Nancy Pelosi is a red herring

Not literally, of course — she’s not a rotting fish.  But the fingerpointing at the Speaker of the House is designed to acomplish two things, both detrimental to the Democratic agenda.

First, there misdirection play of claiming that Nancy is somehow responsible for not stopping the Bush torture program.  This is designed to turn the media’s attention away from the real culprits, the ones who designed, implemented, pushed and justified the torture program.  Dick Cheney, anyone?  What about Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, David Addington, or Jay Bybee?  Or let’s point at the very top of the chain of command — the CIC himself!

Even if Pelosi was briefed, it was in deepest secrecy, where she was unable to discuss the contents of the briefing with anyone, including others who might have been at the briefing with her.  Remember, back in 2002-3 when these briefings are said to have taken place, Nancy Pelosi was the leader of the minority party, unable to change the policies of the Bush White House.  Her hands were tied and her options limited. Current House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), has accurately described what usually happens in reality.

When the CIA comes in to notify you about a very sensitive intelligence program, you don’t have the opportunity to get all your questions answered or to review legal documents. You’re not allowed to consult with any lawyers or experts. You’re not even allowed to discuss the matter with your colleagues or your staff.

So given the conditions that prevail at these briefings is it likely that any member of Congress would go public?  Imagine the firestorm if she had spoken up back in 2002 or 2003 — she would have been labelled “unpatriotic”, “anti-American”, and “terrorist-loving” — and run out of Washington DC on the proverbial rail.

This brings us to the other purpose behind the “blame Nancy” attacks.  This is part of an overall strategy to weaken the Democratic Congress and keep it from being able to pass Obama’s ambitious agenda.  Did anyone else notice that the frontal assault on Nancy Pelosi was launched just days after she had publicly promised to “pass health care reform this year”?  This is not a coincidence.  The well-oiled Republican attack machine is trying every possible trick to derail Obama’s agenda. And weakening the Speaker of the House just as the health care debate ramps up can be seen as part of an overall plan to kill meaningful health care reform as well as other key parts of the Democratic agenda — Employee Free Choice Act is another example.

It is interesting that former Senator Bob Graham was also allegedly briefed during the same period (Jay Rockefeller, Jane Harman, too). But Graham has a reputation for keeping meticulous records of literally everything (breakfast menu, color tie worn, meetings held, etc. each and every day in his life).  He records this stuff in color-coded notebooks, then files them carefully away for later reference.  If he says he did not get a CIA briefing on a particular date, Bob Graham will have the records to prove it.  The CIA has apparently backed off from their claims vis-a-vis Graham after he pushed back.  So why should we believe that their claims about Nancy Pelosi’s briefings are correct?

Are we to believe that the spooks at the CIA never lie, falsify documents or launch dis-information campaigns?  This is just the kind of thing the CIA is (in)famous for — so why should they have any credibility?  Particularly when there are strong motives to CYA their actions from that period.

Explore posts in the same categories: patriotism, Pelosi, politics, Torture

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