Yeah, I'm pissed at the cowards in Congress, too, and with the lack of backbone in the Democratic leadership. I'm pissed about both of those situations today and not just on the topic of torture.
A) Less than Bush and Cheney, who made contempt for the rule of law the centerpiece of their administration.
B) Long after Bush and Cheney went forward with their plans to make torture the new normal.
The trouble is that the hoopla over Pelosi is doing the Republican's dirty work for them by implying that she has some responsibility for the policy of torture, rather than her true responsibility, which was reviewing, comprehending, and opposing such policy.
The crime lies first and foremost with the people responsible for authorizing the use of torture. Once they have been made to answer for their original crimes against humanity and the nation, then we can get around to the pissant Congress critters who may or may not have been informed fully and unequivocally about the use of torture.
And on the question of who knew what ands when, Alegre links to an NPR article on Sen. Bob Graham where he flatly rejects the CIA's claim to have informed Speaker Pelosi on waterboarding:
Graham says the CIA was initially reticent when he told the agency what he had found in his notes.
"They said, 'We will check and call back,'" Graham recalled. "When they finally did a few days later, they indicated that I was correct. Their information was in error. There was no briefing on the first three of four dates."
Graham says the agency offered no explanation regarding how it came up with the other dates.
The Sept. 27, 2002, briefing occurred about three weeks after the briefing in which the CIA says it told Pelosi about the use of waterboarding, a technique also described as simulated drowning. Graham, like Pelosi, says waterboarding was not mentioned during his briefing.
"There was no discussion of waterboarding, other excessive techniques or that they had applied these against any particular detainees," he says.
Pelosi has charged that she was misled by the CIA. Graham puts it another way.
"Nothing that I can recall being said surprised me or has subsequently proven to be incorrect," he says. "It was a matter of omission, not commission."
Graham says he is not surprised at the CIA's claims, noting that within a week of its Sept. 27 briefing, the agency presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee its National Intelligence Estimate of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which was later shown to be flawed.
"I'm not impressed with the credibility of the CIA as it was being led in 2002," Graham says. "I think it had become an agency that instead of following the admonition to speak truth to power, it was trying to speak what it thought power wanted to hear."
Pelosi's claim of being misled at the time may not be formally correct, but the CIA has now been caught in an outright lie about what meetings it held and what topics it covered.
The proper paraphrase of Howard Baker is:
What did the Bush/Cheney administration order done and what steps have they taken to cover up their crimes?
PS - Sarah on Corrente is also channeling Howard Baker - Defending Nancy Pelosi