Dem Campaign Chair Tries to Sweep Pelosi Embarrassment Under the Rug

May 21, 2009

Dem Campaign Chair Tries to Sweep Pelosi Embarrassment Under the Rug
Van Hollen on Pelosi’s CIA Attack: “It is not something anyone is talking about in their district”

“Any ground Congressional Democrats had gained on the issue of national security has been eviscerated thanks to Nancy Pelosi’s attacks on the CIA. Now, even Democrat members are privately acknowledging that she has become a liability for them back in their districts.” – Ken Spain, NRCC Communications Director

Democrats Privately Worried about Pelosi’s Antics
“But members are chattering privately about Pelosi. One Democrat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was hoping the waterboarding mess would blow over quickly so the issue wouldn’t be used to bludgeon incumbents in the 2010 midterms.

“This has been an unmitigated disaster…” (Thrush, “How Pelosi Threw Up a Brick,” Politico, May 21, 2009)

Van Hollen Correct about Pelosi Flap,: Not Just “Anyone” is Talking About it, EVERYONE is

Augusta Chronicle Editorial: “Nancy Pelosi has accused her government of lying to her. But many are coming to believe that she’s the liar.  In a partisan fever to jump on the now-trendy anti-U.S. bandwagon, she has turned her back on the people who have kept us safe since Sept. 11, 2001.” (Editorial, “Disgraced Pelosi should pack it in,” Augusta Chronicle, May 20, 2009)

Cleveland Plain-Dealer Editorial: “Last week saw Pelosi struggle to explain what she — first as the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and then as a member of the House leadership — knew about the use of abusive interrogation techniques now widely seen as torture.  Central Intelligence Agency memos state that Pelosi was informed about the questioning of al-Qaida suspects as early as September 2002; the Republican committee chairman who was in the briefing with her agrees. A flustered Pelosi vehemently denied any such knowledge and said the CIA misled her and others in Congress ‘all the time.’ That drew a sharp rebuke from CIA Director Leon Panetta, a former Democratic member of the House and a fellow Californian.  Pelosi has thus guaranteed that the question of who in Washington knew what about possible torture will not be going away anytime soon — only, now, full and unambiguous answers will be expected from legislative leaders as well as former members of the executive branch.” (Editorial, “What’s tortured are Pelosi’s explanations of what she knew, and when,” May 19, 2009)

Kansas City Star Column: “Pelosi has made a strong, even over-the-top charge that the CIA lied about what she knew about torture and when. So does Pelosi have some written ammunition to use in backing up her point?  Or will she continue to think that, because she’s House Speaker, people will believe her, especially when she has criticized torture techniques before?  At this point, the Republicans have the upper hand. Pelosi needs to provide some compelling information to back up her charge, or apologize to the CIA.” (Abouhalkah, “GOP attacks Pelosi, and scores big,” May 18, 2009)

Buffalo News Editorial: “If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s immediate reactions to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 included the idea that absolutely anything would be fair game in the CIA’s efforts to prevent future strikes, she would hardly have been alone.  It would not be all that shocking to learn that, in 2002, Pelosi and other key members of Congress knew all about the CIA’s ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’—spook-speak for torture—and not only didn’t raise a finger to stop it, but cheered it on.” (Editorial, “Pelosi’s permutations,” May 20, 2009)

Palm Beach Post Editorial: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has advocated creation of a ‘truth commission’ to examine charges that the United States tortured detainees under the Bush administration. Though she no doubt envisioned herself as a judge at such a tribunal, Rep. Pelosi could find herself as a defendant.  The Watergate coverup question – What did you know and when did you know it? – is tripping up Rep. Pelosi, who has looked uncomfortable and evasive in recent news conferences.” (Editorial, “The truth starts with Pelosi,” May 18, 2009)

Trentonian Editorial: “She led the demands for an inquisition of Bush administration officials who were involved in the use of coercive interrogation tactics to extract possible life-saving information from key terrorist figures.  Never mind, as President Obama’s intelligence czar says, the tactics yielded ‘high value information.’ Pelosi was in the forefront of the partisan mob shouting that Bush administration heads must roll.  Her aggressive sanctimony suggested that she was shocked, shocked to learn that the Bush administration had used such tactics.  Then it came to light that as a member of the House intelligence committee, she had been informed of these tactics, along with other leading House Democrats, during CIA briefings, and never raised any objections at the time.” (Editorial, “Pants on fire,” May 19, 2009)

Chicago Tribune Editorial: “Pelosi apparently didn’t have a problem back then with harsh methods that were used on some suspects when the threat of repeat attacks seemed most acute. But now she would like to rewrite history, and extend a political war that voters thought they settled with the last presidential election.  Confidence in Pelosi has been eroded by this episode. And, inconvenient for her, that’s the truth.” (Editorial, “Pelosi and the truth,” May 20, 2009)

New York Daily News Column: “Obama has not said a single word on the subject. His press secretary has brushed off efforts by reporters to learn whether Obama agrees with fellow Democrat Pelosi or with Leon Panetta, his CIA director.  Panetta, a former Democratic congressman himself, forcefully rejected Pelosi’s charges, which, if true, would constitute serious crimes.  Republicans are happy campers, with Pelosi’s televised rant providing a welcome break from their own problems. GOP House leader John Boehner, partisan motivations aside, is right when he challenges Pelosi either to offer evidence she was misled by the CIA on the waterboarding of terror detainees, or apologize to those trying to keep America safe.” (Goodwin, “Barack, get off the fence: Pelosi’s accusations against the CIA can no longer be met with silence,” May 20, 2009)

Time: “A lot has been written about Barack Obama’s learning curve in his first 100 days in office — understandably given his rapid ascent. But if Obama is a rookie acting like a veteran, Pelosi, a career politician, has all too often filled the role of the bumbler in 2009. In her initial press conference about what the CIA told her, she fumbled through her notes, departed the podium, returned to the podium, departed again and accused the CIA of lying to her — a charge she had clarified the next day by blaming the Bush Administration. To call it a disastrous public performance would be polite.” (Newton-Small, “Self-Inflicted Wound: How Pelosi Got into the CIA Mess,” May 20, 2009)

Washington Times: “In disparaging the CIA and accusing the agency of lying last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has become a ‘wrecking ball’ to the morale of officers risking their lives in the field, the top Republican on the House intelligence committee said Tuesday.” (Dinan, “Pelosi taking ‘wrecking ball’ to CIA morale, Hoekstra says,” May 20, 2009)

Politico: “The GOP got an unexpected big gift in the fallout from the statement last week by Pelosi that she was accusing the CIA of ‘misleading the Congress of the United States’ with its briefings on waterboarding.” (Allen and Vandehei, “Barack Obama, Dick Cheney plan dueling speeches,” May 20, 2009)

Delaware County Daily Times Editorial: “There are significant problems with Pelosi’s attempt to explain herself, not the least of which is her claim that CIA misleads Congress ‘all the time.’ If that is true, what’s the point of having a CIA? If the agency can’t be counted on to tell our political leaders the truth about what it’s doing, where and when, it should be abolished.” (Editorial, “Torture debate is consuming Washington,” May 19, 2009)