Saturday, May 16, 2009

Water-boarding, the CIA, and the Speaker of the House

Will Nancy Pelosi ever conquer the legacy left by the Bush administration? It appears that the trap set by the previous administration is pressing to entrap Pelosi with her own words. GOP leaders are saying that Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding and should have raised a red flag against then President Bush and the CIA’s usage of the practice as a means of gaining information from prisoners taken in the Afghan and Iraqi wars. The CIA is stating that Pelosi was briefed and that they have the documents to prove it. If this gets anymore preposterous surely elephants will fly, but I must warn you though… if elephants start flying the chances of being covered in dung greatly increases for all.

Of course, you and I should know better than to believe anything when it comes to political attacks made by one party against a member of the opposition party. These things are done constantly and have no merit, but it appears that the accusations that Pelosi knew that the CIA was conducting some form of torture in the interrogation of its prisoners has forced her into the spotlight as the person response for these acts. In other words, Pelosi is the one ultimately responsible for any violations against the Geneva Convention Treaties that may or may not have been committed by the Bush administration and the CIA.

The national media has latched onto this train of thought as if God, himself, bespoke the words that Pelosi is responsible. The Media has questioned nothing, repeated everything said by the GOP and its pundits, and legitimized hearsay as if it were the gospel truth. Nothing printed or televised by the Media has been scrutinized for validity by MTP, Face the Nation, and a number of other commentators once thought to be at the top of their game. Nora O’Donnell of MSNBC’s daily newscast interviewed personality after personality on Friday, May sixteenth of this year with the objective of reaching a consensus that Pelosi was totally at fault for the current situation. O’Donnell even played a selected potion of an interview with Senator Graham wherein he discusses his notes on those briefings that excluded the Senator’s explanation that he had not been briefed on the same materials that the CIA states were given to Pelosi.

Here is the full interview with Senator Graham on the Rachel Maddow…

What the GOP and Dick Cheney have done in their attempts to include Pelosi in the mix has begun to backfire… instead of making Congress back away from investigating the use of torture, they have added fuel to the argument that a full investigation is in order. Those who will be in deep dark gimpshee when the investigation is authorized… the CIA, for using waterboarding prior to notifying Congress that they were doing so; Cheney, for authorizing the waterboarding of 9/11 suspect Khalid Sheik Mohammed, and President Bush for being at the helm…

The GOP has taken the position that the CIA could never lie to Congress, but maybe it is not lying; maybe it is simply a misunderstanding by the CIA as to what it told whom when. It would be better if all concerned would bring their records to the table and settle a private matter behind closed doors. CIA Director Panetta appears to be taking the word of his subordinates as fact in a situation that is about to backfire on all but Pelosi.

On another note - Charles Krauthammer’s Washington Post commentary, The Torture Debate, Continued, on the use of waterboarding as a justifiable means for interrogating prisoners believed to be in possession of ‘critical – need to know’ is yet another attempt by the right to deflect the real reasons that waterboarding was used… a strong need to justify a war that should never have occurred coupled with an intense desire not to go to jail for failing to keep Congress informed while violating the Geneva Convention’s statures on torture!

In a democracy, silence is not golden; it is condonance in the face of injustices; it is fear, where the thought of reprisal fosters control.

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