IS IT REALLY THAT HARD TO BELIEVE?…. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently raised quite a few eyebrows today when she argued that CIA officials misled congressional leaders on interrogation techniques during Bush’s first term. Specifically, she said the briefings included “inaccurate and incomplete information.”
The usual suspects quickly lined up to express their outrage.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said today that he “totally disagrees” with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) assertion that the CIA regularly misleads Congress.
“No, on that specific point I totally disagree,” Lieberman told MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell. “Over the 20 years I’ve been here, I’ve been briefed constantly by the CIA, and I’d say they’ve told me the truth as they see it.”
Republican lawmakers were, not surprisingly, far harsher in their rhetoric. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), for example, exclaimed, “It’s outrageous that a member of Congress would call our terror-fighters liars.”
I realize Republicans see some value in trying to exploit this for partisan gain, but is what Pelosi said really all that hard to believe? I don’t want to alarm anyone, but once in a while, the CIA is less than forthcoming with those who might try to limit their activities. This is especially true when the agency is engaged in conduct that might not be legal.
Let’s also note the context. It was 2002 and 2003. The Bush administration was not only lying about Iraq, but administration officials had already begun committing acts of torture. It’s outrageous to think that maybe, just maybe, the same Bush administration might not tell members of Congress the whole truth? C’mon.
John Boehner said today he finds it “hard…to imagine that our intelligence area would ever mislead a member of Congress.” This, of course, is the same John Boehner who, as recently as 2007, said that he didn’t trust U.S. intelligence agencies that gave him news he didn’t want to hear.
The phrase of the day is “feigned outrage.”