May 16th, 2009

Why Pelosi must lie

Some people have asked why Pelosi hasn’t just said, “Look, at the time of the briefings I thought waterboarding was okay, but now I see the light and I’m against it.” Such a statement would have arguably gotten her in a lot less trouble than the course she’s taken instead: a series of ever-changing and hedgy excuses that read as lies, culminating in her making accusations against the CIA that have roused its formidable defenses against her.

I don’t think Pelosi is stupid, although I agree with almost nothing she stands for or says. She has shown great political savvy and cunning in her long career. Why does it appear to be deserting her now?

I see Pelosi as having been put between a rock and a hard place by Obama’s release of the “torture memos” and the resultant brouhaha. If she were to make the statement I posited in the first paragraph of this post, she would be admitting something that would contradict the entire Democratic Party “narrative” of the Bush administration’s decisions regarding terrorists.

Going that route would destroy the tale the Democrats have ridden to victory and power: that the Bush administration was evil, lying to us (rather than sometimes mistaken), trampling on liberties for the sake of power and even sadism. How can Democrats contradict themselves by acknowledging now that nearly all of Bush’s decisions in the war on terror were arrived at after due deliberation, analysis of the best information available at the time (the conclusion that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs would be a prominent example), acting in the best interests of our country, and with an effort to preserve as much liberty and protection as seemed possible?

For Democrat leaders to do so would be to undercut their own story about Bush, which was (and remains) vital to their own success. So it cannot be done, and Pelosi knows it—even if she also knows it is actually the truth of why she did nothing to stop or protest waterboarding back when she was first informed about it.

[NOTE: Please read this article about the “torture memos” and the legal decision-making behind them.]

23 Responses to “Why Pelosi must lie”

  1. JKB Says:

    A very plausible reason. It occurred to me that Pelosi’s accusing the CIA of lying was crafted to play to the Dem support base. Now, even if the CIA produced a video of a briefing with Pelosi offering supportive questioning, the true believers will go all conspiracy theory on them.

  2. T Says:

    Neo,

    There is no question in my mind that your observations are correct. I am reminded of the old Frank “bring ’em back alive” Buck films. Frank would catch monkeys by drilling a hole in a tethered coconut large enough for the monkey’s hand to fit in but not large enough for their fist to come out. In the coconut, he would place food as bait. The monkey would reach in and grab the food, then not be able to remove his fist holding the food. All the monkey had to do to get free was release the food, but the monkey would not do so, and remained snagged by the tethered coconut for relocation to some zoo.

    This all started as another ex post facto attempt to villify the Bush administration. Nancy Pelosi won’t release that “bait” but she can’t get free without doing so. To release the “bait” would force her to admit to the partisan vengeful politics she supports. To admit that, in turn, would negate the entire last 8 years of Bush derangement syndrome and show it to be the left-wing nonsense that it is. The party would implode.

    Hoist by her own petard!

  3. Don Janousek Says:

    Mrs. Pelousy seems to have backtracked a bit today. Someone must have pointed out to her that a fight with the CIA wasn’t such a keen idea after all. As far as I can determine, in The Nancy Saga, Part VII, the tale now is that the CIA folks are a wunnerful, wunnerful bunch of folks and it was the BUSH ADMINISTRATION which failed to “appropriately” brief her. Of course, anyone could see that coming down the pike sooner or later. How an ENTIRE administration could be held responsible for not “appropriately” briefing her has not yet been explained. Nor has what she actually heard in the CIA briefings been revealed, although I would bet the CIA has some very detailed records of the same. Also, she’s being left out on the limb she has been sawing off largely alone. Her “pal” Steny is non-committal, Congresswoman Harman isn’t backing her up, Panetta blasted her, the “staffer” who off-handedly told her about the CIA briefing is still unidentified, the best Senator Feinstein could come up with in her defense was that everyone was a little nuts back in ’02 and “The One” over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has not announced he is 1000% in back of her. Also, she completely went blubberingly nutso at her last press conference when her admirers in the media actually asked questions of her. Ol’ Nance had never been treated like that before. Hope her personal physician understands the pharmacology necessary for dealing with massive anxiety attacks, because she seems to be headed thataway, with fetal position and thumb-sucking under the covers just down the block.

  4. Bad Haikumenter Says:

    Nice analysis. T also: “won’t release the bait”. Can’t release the bait – not merely for the sake of the party, but also for the sake of her own re-election. If she admits Bush Admin was responsible in it’s actions, she might not be re-elected. Toensing article, also, was enlightening.

    One aspect of Pelosi kerfuffle frustrates me: it doesn’t matter whether or not she knew of waterboarding in 2002. She knew of it from her aide’s attendance at the 2003 Jane Harmon briefing. It strains credulity that her aide would return and not report to her what was said. Therefore, Pelosi knew about waterboarding in 2003 and did nothing.

    2002 vs 2003 is unimportant. It is being used as a kind of “look over here” magician’s distraction away from the evidence that Pelosi knew of waterboarding in 2003. It is working as a distraction b/c conservative observers react like this: Wha? OF COURSE she knew in 2002! It is LUDICROUS for her to claim otherwise!!!! But that very reaction, in response to Pelosi’s lies about 2002, allows the distraction/misdirection to avert attention from Pelosi’s undeniable(imo) knowledge of waterboarding via the Harmon briefing in 2003, and Pelosi’s subsequent failure to take any steps to stop waterboarding from occurring after 2003.

  5. Tom Says:

    Are we surprised by lies from the Lying Left? Amused? Surely not.

  6. Tom Says:

    I think she’s stupid. Slyness does not require a high IQ. If she drooled and couldn’t speak her own name, she’d still be re-elected.

    Teddy Kennedy is an example. He is terminally ill, has a seizure his conniving doc attributes to stress (though malignant gliomas frequently cause seizures), can’t and doesn’t show up, yet is said by the media to be working hard toward his “legacy” of “reform” of health care as a Senate subcomm. chair that will give us universal queuing up and patient management based on cost-benefit analysis.

  7. McMicah Says:

    I share your general disapproval of Pelosi, but slagging her for stating something so obvious as that the CIA lies only discredits you. But kudos if the object of this blog is to discredit neoconism, or to bend your own minds.

  8. SteveH Says:

    Somethings afoot. This most leftist of leftist wouldn’t be in trouble if there weren’t some powerful democrats wishing it be presented as such. I think they know the lunatic fringe image is starting to bite them.

  9. Occam's Beard Says:

    I think she’s stupid too, going back her days in SF, when I lived there also. She does have a certain ratlike cunning, but that’s not intelligence.

    I share your general disapproval of Pelosi, but slagging her for stating something so obvious as that the CIA lies only discredits you.

    But then again, Pelosi’s brighter than most Dem voters. See exhibit A.

  10. Tom the Redhunter Says:

    I don’t think she’s the brightest bulb, but we can’t blame this episode on pure stupidity.

    I rather think that Neo-neocon has hit the nail on the head here, when she says that Pelosi lies because she has to because it’s the only thing that will fit the Democrat narrative.

    We saw it with Iraq too. They insisted that they had been misled and deceived, yet we know they saw the same intelligence. But rather than take responsibility (see Neo’s next post) they punt. Sadly, the msm lets them get away with it.

    However, I think Pelosi’s days are numbered. Her lies are too blatant and impossible to explain away. Obama will throw her under the bus because he cares for no one but himself and getting his agenda through congress. She’ll be expendable to the other Dems too, who are no doubt unhappy that she flubbed the story line.

  11. JThoits Says:

    Sometimes I wonder about the “oversharing” of information about the CIA and its operations. How much do we need to know? How much should we know?

    My 18 year old daughter engaged me in a conversation about torture and whether it is right or wrong, etc. I tried to explain to her that things happen in the pursuit of the national interests of the United States that she and I can never understand or comprehend. I told her that it is so much more complicated than we could ever know….living in our nice house in the suburbs with absolutely no experience of war, terrorism, or even crime (so far). We ended the conversation on a hostile note…she is a product of the public school system, after all.

    I hope there is not another attack on the United States…but if there is, all bets are off. Even the products of the public school system will open their eyes.

  12. nyomythus Says:

    Pelosi is such a disgrace that’s it’s almost beyond words — her chickens are truly coming home to roast.

  13. nyomythus Says:

    I wonder if Obama has the balls to demand her removal? I sorta doubt it unfortunately … but he may surprise us all.

  14. KBK Says:

    I don’t think Pelosi is stupid

    I disagree. You’ll remember she thought SCOTUS was going to get the receipts from eminent domain takings. As soon as she gets off partisan talking points, she’s a total dope.

  15. jon baker Says:

    KBK says “You’ll remember she thought SCOTUS was going to get the receipts from eminent domain takings. ”

    I take it you are referring to the KELO decision, but not sure what you mean about the Supreme court getting “receipts”?

  16. Harrison Says:

    Very good point. This is sad that an entire political party must stick to their “narrative” on Bush truth or reality be damned. What a fool!

  17. Tim P Says:

    Neo, you said, “I don’t think Pelosi is stupid…”
    I have to disagree and I do agree with several of the above comments. She is stupid.

    Occam’s beard’s stated it well, “She does have a certain ratlike cunning, but that’s not intelligence.”

    That’s why we have or had the term ‘peasant cunning.’ If she was smart, she would not gotten herself into such an avoidable fix. She would not have allowed hubris to lead her into such an obvious trap.

  18. Thomass Says:

    “the conclusion that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs would be a prominent example”

    That’s a good contrast to make the point she is stupid. She is playing the same “Bush Lied” game book but now Bush is gone so it’s Blue on Blue (re: different game but old plays). Dem run / Obama CIA is under attack for ‘misleading’ her… and they’re fighting back (coming from the top)… and the media has no reason to not carry their push back…

    Pelosi and her defenders, if you listen, are using the exact same BS they used over the Iraq war… but no one was interested in questioning whether that was BS since it was against republicans / Bush… Not working so well now…

  19. Thomass Says:

    Tom the Redhunter Says:

    “I rather think that Neo-neocon has hit the nail on the head here, when she says that Pelosi lies because she has to because it’s the only thing that will fit the Democrat narrative.”

    But this is classic ‘it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup’ stuff. If she had just said less, she wouldn’t be in so much trouble (trouble yes, ‘so much’, no).

  20. Dan Says:

    My experience with pathological liars is in the realm of medicine. Chemically dependent people will lie about their use when all available facts point to the contrary, including the results of blood or urine tests. Nancy’s desperate attempt to deny what is obvious to the rest of the world is in line with that kind of disordered pattern of behavior.
    Want another example, albeit more polished? Look at Bill (I did not have sexual relations with that woman) Clinton.

  21. grackle Says:

    I don’t think Nancy P. is in trouble in any practical sense. She’ll have no trouble getting re-elected and her job as House Speaker doesn’t seem to be in any immediate danger.

    Some seem to believe that Obama’s credibility will be endangered by Nancy’s present discomfort. No such luck, I’m afraid.

    BTW, I don’t think Nancy is stupid. I believe she is probably a very intelligent person. As Neo has pointed out, she has had very few real choices in this affair. She’s made a couple of mistakes, one of which was to claim that the CIA lied to her. But that’s been corrected with her recent statement.

    I doubt if any recordings were made of any CIA briefing to members of Congress. It may be impossible to prove conclusively that she’s lied. The CIA briefer’s handwritten notes won’t cut it as far as the MSM’s coverage is concerned. Neither will the recollections of others(like Porter Goss) that may have been present at those briefings.

    But for now we have a delicious spectacle. Let’s enjoy it while we can.

  22. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Torture, if it actually happened, was a BDS tool. Once the dems are shown to have been complicit, it loses its BDS utility.
    There is no more to it.

  23. njcommuter Says:

    Nancy Pelosi represents one of the most Loony Left districts in the country, and holds the entire House hostage to it. Her district will never vote GOP, and only a scandal several times this could shake her out of her seat in the House. I think they’d vote her in if she had sex with high school boys. (And I don’t think she’s that stupid.) Maybe if she were caught in an affair with a right-wing televangelist she would be vulnerable to a primary challenge. I’m not even sure about that.

    JThoits:
    My 18 year old daughter engaged me in a conversation about torture and whether it is right or wrong, etc. I tried to explain to her that things happen in the pursuit of the national interests of the United States that she and I can never understand or comprehend. I told her that it is so much more complicated than we could ever know….living in our nice house in the suburbs with absolutely no experience of war, terrorism, or even crime (so far). We ended the conversation on a hostile note…she is a product of the public school system, after all.

    Time for a serious conversation using some moral calculus. Let’s say that you had the ability to stop (say) the Columbine shooters by causing them excruciating pain, or triggering their drowning reflex? Would you be justified in doing that to prevent the atrocity they are intent on committing? Or does their right to be free of assault trump the right of their victims to live?

    Does the terrorist held prisoner have any moral right whatsoever to commit an atrocity? To aid and abet, or protect an atrocity yet to be committed? What is the duty of the government to protect its people and prevent the atrocity? (What other duties does the government have?) If the prisoner remains silent, is he not by that very silence committing the atrocity?

    What effect do proximity to the prospective atrocity (“how soon?”) and certainty of the planning (the terrorist has bragged about it, you have documents, you know that materials were purchased, you have chatter …) have on the questions above?

    Use these questions, in this order. If you don’t change her mind now, you may at least be able to get her to think seriously about moral choices.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
Read More >>






Monthly Archives



Blogroll

Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge