Nancy Pelosi’s already-threadbare denial that she was briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding is now completely tattered. Last week, her hair-splitting denial (claiming that she was told only of the possibility of future use of EITs, not past use) was proven false by CIA memos. Then, she revised her denial to say that she was never told about the use of waterboarding specifically.
That was never very plausible, since the CIA memos said the briefing included “a description of particular EITs that had been employed,” and therefore must have included waterboarding. But this point was still not conclusively resolved since the memo did not actually list the EITs that were discussed.
A source close to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now confirms that Pelosi was told in February 2003 by her intelligence aide, Michael Sheehy, that waterboarding was actually used on CIA detainee Abu Zubaydah.
This appears to contradict Pelosi’s account that she was never told waterboarding actually happened, only that the administration was considering using it.
Sheehy attended a briefing in which waterboarding was discussed in February 2003, with Rep. Jane Harman, D-California, who took over Pelosi’s spot as the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
The latest version of Pelosi’s denial is that she was never briefed personally about waterboarding:
This source says Pelosi didn’t object when she learned that waterboarding was being used because she had not been personally briefed about it — only her aide had been told.
As noted above, this is almost certainly untrue. Also, even if it is true, her previous denials were still lies. Her earlier denial of “we were not, I repeat, we were not told” contained none of the current provisos.
More to the point, it’s pathetic. You have to be told personally to take action? No, she knew what has happening and did nothing.
UPDATE: The long chain of updates regarding Pelosi’s bizarre allegation that the CIA lied to her was getting unwieldy, so I lifted it out to a separate post.