Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is under fire, justifiably, for her many iterations of what she knew about the waterboarding of terrorism suspects and when she knew it.
She has flailed about with a number of protestations and explanations, each sounding more confused than the one before and none agreeing with the CIA’s version. Pelosi herself has no records of what transpired. Sen. Bob Graham’s famous, detailed note-taking reportedly refutes CIA records of the briefing dates, lending credibility to Pelosi’s claims that the CIA is “lying,” an escalation from her earlier “misled.” Yet a top Pelosi aide says Pelosi was told about the torture and did nothing. The CIA’s notes don’t seem to track with anyone else’s, and the CIA itself, then part of the Bush administration, has been under fire for being less than forthcoming.
The truth may eventually come out, but what happened at secret briefings with few attendees and little note-taking will likely never be anything more than a swearing contest. Pelosi should never have opened this can of worms, but having done so, should at least have been able to deliver one clear, concise version of her story and then stuck to it.
Never a particularly impressive leader, the master of the open-mouth-insert-foot maneuver may finally have induced terminal choking.
Please, no Heimlich.