For the umpteenth time, information has come out revealing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her aides were being briefed on the authorization for of various forms of torture, including waterboarding, and also apparently on their actual use. Pelosi’s response then? To take impeachment of torturer-in-chief George W. Bush “off the table”. Knowing what she knew about the extent of President Bush’s corruption of authority to torturous ends, Pelosi decided to let the high crimes go on without consquence.
Pelosi’s response earlier this week, as revelations dribbled out? To claim somehow, golly, she only knew the techniques were “authorized” to be used by the Bush administration, not actually used. Or to claim that yes, she was informed about the use of some torture techniques, but not about others. Or to claim that only an aide was informed of the actual use of waterboarding, but that she wasn’t briefed. Or to claim that the Bush administration told her the use of torture was legal, gosh darn it.
The excuses Speaker Pelosi offers up damn her all the more. It doesn’t matter whether those using torture said it was legal or not; federal law clearly states in its own special section, U.S. Code 18 Section 2340, that torture of the sort described to Pelosi is illegal. Legislators’ job is to know the law. So what Nancy Pelosi told us this week is that she just credulously believed all this torture was legal because the Bush administration told her so, because as the leader of the House of Representatives she isn’t familiar enough with the law to know better.
That’s not sorry enough for you? How about the sorry gosh-my-aide-was-briefed-not-me sidebar? If Pelosi is a competent leader, then of course serious matters her aide is briefed on will come to her attention. Only if Pelosi is incompetent would she not find out about torture. The golly-I-only-knew-about-some-kinds-of-torture excuse is just plain bizarre, like a police officer explaining that he didn’t stop the bank robbers because he only saw them running out of First National with big bags of cash, not with the Hoboken Diamond Tiara. And who in their right mind could sit through the Bush years and honestly believe that, having authorized itself to commit torture, the Bush administration would not follow through and actually do it?
What Nancy Pelosi told you this week is that no, she wasn’t in on the whole torture conspiracy, no no no, because she was foolish, stupid, ignorant, disorganized, credulous and utterly lacking in leadership skills.
And now Nancy Pelosi is telling you she thinks you’re stupid. Finding herself under the glare of the media spotlight on torture, Nancy Pelosi is making a surprise trip to Iraq to be photographed with the troops. Using soldiers as human shields against charges of unAmerican behavior? Oh, that’s so 2003!