For Pelosi’s account to be accurate, the CIA must have engaged in one of the most baroque and ineffectual conspiracies in the history of Washington. Remember: Pelosi claims that the CIA lied to her in a September 2002 classified briefing and told her that it hadn’t waterboarded high-level al-Qaeda detainee Abu Zubaydah. To support her version, Pelosi needs to stack implausibility on top of implausibility in a precarious Jenga tower of self-justification.
The CIA must have convinced Porter Goss, the Republican congressman (and subsequent CIA director) who was present at the 2002 briefing, to lie and pronounce himself “slack-jawed” at Pelosi’s account. It must have forged the “contemporaneous records” CIA director Leon Panetta, an Obama nominee, has cited that show Pelosi was told of the waterboarding. It must have either pulled the wool over Panetta’s eyes or enlisted his active engagement in a monstrous machinery of deception.
Even Oliver Stone wouldn’t touch this screenplay. And why would the CIA have lied to Pelosi in 2002?