Pelosi May 2002 statement casts further doubt on her claims

posted at 4:26 pm on May 16, 2009 by Legal Insurrection

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has denied being briefed in September 2002 about the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah. Pelosi claims she was told that the technique had not been used (when in fact it had been used a month earlier). Pelosi uses this September 2002 briefing, and the alleged concealment of waterboarding, to support her claim that the CIA misled Congress.

Pelosi says she first learned of the waterboarding in February 2003, when her aide was briefed on the issue, and relayed the information to her. CIA Director Leon Panetta states that CIA records show that Pelosi was in fact briefed on the techniques used on Zubaydah at the September 2002 briefing.

We do not know at this time what other records exist showing what was said at the September 2002 briefing, but this quotation from Pelosi in May 2002 lends credibility to the CIA’s account. Pelosi clearly was being kept apprised of the specific details Zubaybah’s interrogation and the difficulty of getting Zubaydah to give up all he knew.

In May 2002, the government announced a terror alert based in part on information Zubaydah had revealed about attacks on the Brooklyn Bridge and other landmarks, although Zubaydah was being evasive as to whether there was an active plan. Pelosi was quoted as being aware of the details of the interrogation (italics in quotation mine):

CNN.com, May 22, 2002: Last Monday night, the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force–a round-the-clock operation at the New York field office of the FBI–got a call from FBI headquarters. Abu Zubaydah, the highest al-Qaeda official to be captured by the U.S., had told interrogators that he had heard other Osama bin Laden loyalists discussing attacks on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and other U.S. landmarks. But, a federal law-enforcement official told TIME, Abu Zubaydah had said the conversations took place a while back and claimed he knew of no particular plan. Since his capture in March, Abu Zubaydah has shared some valuable information, says a senior U.S. intelligence source. “He’s not b.s.ing us on everything.” Then again, says Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, “he is also very skilled at avoiding interrogation. He is an agent of disinformation.”

So as of May 2002, Pelosi knew the details of the interrogation of Zubaydah, and the problems the CIA was encountering due to Zubaydah’s evasiveness. It does not take any leap of imagination to believe that Pelosi, then the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, would have been kept informed of the progress of the interrogation, including the use of waterboarding months later.

It would take an incredible leap of imagination to believe that the CIA would tell Pelosi about all the problems with the interrogation of Zubaydah, but not tell her what was being done to solve those problems. Particularly when the waterboarding revealed that the plot against the Brooklyn Bridge, about which Pelosi publicly spoke, was revealed to be real based on information Zubaydah provided after being waterboarded.

A leap of imagination is exactly what Pelosi is asking us to do with her ever-changing explanations.

Cross-posted with updates at Legal Insurrection Blog

Update (AP): No wonder she’s ducking all the Sunday chat shows. Coward.

*
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The green room posters are busting out all over!

Disturb the Universe on May 16, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Update (AP): No wonder she’s ducking all the Sunday chat shows. Coward.

She is also very skilled at avoiding interrogation. SHe is an agent of disinformation.”

the_nile on May 16, 2009 at 4:35 PM

She might as well claim she thought waterboarding was some new aquatic sport.

Disturb the Universe on May 16, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Well, she certainly opened a can of worms on herself, didn’t she? Now she seems to be swimming in the thick of that can of worms.

capejasmine on May 16, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Awesome.

myrenovations on May 16, 2009 at 4:36 PM

good catch

rob verdi on May 16, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Well, she certainly opened a can of worms on herself, didn’t she? Now she seems to be swimming in the thick of that can of worms.

capejasmine on May 16, 2009 at 4:36 PM

“Cia will hereby inform, the “BUSH’S FAULT” card is revoked, as of May 14 2009″

the_nile on May 16, 2009 at 4:40 PM

San Fran Nan keeps digging

Pelosi’s explanation does not cut any ice with Sen. John McCain, who infuriated the Bushies by speaking out on torture. “She was briefed on it,” he told reporters on his way to a Republican Senate lunch last Tuesday.

But Pelosi has a point, too: that the CIA pulled a fast one by limiting its briefing to the Gang of Four and then warning them not to talk to anyone else. “If you’re to talk about it, charges could be filed against you,” she told me. “When I was a junior member and I read all the intelligence estimates, little did I know, until I was a ranking member, that I didn’t understand half of what was going on É they just dribble it out.”

William Amos on May 16, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Further doubt? Who has doubt?

Daggett on May 16, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Don’t worry about Nancy missing the Sunday talk shows. She will be represented on SNL, which represents serious political thought for liberals.

Right_of_Attila on May 16, 2009 at 4:44 PM

She would require our willing suspension of disbelief.

Pelosi ain’t getting squat.

maverick muse on May 16, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Legal Insurrection, BRAVO!

maverick muse on May 16, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Well done! Great find. Let’s hear it for our Green Room squad. Also, I’d like to point something out. You wrote this:

It does not take any leap of imagination to believe that Pelosi, then the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, would have been kept informed of the progress of the interrogation, including the use of waterboarding months later

If Zubaydah was evasive, and was giving disinformation, and was subsequently waterboarded, it may show the very effectiveness of waterboarding that the Left has always claimed doesn’t manaifest. The argument employed is that enhanced interrogation techniques don’t yield good intel. Cheney argues against that notion, and the very documents that he’s asking to be declassified might show that to be the case with this very Zubaydah story. The irony is, if those documents ever got declassified, and waterboarding was shown to have been what made Zubaydah cooperate, it would destroy Obama, and would’ve given Pelosi some security ‘cred’. But she’s so distanced herself from the Pelosi of 2002, that she can’t even use her proper decision in the past to her political benefit.

Weight of Glory on May 16, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Truth by jury

;)
/strangledit

daesleeper on May 16, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Pelosi May 2002 statement casts further doubt on her claims sanity

Seriously, this woman needs a full mental health workup.

MB4 on May 16, 2009 at 4:52 PM

No wonder she’s ducking all the Sunday chat shows. Coward

Most ethical. Ha.
Nan, that word does not quite mean
What you think it means.

TheQuestion on May 16, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Update (AP): No wonder she’s ducking all the Sunday chat shows. Coward.

Probably the first sign in a long time that shows she has some grasp of reality.

MB4 on May 16, 2009 at 4:56 PM

I bet there are a bunch of CIA interrogators that would love to get the truth out of her, probably take them five minutes…

blue13326 on May 16, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Coward is right.

I can not believe this woman is third in line for the Presidency. Disgraceful.

Terrye on May 16, 2009 at 4:58 PM

I bet there are a bunch of CIA interrogators that would love to get the truth out of her, probably take them five minutes seconds…

blue13326 on May 16, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Fixed it for ya

Del Dolemonte on May 16, 2009 at 4:59 PM

MB4:

I thought the same thing. I honestly am beginning to wonder if Pelosi has a screw loose.

Terrye on May 16, 2009 at 5:00 PM

How does that go?
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire…..

mjk on May 16, 2009 at 5:00 PM

I can not believe this woman is third in line for the Presidency. Disgraceful.

Terrye on May 16, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Actually second, I believe. Obama is not in line as he already is President. So Biden would be first in line and Ding Bat Nan would be second.

MB4 on May 16, 2009 at 5:02 PM

But Pelosi has a point, too: that the CIA pulled a fast one by limiting its briefing to the Gang of Four and then warning them not to talk to anyone else. “If you’re to talk about it, charges could be filed against you,” she told me. “When I was a junior member and I read all the intelligence estimates, little did I know, until I was a ranking member, that I didn’t understand half of what was going on É they just dribble it out.”
William Amos on May 16, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Now that just doesn’t jive with me, when I read this, in Insurrections piece….

Pelosi says she first learned of the waterboarding in February 2003, when her aide was briefed on the issue, and relayed the information to her.

So if she was one of four, who were the only ones to be getting this info, why would an aide be allowed to go in her stead, and relay it back to her?

I can totally see the need for keeping this mum, due to security issues, but I fail to understand the contradictions I’m seeing?

capejasmine on May 16, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Jay Leno on Pelosi:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she was misled by the CIA on waterboarding. She spent eight years complaining about how dumb President Bush was and the minute she’s in trouble, she says he fooled her.

terryannonline on May 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM

She leaves us no choice but to waterboard her for the truth…lol.

pageram on May 16, 2009 at 5:04 PM

I fail to understand the contradictions I’m seeing?

capejasmine on May 16, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Don’t worry about it. Pelosi doesn’t understand them either.

MB4 on May 16, 2009 at 5:05 PM

When the Speaker of the House is a confirmed liar, what does that say about the surrogates that she leads? How does anyone this incomopetent reach the third most powerful political office in the country?

Remember …2010…Time To Take Out the Trash

volsense on May 16, 2009 at 5:09 PM

She thought the CIA said “boogie-board”.

pjean on May 16, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Nasty Pelosi as president? It’s not impossible. Obama gets impeached for selling the White House to China and Biden goes missing walking from the West Wing to the East.

MaiDee on May 16, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Hotair isnt just a posting site it is also a resource

From Bryan in 2002

Torture update: What did Nancy Pelosi know and when did she know it?posted at 3:00 pm on December 9, 2007 by Bryan

William Amos on May 16, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Bwaahhahaha

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

William Amos on May 16, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Awesome, Amos! And double great with the link to Ed’s old site. I forgot that this was a story back in 07. And with the WaPo outing her too! This is sooooooo sweet. Pelosi, LIAR.

Weight of Glory on May 16, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Trip down memory lane

Pelosi is mad Bush is blaming violence in Iraq on al Qaeda:

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters on Wednesday that she feels it is “sad” that President Bush continues to blame Iraqi insurgent violence on al Qaeda.
“My thoughts on the president’s representations are well-known,” Pelosi said. “The 9/11 Commission dismissed that notion a long time ago and I feel sad that the president is resorting to it again.”

William Amos on May 16, 2009 at 5:18 PM

exactly what Pelosi is asking us to do with her ever-changing explanations.

Simple. She just wants the chump taxpayers to accept her lies and STFU.

THAT was easy!

oldleprechaun on May 16, 2009 at 5:21 PM

Nasty Pelosi as president? It’s not impossible. Obama gets impeached for selling the White House to China and Biden goes missing walking from the West Wing to the East.

MaiDee on May 16, 2009 at 5:12 PM

ROFLMAO!!!! Thank you for that laugh. To funny!!!

capejasmine on May 16, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Seriously, who is the bigger terrorist? rrrrrrr Time’s up. It’s San Fran Nan.

marklmail on May 16, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Knowing liberal moves thoroughly, I bet she’ll be a guest on the softabll Larry King show within two weeks. No hard questions there – it’s a lib oasis.

Travis1 on May 16, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Knowing liberal moves thoroughly, I bet she’ll be a guest on the softabll Larry King show within two weeks. No hard questions there – it’s a lib oasis.

Travis1 on May 16, 2009 at 5:44 PM

ROFL. I’m gonna say the view, and they’ll spend the entire interview discussing clothes, makeup, hair, and botox, then Barbara will say….well, we can’t get to the more serious issues, our time is up, but thank you for coming in Madam Squeeker.

capejasmine on May 16, 2009 at 5:52 PM

Gone In 60 Seconds Days: The Pelosi Prix.

profitsbeard on May 16, 2009 at 6:04 PM

I think it time that Nancy get Waterboarded.

GarandFan on May 16, 2009 at 6:09 PM

I think Nan got a puppy this weekend.

txag92 on May 16, 2009 at 6:17 PM

I think Nan got a puppy this weekend.

txag92 on May 16, 2009 at 6:17 PM

What’s Cruella Pelosi going to do with it? Make a coat out of it? Then blame Bush when PETA gets ticked off about it?

capejasmine on May 16, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Not only is she a liar, but she is perfectly willing to tarnish/hurt the CIA to Cover Her A$$. For that alone she should be history. No more work as public “servant” in any capacity.

The timing of such should be reserved until after the Republicans have wrung enough mileage out of her shame and perfidy. Oh wait a minute…..lost track of reality there in wishful thinking.

America1st on May 16, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Every single video of Nancy’s sour puss from her backing Clinton’s “regime change” of Saddam Hussein in 1998, all the pressers on the steps of the Congress with Harry Reid during President Bush’s term, to today………..

………. should be linked together for all to see what a pathetic, lying, worm of a politician this “thing” actually is.

Seven Percent Solution on May 16, 2009 at 6:35 PM

If Zubaydah was evasive, and was giving disinformation, and was subsequently waterboarded, it may show the very effectiveness of waterboarding that the Left has always claimed doesn’t manaifest. The argument employed is that enhanced interrogation techniques don’t yield good intel. Cheney argues against that notion, and the very documents that he’s asking to be declassified might show that to be the case with this very Zubaydah story. The irony is, if those documents ever got declassified, and waterboarding was shown to have been what made Zubaydah cooperate, it would destroy Obama, and would’ve given Pelosi some security ‘cred’. But she’s so distanced herself from the Pelosi of 2002, that she can’t even use her proper decision in the past to her political benefit.

Weight of Glory on May 16, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Go read Victoria Toensing’s piece in the WSJ today. She makes this exact point. Zubaydah wrote the Al Qaeda manual on how to handle interrogations. He had told people not to expect anything severe from the Americans. It became clear very quickly to the CIA that stronger measures would be necessary to get anything out of him.

Zubaydah is going to prove a textbook case of when enhanced interrogation techniques must be used, and that they work.

rockmom on May 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM

I say we waterboard Grand-Nan and get to the truth.

TinMan13 on May 16, 2009 at 7:33 PM

rockmom on May 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Thanks, rockmom. I’ll go check it out.

Weight of Glory on May 16, 2009 at 7:40 PM

Hmmm… a donkey in the House.

How long will it be before we get a horse in the Senate?

ajacksonian on May 16, 2009 at 7:50 PM

She’ll skate….and owe nObama more than a bad girls virtue…(relax, don’t tense up, it only hurts for a second)

dmann on May 16, 2009 at 10:13 PM

While people are bringing up Nancy’s actual briefings. I bet there is a lot of info in the media archives where average Americans were reading and watching reports of the techniques being employed by the C.I.A. Imagine Nancy Pelosi doesn’t read Newspapers say around 2002 to present, that could be found reporting on “water boarding” does that mean she is just like Governor Sarah Palin/sarc. I wonder when the first reporting started on the subject of water boarding in the Media-what year?

Dr Evil on May 16, 2009 at 10:27 PM

In the case of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a high-level detainee who is believed to have helped plan the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, C.I.A. interrogators used graduated levels of force, including a technique known as “water boarding,” in which a prisoner is strapped down, forcibly pushed under water and made to believe he might drown.

This one is from the new york times 2004

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0513-03.htm

So Nancy Pelosi doesn’t read the New York Times?

I am going to keep looking I bet there is earlier reporting than this on water boarding. If the average American can read about it, and they don’t get briefed by the C.I.A. specifically like Nancy did, well shouldn’t we trade her in for an Average American?

Dr Evil on May 16, 2009 at 10:43 PM

Washington Post article reports when she was told this is from 2007 Article. Two years ago what Nancy knew and when she knew it. So this has been in print for a while. I guess Nancy Pelosi doesn’t read the Washington Post :) Just like Sarah Palin/sarc. I can’t help drawning on the big detraction for Governor Sarah Palin when Katie Curic asked her what newspapers she read….obviously San Fran Nan doesn’t read any newspapers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/08/AR2007120801664.html?nav=hcmoduletmv&sub=AR

Dr Evil on May 16, 2009 at 10:54 PM

We found out about it in 2004 from the NYT so how come no one filled in Nancy Pelosi? According to her she was left in the dark :) This is would make a good project -lesson plan for a high school Government class. Let them learn civics first hand. Solve the mystery of how the whole country knew about Water boarding but not the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. Kids don’t try this at home or in the “House” GRIN.

http://www.markdanner.com/articles/show/154

Dr Evil on May 16, 2009 at 11:18 PM

That last one is from a professor at Berkley. I guess he is willing to sacrifice San Fran Nan on the Leftist Altar. I don’t think she is going to take to being used as the political crudgel the left wants to get “revenge” on their political opposition on the right, their nemesis George W Bush. They want George W Bush punished for keeping the country safe…what’s that old saying you got to break a couple of eggs to make an omelet. Nancy Pelosi you are the weakest link, Good bye.

Dr Evil on May 16, 2009 at 11:32 PM

“He’s not b.s.ing us on everything.” Then again, says Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, “he is also very skilled at avoiding interrogation. He is an agent of disinformation.”

Seems like a lot of info for Nancy “Sergeant Schultz’s” Pelosi.

I know nothing
I see nothing
I hear nothing

DSchoen on May 17, 2009 at 12:24 AM

Cheney is actually handling this situation brilliantly, in my opinion. He just keeps hammering away, keeping the focus on the real issue, which was that this was unusual circumstances. Pelosi obviously agreed, from this quote.

And Democrats are now stuck with having to reframe this outside of the old “them against us” story.

I find it amusing. Watching Cheney handle them deftly is like watching a pro team up against the farm team.

AnninCA on May 17, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Thank you William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection Blog, for posting this. Another nail in the coffin for Pelosi’s lies.

Loxodonta on May 17, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Peloser is now the record holder for the dimocrats. She has told five (5) lies in a row about the same subject in record time. Now that is a achievement that the liberals can really respect. Slick Willie and Hillary were co-holders of the honor and both are saying they won’t be denied of the ultimate prize forever.

volsense on May 17, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Ann, I agree, and I would also say that about his daughter Liz. She was on the ABC show this morning, and she is so focused and serious, she makes the other side look like angry middle-schoolers. This should be about national security, not politics or vengeance.

juliesa on May 17, 2009 at 1:33 PM

From Maureen Dowed (that she plagiarized from Josh Marshall)

Maureen Dowed
More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks,
it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Golly! Even more bizarre!

While looking for political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Under the guises of prevent terrorist attacks and they found out about was this terrorist plot to attack the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and other U.S. landmarks.

Just when I thought Bush couldn’t be more incompetent we finds out he couldn’t even get fake excuse right!

He goes after Terrorist to find out info about terrorist (wink wink, we all KNOW he was REALLY trying to gin up excuses to invade Iraq!)

and the dang fool finds out about planed terrorist attacks just like his phony cover story!</em>

DSchoen on May 17, 2009 at 10:14 PM

Every single video of Nancy’s sour puss from her backing Clinton’s “regime change” of Saddam Hussein in 1998, all the pressers on the steps of the Congress with Harry Reid during President Bush’s term, to today………..

………. should be linked together for all to see what a pathetic, lying, worm of a politician this “thing” actually is.

Seven Percent Solution on May 16, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Being forced to watch that would be torture.

riverrat10k on May 18, 2009 at 4:11 PM