Oh, for a return to the days when a troupe of miscreants breaking into Democratic Party headquarters was the source of our national angst -- and not nightmarish, government-sanctioned torture techniques. A memo released yesterday
by the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA reveals that Nancy Pelosi was explicitly briefed -- in 2002 -- that "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" (i.e. "torture") was being used against specific terror suspects such as Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein. Pelosi's office issued a statement explaining she flunked that drug test because of prescription medicine obtained from a Florida doctor ... whoops! Wrong delicately worded statement
. Actually, Pelosi claims she was only informed that waterboarding et al. were techniques the government felt it could
use, not that it was actively using them.
A representative of the organization Human Rights Watch
tells SF Weekly
that Pelosi's waterboarding explanation doesn't hold water.
"It doesn't sound like a very good defense," says Stacy Sullivan, a counter-terrorism adviser at the human rights organization.
Sullivan reiterated HRW's call for an independent commission to get to the bottom of who was waterboarding whom -- and who knew about it when.
In this call, Sullivan has an unlikely ally -- Nancy Pelosi.
"To her credit, she is one of the few people calling for this," notes Sullivan. "It's her and Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-Vermont]. No one else."
If such a commission were formed -- and don't hold your breath -- it could, interestingly, call Pelosi onto the carpet and demand to know all the particulars about when she became aware the United States was torturing suspects.
"It could put [Pelosi] in an embarrassing position," confirms Sullivan. "Yet she's still calling for [an independent commission] even though most of the Democratic leadership is opposed to it."