Nancy Pelosi was informed by the CIA of specific instances of waterboarding, including the use of waterboarding to torture one prisoner 83 times – September 2002
Consider this – throughout all the debates on Abu Ghraib, and torture, including waterboarding, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi knew exactly what was going on. She was being told about specific instances of torture – a high crime – that had been approved by the Bush White House. What was her response? She took impeachment off the table.
If the Democrats have any decency, they’ll take Nancy Pelosi off the table. If the Democrats in the House of Representatives want to keep the trust of American progressives, they’ll remove Pelosi from the office of the Speaker of the House, and strip her of all her seniority, putting her on the back bench.
Do I think that will happen? Nope. There’s a sad reason for that: Just as Nancy Pelosi knew about high crimes such as torture for years, and did nothing to stop them, Democratic voters have been informed for years about the complicity of Democratic politicians in the worst Republican abuses of the Bush Administration, and have done nothing in response.
Just as Nancy Pelosi lied about knowing nothing about the Bush torture plans, Democratic voters have been dishonest about the politicians they elect to public office. By and large, Democratic voters talk a strong progressive talk, and celebrate how their leaders are going to bring change, and end right wing Republican policies, and restore trust and ethics to Washington D.C. The trouble is that, whenever Democratic politicians are caught supporting the Republicans’ right wing policies, they don’t do anything about it. They make excuses. They pretend nothing has happened. They say that the Republicans would be even worse. They refuse to take action.
It would be easier to say that Nancy Pelosi is out of touch with the Democratic voters she is supposed to represent, but the truth is much uglier. The truth is that Nancy Pelosi represents the spineless refusal to confront right wing extremism of the typical Democratic voter all too well.
Pelosi’s inaction had grave consequences. Recent estimates are that about 100 people were killed during the torture that Pelosi still refers to by the euphemism of enhanced interrogation techniques. That’s negligent homicide at best.
Democratic voters need to ask themselves whether they, like Pelosi, will continue to be complicit in the crimes of the Bush White House. Will they continue to make excuses, and pretend that nothing has been going on, or will they at long last take action?