't like. That's just completely different from what Nancy Pelosi did don't you know. Now the CIA is beyond reproach.

If any of these Republicans actually want to get to the truth, they'd be supporting an investigation to get to the bottom of what happened. I don't think the Congress is capable of investigating itself so in all honesty a special prosecutor as opposed to a Truth Commission would be preferable, but the Republicans will be screaming bloody murder if that happens as well, mark my words. And they would not be gathering all of their evidence from Nancy Pelosi. Since they're not in favor of bringing all the facts to light it appears they're just using Pelosi for a political punching bag.

KING: I want to turn your attention to the big controversy in town, especially in the capital building this week. And that is what did Speaker Pelosi know and when did she know it, about the enhanced interrogation tactics, water-boarding, slamming people against walls and things like that in the days after 9/11.

And if you turn over your right shoulder, we have a timeline I want to show you here. We now know that, in 2002 in September, Speaker Pelosi, not the speaker at the time -- she was briefed by the CIA. There was a dispute. She says she was not told there was water- boarding going on. The CIA says she was.

Last month, in April, at a news conference, she insisted she had not been told. Let's listen.

PELOSI: We were not -- I repeat -- not told that water-boarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.

KING: But then, last week, she did concede on Thursday that one of her aides was briefed a few months after that September 2002 briefing and that the aide was told and it was relayed to her these tactics were being used. But, at that same event, she lashed out at the CIA, accusing them, accusing them of misleading the Congress.

PELOSI: Those briefing me in September 2002 gave me inaccurate and incomplete information.

KING: Where's this going? There are some who say the speaker has been dishonest. The speaker is accusing the CIA, now, of lying to the Congress. It's interesting theater here in Washington, but does it serve any policy purpose? And what's next?

BOEHNER: Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime. And if the speaker is accusing the CIA and other intelligence officials of lying or misleading the Congress, then she should come forward with evidence and turn that over to the Justice Department so they can be prosecuted.

And if that's not the case, I think she ought to apologize to our intelligence professionals around the world.

You have to understand, John, we treat prisoners, detainees, prisoners of war better than any country in the world. And our intelligence professionals have done a marvelous job in doing their job, keeping Americans safe.

And when you think about the fact that we lost 3,000 of our citizens on September 11; we've lost nearly 5,000 of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting for our safety and security here in America, all of -- all of this information that helps our soldiers, that helps our border security people, all comes from our intelligence professionals around the world.

And instead of criticizing them; instead of accusing them of lying, we ought to be patting them on the back and telling them, "Job well done."

KING: Well, you have, in the past, questioned some information you have received from the CIA, including on this network, in the past. I want you to listen.

BLITZER: Are you suggesting, as I think you are, that you don't necessarily have confidence in this new NIE?

BOEHNER: Well, either I don't have confidence in what they told me several months ago or I don't have confidence in what they're telling me today.

BOEHNER: John, we're comparing apples and oranges here. What was referred to as a national intelligence estimate with regard to Iran, which was very contradictory from a lot of other information I was presented with -- and, frankly, raising questions about that was the right thing to do.

But we're talking about the speaker of the House accusing our intelligence professionals of lying and misleading Congress. I've dealt with these people for 3 1/2 years, on almost a daily basis, and I can tell you that I have never felt that I was misled. I've never felt that I've been lied to.

Frankly, when they come in and present their information, it's thorough; it's complete. They want to answer questions. And there's always, always an opportunity to -- to object.

And if there was something that was happening, called for by the president, that I objected to, the opportunity is there to do so. And Speaker Pelosi has, at times, objected to activities that were approved by the president. Those activities were changed, as a result of her objection.

KING: In the intelligence environment?

BOEHNER: In the intelligence environment.

KING: I want you to listen to something your friend and the former House speaker, Newt Gingrich, said about this controversy and what he thinks should happen.

GINGRICH: I think she has lied to the House. And I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an -- 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.

KING: Has he lied to the House? Has she lied to the country? And should there be an inquiry?

BOEHNER: I think I've outlined what I would describe as a different approach, that if, in fact, she believes she was lied to, that is against the law. She ought to make that information public and turn it over to the Justice Department so they can prosecute these people.

KING: But do you think she...


BOEHNER: But if she did -- but if she does not produce this and she changes her mind, well, then she ought to apologize. That would be the appropriate course of action.

KING: Just apologize? You don't see an inquiry happening? You don't have the votes, but you wouldn't push for one?

BOEHNER: I -- I think that she ought to either present the evidence or apologize, one or the other.

Can you help us out?

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