May 15th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Do you believe Nancy Pelosi or CIA on waterboarding?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Nancy Pelosi seems to have a new story every day when it comes to the debate over torture. In fact, more focus is now on Pelosi than on the Bush administration, which authorized the use of waterboarding in the first place.

Cafferty: House Speaker Pelosi's story keeps changing regarding what she knew about so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

The Speaker of the House is now claiming that the CIA misled her during a September 2002 briefing by telling her waterboarding hadn't been used yet on detainees. She says the CIA briefers gave her inaccurate and incomplete information when asked if they lied to her - Pelosi nodded her head 'yes'.

That's a pretty serious accusation. The CIA says: "It is not the policy of this agency to mislead the United States Congress." A former senior intelligence official says it's inconceivable that the CIA would not have talked about interrogation methods already being used.

Republicans insist that Pelosi and other Democrats knew waterboarding was being used all along, but said nothing. House Minority Leader John Boehner says Pelosi's comments "continue to raise more questions than provide answers." Rep. Peter Hoekstra calls Pelosi's account: "Version 5.0 from Nancy on what happened" in that 2002 meeting.

Meanwhile Pelosi finally admitted she learned waterboarding was being used in 2003, but says she wasn't personally briefed on it at the time.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to waterboarding, whom do you believe: Nancy Pelosi or the CIA?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

John from Virginia writes:
We see a stuttering, stammering Speaker whose story keeps changing vs. an organization dedicated to pursuing terrorists and keeping our nation safe that has been clear and consistent in its story. The simplest explanation is that Speaker Pelosi failed to disclose that she had been briefed that these techniques were being used as early as 2002 and assumed no one would call her on it. To believe otherwise is to purport a massive conspiracy in the entire CIA.

Martha from Alabama writes:
I believe Pelosi. Let's look at the ramifications: Pelosi is from a liberal district and won't have any problems getting re-elected. Even if she knew about it, by law she couldn't do anything about it except write a letter which would be ignored by the Bush admin. Those at the CIA, however, can and should be prosecuted for torture and war crimes.

Gordon from Albuquerque, New Mexico writes:
Quote: "Meanwhile Pelosi finally admitted she learned waterboarding was being used in 2003." She knew about the waterboarding at the very beginning of the Iraq war. And for six years she kept silent.

Joe writes:
Jack, You have to look at both parties involved and see which one changes their story. The CIA has not changed in the slightest, but Pelosi's story changes as time goes on and more facts come out. So, my answer is Pelosi is lying like a rug.

Star from Auburn, Ohio writes:
What the hell? We are on a witch hunt using Nancy Pelosi as the scapegoat for waterboarding when the commander-in-chief was the one ordering it. Have we lost our minds? Why is she the criminal in this case when it was Bush and Cheney who authorized the torture of these people?

Doreen writes:
Ms. Pelosi is the Democrats’ worst nightmare. They need to get her out of there before she brings down the whole Obama administration. I would not believe her if she said the sky was blue.

Filed under: CIA • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Kevin

    I am so sorry to see that people are only interested in the shadow rather the substance, In politics, it does not matter who say the truth, but he or she who could convince people more.In a situation like this who do we believe?

    May 15, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  2. Sean

    Of course Mrs. Pelosi is the one lying. She is the one who has everything to lose. What could the CIA possibly have gained by lying to her? Why would the CIA even need to lie to her? They are the CIA, they can do what they want with or without her permission. So based on her story, the CIA lied to her, but then told junior members of Congress the truth just a few months later? Then she decided not to investigate further until years later? Yea that sounds logical.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  3. Jerry A - Toronto, Ontario

    I would tend to believe the CIA whom I’m sure have a few skeletons in their closet, but Pelosi is a politician, and politicians pretty much lie about anything and everything to stay or get elected.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  4. leon Baltimore Md

    I don't know jack. I want to believe her but i just don't know. however, it seems that the GOP will do any and everything to get the monkey off their back by blaming Pelosi.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  5. Thomas Ferguson

    What difference dies it make? The Republicans controlled Congress at the time, they controlled the Executive, and their Administration was administering the torture. As a member of the "Gang of Four," Pelosi was forbidden under threat of prosecution to share anything she was told by the Administration with other members of the House Intelligence Committee, the rest of the Congress, or her staff. For all the effect that this sham of Congressional "consultation" has, the Administration might as well have briefed the janitors on the Hill. This whole controversy is a red herring, eagerly pursued by an eternally naive and gullible press. For the record, I believe Nancy Pelosi about CIA honesty - as a former member of the Intelligence Community, I know how frugal with the truth the CIA often is with Congress.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  6. anderson n carolina

    Jack: Who destroyed the interagation tapes? Enough said!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  7. Jim from Chicago

    Jack, this is nothing but a CYA smokescreen from the right wing. Dick Cheney and his henchmen got caught with their hands in the cookie jar and now want to deflect attention away from themselves. Even if Pelosi and the other senators knew, they were bound by their secrecy oaths to keep quiet. Their objections fell on deaf ears. Congress has no power to direct the Armed Forces, only the Executive Branch does.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  8. Arnold

    Arnold from Los Angeles, CA writes:

    Speaking as a man who votes Democrat, I have always been creeped out by this woman. Pelosi comes across as self-serving and disingenuous, and her ghoulishly fake and forced grin only seems to punctuate that. I believe she has and will continue to do whatever it takes to stay in power, which includes blatantly lying to her colleagues in the House and the American people. Say what you will about the CIA, but I'd trust them infinitely more than I would Nancy P.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  9. Mike in Fairfax

    I could write a nice, well-thought-out response to this and try to get on tv, but I won't. I believe the CIA. She's a politician, right?

    May 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  10. JoAnn Scott

    I believe the cia Nancy Pelosi knows she is lying she should just tell the truth Bring out the truth commission and find out the truth and then again why would the cia lie to the american people she really look stupid

    May 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  11. Jeff Softley

    We all know what happened:

    Bush-Cheney and their neocon directors manufactured a justification for the Iraq war by creating the fake Niger "yellowcake" document and instituting a torture policy to gain "confessions" of a link between Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and the 9/11 attacks that never existed and has been irrefutably debunked. The FBI distanced itself immediately from waterboarding and other torture and the CIA went along with it at the direction of the Bush-Cheney White House which manufactured legal justifications for it.

    What Pelosi knew and when she knew it is calculated distraction by a collapsing Republican Party to distract and divert attention away from the growing movement for a Truth Commission that will send people, and hopefully John Yoo and Cheney, to prison.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  12. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The CIA has been very open and detailed about all aspects of the waterboarding interrogations, including the briefings they gave to Nancy Pelosi and the others; they also have no reason to lie or shade the truth. If House Speaker Pinocchio had been telling the truth, she would have gotten it right the first time without a need for multiple versions. The next revelation might be how her loyal administrative assistant accidentally deleted 18 minutes of her emails from 2002.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  13. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    Neither, Nancy Pelosi has never been believable and the CIA lost all respect over their lies on Iraq. What more can I say.

    Two Rivers, Wisconsin

    May 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  14. Barbara NY

    Why are you guys so afraid of Nancy Pelosi? This woman has been beat up since she became Speaker. It doesn't matter if she knew or not. Cheney's office made the decision to torture. If she did speak up Cheney's response would have been "so what". It's really pathetic that all these men need to hide behind a women's skirt.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  15. Jerry

    Easy. Nancy Pelosi looked so guilty-as-sin during her press briefing yesterday that she obviously doesn't believe herself. Why should anybody else? To fall back on the tired old "Bush lied, people died" mantra, substituting CIA for Bush, is just completely unbelievable.
    The pathetic thing is she could have done the straightforward thing: admit she knew and even supported it in 2002, in the period right after 9/11, with the perceived threat of further imminent attack on the nation; but, having reconsidered in the intervening years, she now believes the enhanced interrrogation methods were wrong and we should have never done them to any terror suspects.
    But to do so would force her to drop the witch hunt that she and other Democrats have pursued against the Bush administration. After all, one can't damn one person for acts that one supported while they were being perpetrated.
    I don't know anything about the CIA Congressional briefing process, but I sincerely hope there are indeed transcripts and that they be released, as Ms. Pelosi has requested. I can't wait to see her presser the morning after that!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  16. Wanda

    She's a liar. I do not now nor will I ever believe ONE WORD that comes out of her mouth. Her and Harry Reid (Dingy Harry) both are willing to lie right to our faces while looking us straight in the eye... If it is a Democrat and its lips are moving - it is lying.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  17. Teresa Valenti

    Dear Jack,
    I don't think anything that comes out of that woman's mouth is the truth. I have always been a Democrat, but if she were running for office here, I would have to become Republican. I don't think the CIA is truthful either but if I had to guess I would believe CIA over her.
    Teresa V. from Ishpeming Mi

    May 15, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  18. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: I believe Nancy Pelosi. Notice how all the attention is on Nancy Pelosi, not on the the Bush administration. Again, the GOP is doing a miniminly effective job in throwing smoke. History will report that the Bush Whitehouse condoned the use of torture. The history books won't care about who knew what, when.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    Jack, the CIA is a covert organization that lives on lies and deception. Congress has proven in the past that it is an openly covert organization that lives on lies and deception . Both have thrived on them in the past. I see no reason to think either has changed it’s ways. I believe she lied and they lied.

    Republicans will always find fault with Democrats and Democrats will with Republicans and I will continue to find fault with both.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  20. Thom Richer

    I believe everyone in Washington knew of "waterboarding," along with every other form of interrogation, were being used on suspected terrorists from day one. By the remaining Congress allowing Pelosi to be singled out by right wing radicals and media without admission of their knowledge and candidness, just confirms the lack of honesty and integrity lacking in them and the White House. Furthermore, Pelosi and Reid are no longer helpful to Congress, the White House, Democrats or the American people. Both should render their resignations or be asked to leave by the president.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    May 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  21. Lisa B in FL

    Jack, I don't think the wording of this question is quite accurate. It should not be whether you believe Pelosi or the CIA on the timing of congress' knowledge of waterboarding. It should be whether you believe Pelosi or the lying Bush administration/Republicans. Because whether Pelosi or any other member of Congress was told what and when is completely irrelevant. Tortue is wrong and illegal and if they tortured to get the information "they" were seeking, i.e., linking Al Qaeda and Iraq with 9/11, we (the U.S.A.) absolutely must seek the truth and prosecute those who were involved in these war crimes.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  22. Krystal

    Please, the CIA has lied through out History–do we not remember the faulty info they gave for going into IRaq. Not a Pelosi fan though.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  23. Charlie in Bremerton Wa

    Never believe anything from everybody, Jack.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  24. Gary Beckerman

    As with most issues the "truth" often lies somewhere in between. The Republicans anxious to take the heat off of them for condoning and standing behind the decison to torture during the Bush years is looking for cover and trying to make the case that the Democrats knew the full extent of the torture and kept quiet. On the other hand, I believe Pelosi did know some of the details but certainly not all of them and probably felt powerless to change the debate or course of events. Political capital must be spent very carefully so choosing one's battles becomes an important consideration. Could she have fought this battle? Yes, but at what cost? And would it have changed the outcome?

    As for the CIA, it is hard to determine the extent to which they fully disclosed their operations. They are a clandestine organization that has always been weary of Congress and like to operate under the radar.

    I say let's welcome a "bi-partisan" commission to investigate the allegations on both sides. I suspect that if one were conducted it would show that Cheney promoted the program to get his cherry-picked intelligence to authorize the war in Iraq and justify his belief that Iraq and 9/11 were connected. It would also expose Gingrinch for the hypocritical fraud that he is. So in the words of "W", I say let's bring it on!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  25. Adam, Pasadena

    I can't believe I'd ever say this, but I believe the CIA on this one. It just seems ridiculous that such a high-ranking member of Congress could possibly be left out of the loop on this one. Regardless, someone is lying, and if it's Pelosi she can kiss her role as Speaker goodbye. If it's the CIA, it's business as usual.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  26. Steve

    Who Cares what then Congresswoman, now Speaker Pelosi knew and when. The issue at hand is that this country deemed it illegal to use these tactics and the Bush administration deliberately sought ways to get around the law and subsequently wrote flawed legal opinions to justify the use of torture. Lets not get wrapped around the axle with this distraction of when someone found out about this violation of the law. Lets focus on and investigate the violation itself!!!

    Clifton, VA

    May 15, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  27. Rita in Mississippi

    I believe Nancy

    May 15, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  28. Robert

    Jack, their government officials. So to answer your question, neither.


    May 15, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  29. frank

    I believe Nancy Pelosi. Bush and his buddies lied to start this war in Iraq and used manipulation to convince others to believe in their lies.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  30. Mike of Hot Springs.

    Pelosi should just shut up and tell the Republicans to go bury their head in the sand. They are making a lot out of nothing when it was the Bush Admin. that created the problem by breaking the law. Bush, Cheney and their whole crew should just be charged with criminal activity and let the courts decide. If they need a prosecutor I am available even though I have been retired for 15 years. I could get my tired old body to enthusiastically engage in that activity.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  31. Steve from California

    I believe that Pelosi is telling the truth, If she doesn't remember, then she doesn't remember. If the republicans succeed in taking her down, then President Bush should also be indicted for his war crimes.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  32. Dan - Eustis, florida

    Neither, it just shows how adept the Republicans are at shifting the emphasis. The bottom line is Torture was implemented by President
    George W Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney end of story. Until
    those two are addressed it just doesn't matter about the bit players.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  33. Jesse

    Jack, The problem is that politicians can't admit when they make a mistake. Nancy Pelosi's problem is she went one step further and claimed the CIA lied, bringing even more attention to herself and the issue. She should of come clean at the beginning. It's never the crime, but always the cover-up that will do people in.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  34. keesa

    yes jack nancy knew about waterboarding an this is coming from a democrat an i think she should stop lying about she was mislead,but im a libral in thats not gonna make me dislike nancy,because remember it came out bush own mouth that we wasnt waterboarding an he said that on national t.v so whats worst and it was the bush administration who came up with those policies. the republican party must think people stupid like america forgot the last 8yrs.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  35. R, H,

    I wouldn't believe the CIA if they told me the sky was blue!. Uh-oh...they're probably going to be watching ME now!.

    R.H. Runnels
    Pauls Valley, OK

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  36. Carol

    Ms Pelosi lied about her own religion........why would she tell the truth about anything else?

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  37. Kate

    Do believe the CIA,,,but personally, also do not care what had to be done to avoid another 9/11 & deaths of thousands of more AMERICAN citizens. GOD BLESS THE CIA!!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  38. Dennis Kriz

    Personally, I don't care what Pelosi "knew" or did not "know" about Bush-Cheney era war crimes and human rights violations. The Bush Administration was in charge and ANY OPPONENT at the time would have tarred as "a friend of terrorists who put the nation in danger."

    I've sat in plenty of meetings during my lifetime when I've known that my job depended on being careful in my choice of words of opposition. And at times, yes, I've kept my mouth shut. Such is life. Grow up folks.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  39. Al Adams

    CIA depends on congress on funding and is required to report their objectives and results, not only for funding, for approval. This is an easy one, Pelosi is lying for the 100th time during her career. I support women in such positions but she says some of the most ridiculous statements that make her appear (and very possibly is) "stupid".

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  40. Richard

    No one will know what pelosi knew and when. But, what we all know or should know is that upon the initiation of bush's first term, cheney began a process of systematically replacing CIA executives with hand picked individuals who were sympathetic to the bush-cheney administration. Therefore, it is very probable that the CIA purposely muddled information associated with torture, so as to further the bush-cheney agenda.

    Richard – Vancouver

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  41. chris

    What is laughable is that with the slant the Republicans are trying to put on this situation, they are admitting everything and trying to pin it on Pelosi for not doing anything about it.
    Typical of them.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  42. montag

    Who cares whether she's telling the truth or not? She's not the one who wrote the torture memos, authorized the torture, or physically abused the detainees.

    Forget this nonsense and go after the real was criminals and liars – the Bush Administration.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  43. Lisa B in Yucca Valley, CA

    I believe Nancy Pelosi. The C.I.A. has already lied about tortue by destroying memos about the matter, which is the same as lying.They were covering up what would apparently be proof of how seriously they broke our laws and treaties regarding torture, and wanted details covered up.
    When suspected terrorist prisoners were being interrogated by the FBI, the C.I.A. also overtook and demeaned the F.B.I., and jumped right in to torture, even though it seems appraent their results were counter-productive. That did not fit the C.I.A.'s agenda, and desire to torture. But they whine because they don't want to be punished for doing so. I believe they are also capable and culpable of lying about a little thing such as Nancy Pelosi's briefing, to again cover their lying, torturing behinds!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  44. Jason

    I don't believe either of them. Pelosi lost all credibility when she took impeachment "off the table". The CIA, on the other hand, is a hand picked group of the snakiest psychos walking. Yes, they are our snaky psychos, but I am certain they have a lot of laundry they never want to see the light of day.
    The truth is Pelosi, Reid, the CIA, Bush, Cheney and a host of others played roles in this mess and should all be investigated. Hopefully with lots of jail time to follow.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  45. James Bell

    As a government teacher I often wonder about the wisdom of our founding fathers when it established the "People's House". Combine that system with the power of incumbency and it seems that the extremes, not the cream, rise to the top. As a Democrat, I cringe every time she begins to speak as if she is "my leader," but perhaps, William F. Buckley and my Republican doppelganger cringed when a bug exterminator from Texas, nicknamed "The Hammer" became the intellectual face of the conservative movement! There must be something in the water in the capitol building. And these people are and were third in line to the President? Scary!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  46. Sarah,Richmond,VA


    You could compare this to Clinton's "what is is" statement.

    The CIA briefed before they used waterboarding and then again after they waterboarded. So at the time of the briefings,in reality, they were not waterboarding.

    See how confusing it can be. Sorta like scheduling Iraq vote just before mid-term election (2002). Not quite over the edge, but pretty darn close.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  47. Randall

    Are you kidding me? Pelosi is the typical vapid, left-wing Socialist ward-healer from San Francisco. What the heck did you expect?

    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  48. Shavana McCune

    I believe Speaker Pelosi. After all the CIA is the same organization that had many Americans convinced that there were WMDs in Iraq. We should all question the information that this agency reports.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |

    Regardless if She Knew or Not the fact is Cheney and Bush Did it Cheney says Bush signed Off and In a Time of War If Nancy Pelosi would of Came Forward the Republicans would of attacked Her for Treason or Being Anti-American

    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  50. Frank Maxwell

    Ms Pelosi wouldn't know the truth if she tripped over it. My folks told me to pay attention in class. Maybe Ms Pelosi could use that advice.
    As a life-long Democrat, I wish Ms Pelosi would go back Baltimore or San Francisco and get a real team player as Speaker. We need someone is willing to follow the Obama agenda, not someone who can't remember what they had for breakfast.

    Frank Maxwell
    Jacksonville, FL

    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  51. Steve Patrick

    Is this a serious question? Speaker of the House Pelosi is obviously lying and it wouldn't take waterboarding to figure that out. I can't believe Mrs. Pelosi would tarnish the name of an entire group of people to save her reputation. Of course in this day and age, perhaps that isn't so unbelieveable.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  52. Nick Bloom

    Of course it's "not the policy of the CIA to lie." Their policy shifts with the winds, who's in power, and their immediate objectives... objectives that are classified. It's a joke to even ask this question. The law was broken, not in order to prevent U.S. deaths, but to avenge them and to justify a war that W thinks God wanted him to wage.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  53. R.

    IT IS HARD TO TELL. The credibilty of the CIA is questioned with regards to WMD in Iraq. They misled everybody. Was nobody else in that room to testify who said what and who knew what? It's like Pelosi is alone. Only GOD knows.


    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  54. J.

    I believe the CIA. Though their previous credibility has been hurt; this is not WMD on the other side of the world. Pelosi is the Karl Rove of the Democratic Party and both represent the extremes of their respective parties. Instead of admitting a mistake by not questioning the legality of the CIA's actions she turned a blind eye. Whether you agree with her policies or not inaction is not what her voters deserve. Sadly, winning elections is easier than leadership.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  55. Dorothy,

    Jack, not that I care, but I believe Nancy. After all I remember the Valerie Plame situation and Mr. Tenet. I also see the attempt of the media to make more of this than the American People. Anyone who doesn't believe it, go to C-span and listen to today's discussion will the lady for the wall street journal and the gentleman from politico. It's just about trying to drum up headlines. You should know Jack, you did this one yesterday.


    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  56. L. E. Burnette

    I choose to accept the word of an agency that serves and protects the American people over the confusing babble of a self-serving politician until I see proof that my trust is misplaced.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  57. Doug Forbes

    Nancy has changed her story too many times...and then today, Leon Panetta vouched for the CIA in this matter...so I believe the CIA.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  58. Sally S.

    Dear Jack,

    Too bad we have to be so distracted with these small details. Regardless of what/when Pelosi knew, she is not the U.S. Congress, and she alone (or with three others) does not represent congressional oversight.

    The larger point is that-American justice, which is the envy of the world, has been made a mockery by Bush, Cheney et al.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  59. Supportive

    I believe Nancy Pelosi...Why? When have you ever heard of the CIA telling the truth about ANYTHING? I think it's in their sworn contract to be tight-lipped about everything. Nancy said she was aware of the term "waterboarding" months before actually being told the nature of the technique in 2003. Even then, I'm sure she still had no idea the extent of the crime. Blame Bush for all such crimes against humanity.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  60. J. Campbell

    Jack, Let's face it, for the last eight years quite a few people lacked the backbone to stand up to the Bush administration and call them out on the horrible decisions that were being thrust upon us in the name of Democracy. If anyone spoke out, the consequences appear to have been considerable. Democrats were labeled as anti-American Commie, Liberals if they differed with policy. Nancy was not the only one guilty of NOT speaking out. If we don't use our freedom of speech, there is every chance we will most certtainly lose it! The one thing that I had to respect about President Obama was that he immediately spoke up and said that our war with Iraq was wrong. They had nothing to do with 9/11. President Bush and his cronies had their own personal agenda there. It has cost America dearly. However, although less than courageous in going along, I am afraid that Nancy Pelosi is not to blame. We have only ourselves.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  61. Charles Dixon Wallace

    I believe that Speaker Pelosi is telling the truth. I believe her rather than an agency whose spopesperson is not named and therefore accountable. I believe that the Speaker is definitely correct in this matter.


    North Carolina

    May 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  62. Lucy Jeanne

    I believe Nancy Pelosi. She has the most to lose by taking such a controversial position, and I can't imagine she would make those direct statements if she wasn't positive and telling the truth.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  63. chuck, Tennessee

    It was quite obvious from her demenaor during yesterday's press conference that Pelosi was lying. Her story just doesn't make sense. The fact many are overlooking is that she is two heartbeats from being President. That should scare all of us!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  64. Bill Daniels

    Why not declassify and release all of the briefings that were given to Congress as Nancy Pelosi suggested earlier today. Then the American people can determine who is telling the truth.....my money is on Pelosi...

    Edgewater, FL

    May 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  65. Tim from Raleigh

    Of course Nancy is not telling the truth. Any excuse made by the other posters here for her are just buring their head in the sand. The CIA has absolutely nothing to gain by misleading her. Her junior staffers know what was going on but she didn't? Please. As a democrat, why would you want someone so incompetent to be your house majority leader? Surely, there are better candidates waiting in the wings.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  66. Verne

    Obviously, Pelosi is lying. She's just a political, partisan, creature who will say anything when it serves her purpose. She has no integrity.

    I'm a democrat and wish Pelosi would step down and give the party back to the people.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  67. Bruce

    It's time for the Witch Hunt over interrogation methods to end. The Democrats knew what we were doing to those who were trying to kill us and decided to stay quiet until it served them politically to cry foul. The CIA serves this country with honor and is staffed by patriots who sometimes sacrifice their lives to protect us. I stand with them. Let's have a discussion on what we are prepared to do to stop the murder of our citizens, but let us not destroy one of the few institutions standing between us and the evil many wish on us simply because some Democrats hate Bush.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  68. bthomas

    Nancy Pelosi is flat out lying. Every time she opens her mouth about the subject of waterboarding she tells a different tale. Of course she knew. We all didn't have to be briefed including Nancy Pelosi to know that after 9/11 that our government was doing whatever it took to protect the citizens of our country. Nancy Pelosi is definitely lying.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  69. LuvsGoldens

    The focus should be on the Bush administration and not Nancy Pelosi. The Bush gang lied to the American people about a number of things, so why is it unfathomable that the CIA would be less than truthful about the use of torture? The entire Adminstration could spin a lie, so it's not a stretch to think the CIA withheld the truth. The Republican's are in deep trouble and they are grasping at straws. This whole Pelosi attack is just a distraction to keep the focus off the real criminals in this story. I hope they get what they deserve.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  70. Myra Becnel

    Gary Beckerman, I am with you all the way. could not have said it any better!

    Myra in Hawaii

    May 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  71. Tony from Torrington

    It never fails. No matter what the question, the anti-Bush crowd has to weigh in with an attack. Nancy Pelosi not only knew about the waterbarding, but she and other democrats wanted to know if these techniques were enough to get the information needed to prevent another attack. Politicians lie every day for political personal gain. The CIA lies if it needs to do so to protect this country. In this case, they told Pelosi about the techniques, but it's in her political interest to deny she knew about it. How could anyone not see this?

    May 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  72. Eric

    Pelosi is lying. Oh I'm sorry. I mean obfuscating.A long line of Politicians of both parties have lied or exaggerated to us for many generations. It's in their blood. It is the only way they get what they want: POWER. She is despicable in the best Clintonian meaning of the word. Sam Rayburn must revolving in his grave. Not only is she without any class; she lies with a smile. Too typical of our representatives, elected or not (as in the case of NY State Governor).

    May 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  73. Al Adams

    I support such torture techniques in this situation. My reasoning is simple; this is not a war between two or more country's armies who are fighting under international codes of conduct. These are terrorists who do not abide by any codes (other than their own made up ones) other than to kill those who oppose their cause, if when it's their own people. Have we fogotten already the beheading of innocent people on video on world news by these terrorists. Yet we question our own CIA for such torturing techniques.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  74. Ernie

    The speaker has lost what little credibility she had, she knew what was going on. This media circus she is responsible for will turn the attention of the American people away from lesser problems like Chrysler and GM going down the tubes.

    Detroit, Mi

    May 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  75. Steve

    "Meanwhile Pelosi finally admitted she learned waterboarding was being used in 2003, but says she wasn’t personally briefed on it at the time."
    I couldn't imagine making a statement like this as a law enforcement officer! You either know or you don't. I believe Pelosi turned a blind eye to it as apposed to confronting it.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  76. Adrian

    Please show us all the footage where she speaks of what she knew, knows, did and didn't know. Other networks have shown so much more than you are showing.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  77. Todd (Los Angeles)

    This CIA versus Pelosi is all a big smoke screen. Waterboarding is torture and illegal and has been for centuries. If I tell you that I'm going to kill someone and you do nothing, you may be complicit. However, that doesn't absolve me for murder!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  78. Marolin

    Surely, we have a flawed system when we have an agency who is suppose to brief congress about an important aspect like EIT, and now we find no accurate record of the meetings. Briefings should be designed to get permission from Congress to perform EIT, not to tell Congress that it is performing EIT.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  79. Jerry Gorsuch

    Atlast we know who is responsible for the torture. It was Nancy Palosi. And the reason that Pres. Obama does not want to release the torture pictures is because they show Ms. Palosi actually doing the water boarding herself. So that gets the last administration off the hook.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  80. David from Newport OR

    I don't believe either of them...only an idiot would put one's view above the other. However...why is the Republicans are so busy pointing fingers all of a sudden? To see if Americans are too stupid to follow along like sheep? Instead of focusing on who knew what and when...isn't it more important to say...TORTURE IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE in, by and for America. Or will people fall for the diversion once again and continue to believe that torture is OK because it yields results?

    May 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  81. jumpugly

    The upper echelon all knew and that includes Nancy. This lady is as phony as a 3 dollar bill and I'm a Democrat! Government sponsored torture is a huge black mark against this country no matter what your political affiliation is.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  82. debra from georgia

    Jack, I believe Nancy Polosi, and don't believe anything from a CIA that was under the Republicans control. They are trying to use Nancy as a scapegoat,but the america people can not be fool by the their lies and deceit.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  83. Bruce in OR

    Nancy Palosi was there and Leon Panetta wasn't. Who would you believe. Sounds like Bob Graham backs up the Gongresswoman.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  84. George Cohen


    I wouldn't believe anything associated with the Bush/Cheney Era. In my fifty years of watching politics, I have never seen any administration lie and cheat as much as they have and that includes the information from the CIA to them and information from them about what the CIA said.

    Nancy Pelosi has my vote on this issue

    May 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  85. Alex

    While as a politician, Nancy Pelosi doesn't have any particular claim on the truth, we are talking about Dick Cheney's CIA here. Is it so hard to believe that the rogue, unaccountable organization that has acted outside the law on and off through out its 60+ year existence may have returned to its lawless ways in the so-called "War On Terror"? Especially in light of the fact that it took marching orders from our totalitarian ex-VP? One-time CIA director Allen Dulles, during his work on the Warren Commission, stated that CIA officers, due to the covert nature of their work, would be right to lie to that congressional commission under oath... It's not unrealistic to expect the same lack of standards to apply to privated, closed sessions with congress-critters like Pelosi. Regardless, this issue is a distraction from the broader issue of torture; if Pelosi did indeed break any laws by her passivity in the face of BushCo. torture, then she must be accountable... But those who designed and implemented the torture program bear the brunt of the guilt.

    Alex S., Waltham, MA

    May 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  86. ellen scott

    I do not believe Pelosi, but I do not think she should be particularly blamed – she was one of a huge crowd of politicians who fell for the Bush propaganda. I do not think she was complicit in making any of the terribly wrong decisions concerning Iraq, and I don't think she is responsible in the same sense that the Bush administration is responsible.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  87. Roland(St George,UT)

    I say let's waterboard Nancy Pelosi and see if she's telling the truth! It's supposed to be an effective tool, isn't it???

    May 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  88. Betsy (California)

    As the CIA has a less than honest past with regards to its behavior in other countries (think Chile), it would not surprise me that the CIA "misled" Congress. Nancy Pelosi is a very smart woman. I can't seriously see her lying, especially if it makes her look bad. She's well aware of the attempts to "blame" her for everything. Watching the GOP going after her as if they don't bear any responsiblity for the torture or waterboarding just makes me sick.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  89. Jim/NC

    Of course Pelosi lied. But guess what? It's dubya'a fault. I have never in my life seen such a double standard when it comes to the dems.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  90. Durand


    The republicans have been caught red handed. However they are known to be the Masters of Distraction. It would be as if I witnessed an armed bank robbery and the robber is caught and says "well this witness saw me and he didn't do anything about it. He should go to jail too".

    May 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  91. Mark Ohio

    Sean, You hit the nail on the head. Maybe Steve from Califonnia should put the koolaid glass down and open his eyes. Does Steve really belive she is the only person on the intelligence Comittee that did not "gei it"? If so she never should have been in the position in first place. The Speaker is third in line to the Presidency . God help us if she were ever to ascend to our highest office. She's lies like a rug. It's time she should be removed from the Speaker"s position.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  92. DaBird

    CIA....Pelosi has changed her story four times. She stumbles when she speaks about it. She is just trying to save her behind.

    If she is gone, then we all win. An honest Democrat will be promoted and the Republicans get rid of a bold faced liar.

    Win Win

    May 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  93. Steve M

    Given the CIA's dismal record since 2001 I am leaning towards Pelosi on this one.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  94. Tom, St Paul, MN

    I don't know if she is lying or not. If she is, shame on her. But let's not let this distract us from the real issue, which is dealing with the truth of our nation's official use of torture during the Bush administration.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  95. Judy

    I agree the CIA has no reason to lie. Pelosi will say anything and go to any length to save herself. She has forgotten she is not above the law . Nancy, do the right thing.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  96. Donna Vinskofski

    Is that the same CIA that continuously lied to us about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and Saddam's connections to Bin Laden? The same Cia that Cheney and Addington visited every day to tell them what to do and what to say to get us into war? The same ones that briefed congress with little facts just to cover their butts if their torture was found out? Pelosi was bound by national security to not discuss anything that she was told with anyone. Does any one think that Cheney and Bush would care if she protested? Or that she could have stopped it if she did? She said that the CIA DID NOT tell her about waterbording and I have to believe my own eyes and ears as to what I believe and I will accept what pelosi says over the CIA who have a very dubious record when it comes to telling the truth

    May 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  97. Timothy Sheldon

    Hi Jack,

    I'm a Democrat and I think this one is pretty clear. The old adage "Look to see who will benifit" applies here. The CIA has no reason to lie, therefore Pelosi is either lying or she misunderstood what was related to her in those briefings, which seems unlikely as the CIA reportedly accompanies their briefings with a written outline of the material covered.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  98. Fred

    I believe the one with the most FACTS !!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  99. doug

    Why would she be briefed on techniques NOT being used?
    What reasonable person would accept this at face value?
    This is the person who took impeachment off the table, pushed for retroactive telecom immunity, and echoed the "too big to fail" lie.
    If she said it was sunny in August I would carry my umbrella.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  100. Mary Bacon

    I believe the CIA. Nancy Pelosi made an absolute fool of herself yesterday. It is frightening to think that she is the 3rd most powerful Democrat.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  101. Chris S. in Miami, FL

    Of course she is lying and Yes Steve, it does matter that she knew and what she knew. If she has to give so many explanations every other day, than she is obviously lying. Pelosi is a public official and if what Pres. Bush did was wrong than she is just as guilty if she had even the slightest knowledge. Everyone forgets what happened on 9/11, we lost alot of people to the hands of these animals. Whatever we needed to do to get the job done, than so be it. Pelosi needs to stand up and be truthful or move aside and let other competent people lead our country!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  102. Richard

    If it is proven that Pelosi knew, then that will end all inquires. so it goes with the state of American politics.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  103. Doug Price

    Ms. Pelosi is again trying one of her VALLEY GIRL excuses of being in the dark about torture practices by the preceding administration. I truely believe that she has her own agenda when it comes to being in the Congress, and I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that she is not interested in what is in our country's best interest. She is lying through her teeth about the CIA briefing, and the latest is only a smoke screen for the benefit of the media and the liberal left. Niether she nor Mr. Reid have done anything that could be considered benificial for the country or it's citizens except stir up strife and controversy. The best thing she could do for this country would be to GO AWAY, and take all her cronies with her!
    California's problems are being imported to Washington and the rest of the country on the backs of legislators like her! So much for Change you can Believe In.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  104. Danielle

    As a liberal democrat, I can't stand Pelosi. On the other hand, lying is part of the CIA's job description. So you have 2 liars, who are you going to believe?

    May 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  105. Tired of Sensational Media

    Guess the GOP *emphasis on the OLD* has to try to cause collateral damage on their way down. Pelosi is an easy target. A red herring with a gigantic target on her side. She represents the old democratic heritage: whiny and directionless. Let her fall with her fellow snivelling politicians and let's continue to clean out and change Washington.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  106. kathy Conner

    I think this is just one more thing for the republicans to take the heat off them or dick cheney. Saying the CIA does not mislead is like saying AIG doesn't take bonuses or Madoff stealing millions of money. Lets get back to the important issues such as the economy and people losing their jobs and houses. Maybe congress should practice waterboarding on each other. Do you think we would get the truth then? Doubtful!!!!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  107. gary in OK

    Who really cares? Just another opporunity to hold hearings that will have no impact on the american economy. No matter what comes out, no one in washington will ever be held accountable. When is the american public going to wake up and vote these worthless, never held a real job, people out of office. Term limits are a must, but will never come to pass because no congressperson will ever introduce a bill to eliminate their gravey do nothing jobs.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  108. bob

    I believe Nancy Pelosi. The CIA under the Bush administration would definitely lie to congress. I believe the did it all the time. Remember we were ruled by a dictator ( George Bush ) not a president of the people. As far as the blow back from the right ( i mean the real terrorist ) they are to ignorant and desperate at this point to realize what the Bush administration was willing to do to destroy our form of government. I hope Nancy Pelosi stands her ground and exposes the crimes that these terrorist have committed in our name.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  109. Carolyn in Houston

    Of course I believe Pelosi. After all the Republicans ran this country in lockstep with an iron fist for six long and dark years. The Bush Administration misled Pelosi, other Democrats and likely some less hawkish Republicans too by showing them carefully cherry picked information. They did the same thing to we the people in ginning up the unnecessary war in Iraq. As far as I am concerned Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Rice et al. have no credibility at all.

    Dick Cheney thinks he set a booby trap for Democrats to save his butt later if need be. Now the Republicans are blackmailing certain Democrats b/c they think that will shut down the talk on torture. Well, it won't. The Bush Administration's Pandora's box has already been opened.

    I hope the Obama Administration declassifies all briefings on torture and the war in Iraq. Let the sun shine on all so the American people can learn the truth. One we do, Cheney's butt saving witch hunts will finally end. He can go back to his undisclosed location and leave us the hell alone.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  110. ClassicalLiberal

    A politician...dishonest? No way...

    The CIA...dishonest? No way...

    As with most things, the truth lies somewhere in between.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  111. Jay

    How is it that adults who are elected to the some of the highest offices of Govt. by the people of the United States seemingly cannot admit to any mistakes they make and when one side (republicans) points to the fact that Pelosi knew about torture techniques(waterboarding) makes them sound just like whining little children (neener neener neener)

    There are more important aspects of our society to worry about,oh lets say the fact that 1,100 dealerships for chrysler are closing, or the fact that this country is loosing jobs day by day and it seems as if no one in congress cares. All they care about now is the fact whether Pelosi knew or not about waterboarding is stupifying. Shame on our senate

    May 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  112. Lynn

    I believe the CIA and that scares me to death since Pelosi is third in line. Lets hope Obama lives a long and healthy life.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  113. quieteye

    Let's get real. Nobody knows despite claims of knowing. You and I were not there. Even those who were briefed or gave the brief have differing recollection of the words and meanings of the briefs. Were minutes kept, notes taken, tapes of briefing etc. available for the public? Classified or deleted it appears. Unless a true non-partisan investigation, all else here is a waste of air and time.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  114. Frank from Connellsville, PA

    Her lips moved therefore she lied.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  115. heartlight3

    The truth could be known if the CIA would release transcripts of the briefings, but lo and behold (surprise!!) there are no transcripts. Not only are there no videos of the interrogations, there are no transcripts of the briefings. Why do you think that would be?

    May 15, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  116. kent4133

    the cia lied to the America public about the WMDs ...
    So why is it so difficult to believe that they would lie to Congress?
    Misled the American People and Congress diliberately!

    May 15, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  117. Rob from IA

    Didn't we all know waterboarding was being used? The Bush administration did whatever it wanted. Do I believe she knew about it? Yes. Do I believe she did nothing to stop it? Yes.

    Afterall, the American people gave Congress power to have Dubba impeached and removed from office yet she failed to do that as well.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  118. David in Raleigh, NC

    Pelosi is awesome. The longer she keeps changing the story to try and protect herself, the more she keeps Obama from pushing his Socialist and Marxist agenda in the Media.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  119. Bryan from Georgia

    Jack – everyone is sure falling into the Republican trap of making everyone take their eyes off the ball. They just want to take the focus off the ACTUAL PEOPLE THAT FORMULATED AND PERPETUATED these horrible acts and should be punished. Sure Pelosi should be held accountable if she just let these idiots run roughshod over our values and constitution. BUT that means that all of Congress and the Justice Dept. should be held accountable also for not doing their part to stop this. That is going to take down a lot more Republicans than Democrats. Do they REALLY want to go there????

    May 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  120. vern-anaheim,ca

    i have to believe nancy pelosi is lying about not being told about waterboarding,all the evidence points to her not telling the truth.i am a democrat and was opposed to her being named speaker of the hose,not because she was a woman but because i didn't think she was qualified.my choice was congressman stoyer but he didn't get it.i think nancy pelosi should resign her position for the good of the democratic party.the republicans will never stop this "witch hunt"if she continues as house speaker

    May 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  121. David in Raleigh, NC

    Pelosi is lying. It's easy to tell when a politician is lying. Their lips are moving.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  122. Kevin from reading PA

    I don't know Jack, do I believe an agency (CIA) with a history of deceptive practices that may be covering their butts or do I believe Nancy Pelosi who signed a document stating she wouldn't divulge the content of the meeting under threat of harming national security.
    I think we should declassify the transcripts and then wonder if the CIA didn't alter them after the fact

    May 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  123. Don Teal

    Pelosi and the CIA are coth known for untruths so it is a tossup.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  124. Linda

    Nancy Pelosi is lying. That woman wouldn't know the truth if it was in front of her.

    Linda from TX

    May 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm |