FOX News star Fred Barnes called Nancy Pelosi a liar over the issue of what she knew or didn't know about waterboarding. The CIA has not been persuasive with their smears of Pelosi because they haven't released the facts, just innuendo, to muddy up the water regarding torture. If they have the goods, well, then release it and we can talk about Nancy.
Barnes launches on a psycho-babble rant that is nonsensical and outright repulsive. He puts forth evidence of the success of torture when there isn't any, and describes Pelosi's motives like she wrote them in an op-ed. Maybe she talked to him off the record like all the Democratic sources Robert Novak always claimed to have. And let's not forget. Nancy Pelosi was not part of the torture discussion that the Bush Administration had when they decided torturing people was fine for America to be involved with. They implemented it before she was ever supposedly briefed about it. They committed crimes without her knowledge. It's all a smoke screen to take the heat of of them.
Shame on Barnes.
I'm truly amazed to watch the eruption of "controversy" today over the fact that Nancy Pelosi was briefed in 2002 on various aspects of the CIA's interrogation program, as though (a) this is some sort of new revelation and (b) it has any bearing on whether there should be investigations and prosecutions into Bush crimes. As many of us have long pointed out, the extent to which Democratic leaders in Congress were complicit in Bush lawbreaking -- including torture -- is a major issue that needs resolution, and is almost certainly a key reason why there have been no investigations thus far. There are real disputes still about what these Democrats were and were not told -- how complete the briefings were, the extent to which they obfuscated rather than illuminated what the CIA was doing -- though they were obviously told enough to have warranted further action on their part, to say the least.
But what's the point of all of this? Secretly telling Nancy Pelosi that you're committing crimes doesn't mean that you have the right to do so. And the profound failures of the other institutions that are supposed to check executive lawbreaking during the Bush era -- principally Congress and the "opposition party" -- is a vital issue that demands serious examination. This dispute over what Pelosi (and Jay Rockefeller and others) knew highlights, rather than negates, the need for a meaningful investigation into what took place.