Former Spook Doesn’t Quite Take Pelosi Off Hook … But …
A person who calls themself Ishmael Jones and is a 25-year veteran of the CIA’s writes in a blog at National Review Online that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has used the interrogation issue as a political tool for years, but says that the Agency’s Hill briefings are ambiguous and essentially unorganized:
In Mrs. Pelosi’s defense, CIA managers do not give fist-pounding briefings. They mumble, they dissemble, and there’s a lot of “on the one hand . . .” Its enormous numbers of employees have led to briefings being handled by groups, with vague chains of command, so that it may have been difficult to pin down what was said, when it was said, and who was in charge.
In recent years, CIA bureaucracy has appeared to favor the Left, while in the early decades of its existence it was perceived as a group of right-wingers dedicated to toppling communist dictators. In reality the CIA is loyal only to itself. As long as Mrs. Pelosi supported its bureaucratic lifestyle, it supported her, but when she attacked it, it fought back. The CIA may not be able to conduct efficient intelligence operations, but it knows how to survive.
It’s still the humble opinion of this blog that it sounds like Pelosi knew about waterboarding and other “harsh interrogation techniques” at a time when she could have sounded off and perhaps hastened their demise. Any investigation or truth commission into the executive excesses of the Bush Administration on these counts should include looking at the so-called watchdogs in Congress who didn’t have the stones to speak up.
Read the 9/11 Commission report or any of a dozen or more reputable books about the intelligence community before and even after the Twin Towers went down and there is ample evidence that the CIA, FBI and NSA dropped several balls that may have prevented 9/11. Congress’ utility as overseer is only as good as the information it collects. It’s incumbent upon Congress to organize its dealings with the CIA or any other federal agency in ways that get at the truth and do not merely serve as CYA for all involved.