Category Archive 'Torture'
14 Nov 2009

Why Give KSM a Civilian Trial?

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How can a case against a foreign enemy apprehended by another government possibly be prosecuted within the rules of domestic criminal procedure? Khalid Shaikh Mohammed obviously was never Mirandized. What can Eric Holder and Barack Obama possibly be thinking? Are these people hopelessly naive?

Andrew McCarthy doesn’t think so. He thinks they know exactly what they’re doing.

We are now going to have a trial that never had to happen for defendants who have no defense. And when defendants have no defense for their own actions, there is only one thing for their lawyers to do: put the government on trial in hopes of getting the jury (and the media) spun up over government errors, abuses and incompetence. That is what is going to happen in the trial of KSM et al. It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda’s case against America. Since that will be their “defense,” the defendants will demand every bit of information they can get about interrogations, renditions, secret prisons, undercover operations targeting Muslims and mosques, etc., and — depending on what judge catches the case — they are likely to be given a lot of it. The administration will be able to claim that the judge, not the administration, is responsible for the exposure of our defense secrets. And the circus will be played out for all to see — in the middle of the war. It will provide endless fodder for the transnational Left to press its case that actions taken in America’s defense are violations of international law that must be addressed by foreign courts. And the intelligence bounty will make our enemies more efficient at killing us.

Read the whole thing.

25 Aug 2009

AP: US Interrogators Got Only Two Weeks Training

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US Special Operations-trained Interrogation Caterpillar. These guys are fierce.

Pamela Hess and Matt Appuzzo, writing for some news agency, are trying to shocking a nation’s conscience.

With just two weeks of training, or about half the time it takes to become a truck driver, the CIA certified its spies as interrogation experts after 9/11 and handed them the keys to the most coercive tactics in the agency’s arsenal.

Can you imagine? Just because some Muslim terrorists killed a lousy 3000 Americans and produced some mere billions of dollars worth of physical destruction and economic disruption, the Bush Administration actually allowed people with only two weeks of federal training to slap terrorists, pour water on them, and (worst of all) to expose them to caterpillar attack.

Hat tip to Stephen Frankel.


Unlike the US, Al Qaeda provided appropriately thorough training. They even produced a manual.

11 Jun 2009

Fighting Terrorism Obama-Style

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As Stephen Hayes describes, first you make sure that US forces Mirandize captured enemy fighters.

When 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was captured on March 1, 2003, he was not cooperative. “I’ll talk to you guys after I get to New York and see my lawyer,” he said, according to former CIA Director George Tenet.

Of course, KSM did not get a lawyer until months later, after his interrogation was completed, and Tenet says that the information the CIA obtained from him disrupted plots and saved lives. “I believe none of these successes would have happened if we had had to treat KSM like a white-collar criminal — read him his Miranda rights and get him a lawyer who surely would have insisted that his client simply shut up,” Tenet wrote in his memoirs.

If Tenet is right, it’s a good thing KSM was captured before Barack Obama became president. For, the Obama Justice Department has quietly ordered FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high value detainees captured and held at U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan, according a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

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Then, you arrange $11.1 million a head retirement packages to the South Seas for your prisoners. Yes, 17 Uighurs into $200 million comes to $11.1 million semolians.

Fox News:

Palau says its decision to temporarily take the 17 Uighurs, or Chinese Muslims, being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison was a “humanitarian gesture.”

But the South Pacific island may have been motivated more by 200 million other reasons.

Two U.S. officials told the Associated Press that the U.S. was prepared to give Palau up to $200 million in return for accepting the Uighurs and as part of a mutual defense and cooperation treaty that is due to be renegotiated this year.

Figures on Palau’s federal budget weren’t immediately available, but if it is close to its size in 1999, when it was $71 million, the deal with the U.S. would in effect more than double the nation’s spending and make it the fastest growing economy in the world.

Frankly, I bet you could get very close to every terrorist simply to put down his AK-47 and retire for a considerably smaller one-time payment.

Of course, it’s hard to imagine a more effective recruiting promotional deal. I can see Achmed the al Qaeda recruiter delivering his spiel even now, “And if the soldiers of the great Shaitan capture you, they will only provide you with attorneys from Sherman & Sterling before funding your retirement to a life of leisure in a tropical paradise surrounded by beautiful maidens serving you Mai Tais. Inshallah!”

05 Jun 2009

House Intelligence Subcommittee Hearing Yesterday Confirms Enhanced Interrogation Saved Lives

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And, my, oh my, the democrats did not like that, and they don’t want you to hear about it.

The Hill reports on democrat efforts to stonewall and obfuscate.

In the bowels of the Capitol Visitor Center, members of the (House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations) gathered behind locked doors on Thursday morning to begin a series of hearings on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.

What began as a remarkably quiet and secretive hearing had, within a matter of hours, exploded into a political brawl over intelligence matters and national security.

Despite the weeks-long furor over how the Central Intelligence Agency came to use enhanced interrogation techniques, and what members of Congress were told about their development and implementation, the committee’s first hearing on the issue during the 111th Congress almost came and went without notice. The hearing was announced publicly but was not open to the public.

According to Republicans, that was by design.

“Democrats weren’t sure what they were going to get,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (Mich.), ranking Republican on the Intelligence panel, referring to information on the merits of enhanced interrogation techniques. “Now that they know what they’ve got, they don’t want to talk about it.”

The hearing was publicly described only as a subcommittee hearing on “Interrogations.” A committee spokeswoman would not comment on whether the development and use of controversial interrogation tactics were discussed.

But Republicans on the panel said that not only did the use of interrogation techniques come up Thursday, but that the data shared about those techniques proved they had led to valuable information that in some instances prevented terrorist attacks.

Hoekstra did not attend the hearing, but said he later spoke with Republicans on the subcommittee who did. He said he came away with even more proof that the enhanced interrogation techniques employed by the CIA proved effective.

“I think the people who were at the hearing, in my opinion, clearly indicated that the enhanced interrogation techniques worked,” Hoekstra said.

Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), a member of the subcommittee who attended the hearing, concurred with Hoekstra.

“The hearing did address the enhanced interrogation techniques that have been much in the news lately,” Kline said, noting that he was intentionally choosing his words carefully in observance of the committee rules and the nature of the information presented.

“Based on what I heard and the documents I have seen, I came away with a very clear impression that we did gather information that did disrupt terrorist plots,” Kline said.

Neither Hoekstra nor Kline revealed details about the specifics of what they were told Thursday or the identity of the briefers.

Democrats lambasted their Republican counterparts for discussing the information that was provided behind locked doors.

“I am absolutely shocked that members of the Intelligence committee who attended a closed-door hearing… then walked out that hearing – early, by the way – and characterized anything that happened in that hearing,” said Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). “My understanding is that’s a violation of the rules. It may be more than that.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) said, “Members on both sides need to watch what they say.”

Both Schakowsky and Reyes accused GOP members of playing politics with national security.

“I think they are playing a very dangerous game when it comes to the discussion of matters that were sensitive enough to be part of a closed hearing,” Schakowsky said.

Asked about the validity of Republican contentions that information shared in Thursday’s hearing showed the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques, Schakowsky said she could not comment on what was discussed at a closed hearing.

Reyes responded by saying he did not attend the entire hearing.

“I wasn’t at the whole hearing,” Reyes said. “As the chairman my view is we need to get the facts about how the enhanced interrogation techniques came about, not just the results.”

23 May 2009

President Above-It-All

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“In my long experience in Washington, few matters have inspired so much contrived indignation and phony moralizing as the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists.”

–Dick Cheney

Rich Lowry hits Obama’s nail right on the head.

Put Barack Obama in front of a Tele PrompTer and one thing is certain — he’ll make himself appear the most reasonable person in the room.

Rhetorically, he is in the middle of any debate, perpetually surrounded by finger-pointing extremists who can’t get over their reflexive combativeness and ideological fixations to acknowledge his surpassing thoughtfulness and grace. …

It’s natural, then, that his speech at the National Archives on national security should superficially sound soothing, reasonable and even a little put upon (oh, what President Obama has to endure from all those finger-pointing extremists).

But beneath its surface, the speech — given heavy play in the press as an implicit debate with former Vice President Dick Cheney, who spoke on the same topic at a different venue immediately afterward — revealed something else: a president who has great difficulty admitting error; who can’t discuss the position of his opponents without resorting to rank caricature, and who adopts an off-putting pose of above-it-all righteousness.

Read the whole thing.

20 May 2009

Hollywood’s Next Hit: Three Days of the Dodo Bird

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David Kahane, at National Review Online, finds fuel for the next box office blockbuster in some recent headline.

[W]e still can’t sell scripts about “Muslim terrorists,” but a celebrity death match between the Central Intelligence Agency and the person who stands second to the vice president in the line of succession to the White House should any, you know, unfortunate accident befall the leader of the free world, is right up our alley. Which is why I was first off the mark last week when Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi, the flower of Baltimore and the pride of San Francisco, accidentally pulled the pin on a live hand grenade in front of the fiercely independent Washington press corps and blew herself up.

She wasn’t trying to, of course. She was trying to explain to a bunch of less-than-enchanted media stenographers who would rather be covering Michelle Obama’s workout, or even Bo the dog’s breakfast, that the nasty, un-American CIA has deliberately “misled” her when discussing just precisely how they were going to insert bamboo shoots under the fingernails of a caterpillar that they would then waterboard and introduce into the cell of some totally innocent mujahedin caught up in the lawless Bush-Cheney dragnet during the hysteria that followed the inside job that was 9/11 and . . .

Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

In the other corner we have the Central Intelligence Agency, which we in Tinseltown have been depicting for years as just about the most malevolent organization in the world, outside of the Catholic Church, the Club for Growth, and the Cheney family. In movie after movie, the shadowy CIA guy always wound up as the villain in the last reel. So imagine our surprise when, during the Bushitler interregnum, we discovered that the CIA is on our side, and has been for decades! Screwed up the whole Shah of Iran thing and opened the way for the mullahs? Check! Consistently overrated and then failed to forecast the sudden disintegration of the Soviet Union? Check!! Never did quite figure out what Osama bin Laden was up to? Check!!!

To top it all off, along came super-top-secret agent/Vanity Fair babe Valerie Plame and her dashing, Graydon-Carter-tressed hubby, Joe Wilson, running a sting operation against the hapless Bush White House, whipsawing the president and the veep with Joe’s unprovoked New York Times tale of sipping mint tea with Colonel Kurtz up the Congo and all of sudden there’s shouting about the “sixteen words” in Chimpy’s State of the Union address and Valerie is outed by Cheney flunky Scooter Libby — okay, by Colin Powell flunky Dick Armitage, same thing — and then Judy Miller goes to jail and . . .

Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

[H]ere’s the script that just made me a cool $1.5 mil plus five monkey points plus two first-class tickets to the premiere: Three Days of the Dodo Bird.

We open in Abu Ghraib prison, post-“Mission Accomplished,” where a SHADOWY CIA AGENT gets the bright idea to strike fear into the hearts of America’s “enemies” by photographing completely innocent prisoners in outrageous situations (piled naked on top of each other, led around on a dog leash by a woman, forced to wear panties on their heads) calculated to offend and inflame the sensibilities of the Religion of Peace. Now, you and I both know that these kinds of things happen every week at the right Hollywood parties, and they’re tons of fun, but for some weird cultural reason the photos are deemed offensive, the super-top-secret psy-war campaign winds up on the front page of the Times every day for a year, and the Shi’ites hit the fan.

Read the whole thing.

20 May 2009

Pelosi Shot Herself in the Foot

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Noemie Emery, at the SF Chronicle, thinks the way Nancy Pelosi’s pious grandstanding over enhanced interrogation techniques backfired on her was pretty funny.

It was always quite clear that liberals’ efforts to wreak vengeance on President George W. Bush for his (successful) terror-war strategy would hurt Democrats more than it hurt him, but who ever dreamed it would become quite so funny this fast?

Minutes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave her news conference on the subject of “torture,” she, and not Bush, was the issue and story; she was at war with the CIA and Director Leon Panetta; she was at war with House Whip Steney Hoyer, who wants to succeed her; and she had become a huge problem for President Barack Obama — or as he might say, a “distraction” — who had trouble enough trying to reconcile his rhetoric with the demands of his office, and his responsibilities to protect the country with the addled demands of his frenetic admirers. Not bad for a 25-minute presser. And this was just the first day.

This knowledge that the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate had known of and approved at last tacitly the “harsh” techniques sanctioned by the Bush administration in the grim days after 9/11 was the more explosive on the heels of the news that many Bush-era tactics — detainment, rendition, Club Gitmo — were being endorsed by their president.

The problem is that like the CIA, the entire government is now in the hands of the Democrats, who now have the job of protecting the country, not under past conditions, not under conditions they like to imagine, but conditions that really exist. The conditions that exist are those in which small groups of people, undeterred by threats or the prospect of dying, are able to inflict immense harm.

Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack, but it took place thousands of miles from the mainland and was an assault on the Armed Forces. The 9/11 attacks were an assault on the mainland, on unarmed civilians who were going to work. In conditions like this, nice people from Chicago and Texas, who find themselves charged with protecting the lives of 300 million, may find themselves employing “enhanced information techniques” seldom used in the days of orthodox warfare.

This may cost them the good will of the chattering classes of the East and West coasts and most cities in Europe, but, as Scrappleface puts it, “crashing hijacked planes into buildings full of noncombatant civilians is one of several ‘enhanced immolation techniques’ forbidden under U.S. and international law.”

Trying to square their need to trash Bush for his successful deterrence agenda with their need to escape blame if harm comes if his acts are reversed by their people, liberals react with the perfect lucidity that has long been their main trait. Eugene Robinson insists that because it can’t be proved beyond doubt that any technique used by the Bush administration stopped any specific attack from occurring, it proves beyond doubt that none did.

Read the whole thing.

17 May 2009

“Nothing to Do with You, Spooks. I’m Only Bashing Bush.”

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Stung by CIA rebuttals, Nancy Pelosi did her best to forstall more damage to herself by trying to assure CIA officers that they were not her targets. She was only continuing the left’s vendetta against George W. Bush and officials of his administration.

So ease up, fellows. The Speaker is signaling that you’re safe and she is not sincere. It’s just politics.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has backed down slightly in her fight with the CIA, saying that she really meant only to criticize the Bush administration rather than career officials.

“My criticism of the manner in which the Bush Administration did not appropriately inform Congress is separate from my respect for those in the intelligence community who work to keep our country safe,” Pelosi said in a statement.

16 May 2009

Panetta Defends Agency; Speaker Under Fire

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The Hill:

CIA Director Leon Panetta challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s accusations that the agency lied to her, writing a memo to his agents saying she received nothing but the truth.

Panetta said that “ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.”

Pelosi (D-Calif.) infuriated Republicans this week when she said in a news conference that she was “misled” by CIA officials during a briefing in 2002 about whether the U.S. was waterboarding alleged terrorist detainees.

Panetta, President Obama’s pick to run the clandestine agency and President Clinton’s former chief of staff, wrote in a memo to CIA employees Friday that “CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing ‘the enhanced techniques that had been employed,'” according to CIA records.

“We are an agency of high integrity, professionalism and dedication,” Panetta said in the memo. “Our task is to tell it like it is — even if that’s not what people always want to hear. Keep it up. Our national security depends on it.”

In the pep talk-style memo titled “Turning Down the Volume,” Panetta encourages CIA employees to return to their normal business and not to be distracted by the shout-fest Pelosi’s remarks created.

“My advice — indeed, my direction — to you is straightforward: Ignore the noise and stay focused on your mission,” Panetta wrote. “We have too much work to do to be distracted from our job of protecting this country.”

In what may be the most critical moment of her speakership, Pelosi is under fire about what she knew of the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the Bush administration and when she knew it.

At the same news conference where she accused the CIA of misleading her on the topic, Pelosi acknowledged for the first time that she knew in 2003 that terrorism suspects were waterboarded. She said she learned that from an aide who sat in on a briefing in February 2003.

For weeks, Pelosi had dodged questions about what she knew about waterboarding and when she knew it. Republicans have called her a hypocrite for criticizing techniques as “torture” when she tacitly agreed to the practices after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. At least one lawmaker — Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) — called on Pelosi Friday to step down as Speaker.

16 May 2009

Nancy Pelosi, War Criminal

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Mark Steyn relishes the inconsistencies of the way democrats treat holding certain particular controversial positions differently depending on who it is that is holding them.

Question: What does Dick Cheney think of waterboarding?

He’s in favor of it. He was in favor of it then, he’s in favor of it now. He doesn’t think it’s torture, and he supports having it on the books as a vital option. On his recent TV appearances, he sometimes gives the impression he would not be entirely averse to performing a demonstration on his interviewers, but generally he believes its use should be a tad more circumscribed. He is entirely consistent.

Question: What does Nancy Pelosi think of waterboarding?

No, I mean really. Away from the cameras, away from the Capitol, in the deepest recesses of her (if she’ll forgive my naivete) soul. Sitting on a mountaintop, contemplating the distant horizon, chewing thoughtfully on a cranberry-almond granola bar, what does she truly believe about waterboarding?

Does she support it? Well, according to the CIA, she did way back when, over six years ago.

Does she oppose it? According to Speaker Pelosi, yes. In her varying accounts, she’s (a) accused the CIA of consciously “misleading the Congress of the United States” as to what they were doing; (b) admitted to having been briefed that waterboarding was in the playbook but that “we were not — I repeat — were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used”; (c) belatedly conceded that she’d known back in February 2003 that waterboarding was being used but had been apprised of the fact by “a member of my staff.” As she said on Thursday, instead of doing anything about it, she decided to focus on getting more Democrats elected to the House.

It’s worth noting that, by most if not all of her multiple accounts, Nancy Pelosi is as guilty of torture as anybody else. That’s not an airy rhetorical flourish but a statement of law. As National Review’s Andy McCarthy points out, under Section 2340A(c) of the relevant statute, a person who conspires to torture is subject to the same penalties as the actual torturer. Once Speaker Pelosi was informed that waterboarding was part of the plan and that it was actually being used, she was in on the conspiracy, and as up to her neck in it as whoever it was who was actually sticking it to poor old Abu Zubaydah and the other blameless lads.

That is, if you believe waterboarding is “torture.”

I don’t believe it’s torture. Nor does Dick Cheney. But Nancy Pelosi does. Or so she has said, latterly.

Alarmed by her erratic public performance, the speaker’s fellow San Francisco Democrat Dianne Feinstein attempted to put an end to Nancy’s self-torture session. “I don’t want to make an apology for anybody,” said Senator Feinstein, “but in 2002, it wasn’t 2006, ’07, ’08, or ’09. It was right after 9/11, and there were in fact discussions about a second wave of attacks.”

Indeed. In effect, the senator is saying waterboarding was acceptable in 2002, but not by 2009. The waterboarding didn’t change, but the country did. It was no longer America’s war but Bush’s war. And it was no longer a bipartisan interrogation technique that enjoyed the explicit approval of both parties’ leaderships, but a grubby Bush-Cheney-Rummy war crime.

Dianne Feinstein has provided the least worst explanation for her colleague’s behavior. The alternative — that Speaker Pelosi is a contemptible opportunist hack playing the cheapest but most destructive kind of politics with key elements of national security — is, of course, unthinkable. Senator Feinstein says airily that no reasonable person would hold dear Nancy to account for what she supported all those years ago. But it’s okay to hold Cheney or some no-name Justice Department backroom boy to account?

Well, sure. It’s the Miss USA standard of political integrity: Carrie Prejean and Barack Obama have the same publicly stated views on gay marriage. But the politically correct enforcers know that Barack doesn’t mean it, so that’s okay, whereas Carrie does, so that’s a hate crime. In the torture debate, Pelosi is Obama and Dick Cheney is Carrie Prejean. Dick means it, because to him this is an issue of national security. Nancy doesn’t, because to her it’s about the shifting breezes of political viability.

But it does make you wonder whether a superpower with this kind of leadership class should really be going to war at all.

15 May 2009

A Debate Which Should Never Have Occurred

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Morning rejoinder on enhanced interrogation to an email list:

The contemporary intelligentsia, existing in a historical void and devoted to extravagant and conspicuous moral posturing, obviously will not countenance any (publicly-debated) form of coercive interrogation. The real answer is not to involve countless numbers of spoiled, pampered haute bourgeois Americans in these kinds of life and death decisions.

It is not America’s old lady cat lovers, her pansy leftwing bloggers, her Ethical Culture Society members, or her nice idealistic young coeds who have the knowledge, perspective, experience, and fortitude required to decide what is necessary to protect the lives of American civilians from terrorist plots and American soldiers in the field from primitive bloodthirsty fanatics. These kinds of decisions should be made in secret by the necessary rough men willing and able to do what needs to be done to allow the ethically concerned at home to sleep safe in their beds.

The great torture debate is just an anti-Bush Administration propaganda campaign which has successfully set off a grand series of echoes in the empty heads of our chattering classes. There has always been coercive interrogation. There will always be coercive interrogation when lives and the outcome of wars is at stake.

Sympathy for the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who sawed off Daniel Pearl’s head with a dull knife and who played a principal planning role in the 9/11 attacks which very cruelly killed more than 3000 innocent American civilians, is absurd. He is a foreign enemy, an unlawful combatant, a systematic violator of every form of law and all the rules and customs of war, and a mass murderer. There is something seriously wrong with the moral outlook of people who have a problem with slapping him in the face, pouring water on his head, or frightening him into divulging information on his schemes and accomplices necessary to prevent further mass attacks.

Happily, now that the Obama Administration has eliminated any form of “enhanced” interrogation, we can console ourselves that the result will be no terrorist prisoners being taken, since they will have no value as information sources. And the philosopher can reflect that, if the result of our new, more edifying intelligence policies proves to be renewed successful attacks on US urban centers, well, those are the locations filled with sanctimonious democrat voters, aren’t they?

15 May 2009

Pelosi Escalates War With CIA

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The Washington Post provides sideline commentary on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s surprising decision to reiterate her claims that the CIA did not brief her on enhanced interrogation techniques, climbing further out on her own personal limb and handing irritated spooks in Langley a saw.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s extraordinary accusation that the Bush administration lied to Congress about the use of harsh interrogation techniques dramatically raised the stakes in the growing debate over the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies even as it raised some questions about the speaker’s credibility.

Pelosi’s performance in the Capitol was either a calculated escalation of a long-running feud with the Bush administration or a reckless act by a politician whose word had been called into question. Perhaps it was both.

For the first time, Pelosi (D-Calif.) acknowledged that in 2003 she was informed by an aide that the CIA had told others in Congress that officials had used waterboarding during interrogations. But she insisted, contrary to CIA accounts, that she was not told about waterboarding during a September 2002 briefing by agency officials. Asked whether she was accusing the CIA of lying, she replied, “Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States.”

Washington now is engaged in a battle royal of finger-pointing, second-guessing and self-defense, all over techniques President Obama banned in the first days of his administration. Both sides in this debate believe they have something to prove — and gain — by keeping the fight alive.

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The much more conservative Washington Times essentially invites the CIA to leak some more and saw off the Speaker’s limb.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew a line in the sand at her news conference yesterday. In her bluntest language yet, she said she was never briefed about detainee waterboarding and accused the CIA of misleading Congress. Time will tell who is misleading whom.

Mrs. Pelosi’s carefully worded prepared statement admitted that in September 2002 the CIA briefed her on “some enhanced interrogation techniques,” known in some quarters as torture. She did not specify whether the briefers said the techniques were being used but noted that only waterboarding was singled out as not being used.

This new take is interesting. On the Feb. 25 “Rachel Maddow Show,” Mrs. Pelosi stated, “I can say, flat out, they never told us that these enhancement interrogations were being used … . They did not brief us with these enhanced interrogations that were taking place. They did not brief us.” Although this seems to contradict her current version of events, there is enough ambiguity in yesterday’s statement to leave the question open. Perhaps that was the speaker’s intention.

The confusion, she says, is the CIA’s fault. “The CIA was misleading the Congress,” she declared. However, one member of the intelligence community told The Washington Times that Mrs. Pelosi was “playing with fire.” The CIA will have saved documents that prove the case either way. “They know better after Iraq,” our source said. “They’re smarter than that now. All that stuff is saved. Nobody’s stupid.”

Mrs. Pelosi’s shifting story line is disturbing. She has accused the CIA of misleading Congress, but her full public record of statements on this issue seems misleading at best. She states that she “takes very seriously” her oath not to release classified information, but as we editorialized April 28, the cloak of government secrecy exists to protect agents who defend the United States, not to shield members of Congress from public inquiries about their records.

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