Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has created a real firestorm for herself when it comes to what she knew and approved of in reference to the practice of waterboarding by the CIA. At first she insisted that she did not know it was actually happening, but then briefing documents were released by the CIA clearly showing that she knew that waterboarding had been used There was no reference at all that she protested. In fact, it has been suggested by Porter Goss and other members of the CIA that Speaker Pelosi expressed concerned that not enough was being done to extract information.
This is not a post in defense of the practice of waterboarding, but what must be said is that politicians get themselves into this kind of a hypocritical mess, especially those who represent people who generally have extreme political views on the left or the right. The Loony Left is so hell bent on payback when it comes to the Bush Administration for a whole host of things they didn't like, that their representatives are feeling the pressure to criminalize and humiliate somebody. Because of the influence of the Wacky Right, the Republicans attempted to do this with the impeachment of Bill Clinton and they paid the price. One would have thought that Speaker Pelosi would have learned from that whole affair (pun intended), but apparently not. It would be all well and good to have a bipartisan commission to look into the practice of interrogation techniques and where things got out of hand, because we know that at times they did. But when one even hints at the possibility of prosecution for illegalities, the one doing the accusing better be squeaky clean and above moral reproach on that specific matter.
That's what presents Speaker Pelosi with a huge problem. She has done more than hint that in her view some former Bush Administration officials could very well be prosecuted for their involvement in the torture of detainees, but it looks now as if she herself knew it was happening but did not object. So, now Ms. Pelosi is attempting an all out CYA publicity campaign even accusing the CIA of willfully misleading Congress (Note to Speaker Pelosi: Never accuse the CIA nor the FBI of lying. They have ways of getting even.) Every time she holds a press conference in an attempt to dig herself out of the hole she has made for herself, she digs it even deeper. I have noticed over the last few days in watching the "talking heads" of all political stripes, that she has very view defenders, except for those on the extreme left who realize that their hope of enjoying the humiliation of the previous administration is quickly going up in smoke.
Political payback is a powerful motivating force for people whose obsessive convictions are surpassed only by their belief in the righteousness of their political agenda. What that means is that those who disagree with their politics are not only wrong, but they are evil and criminal. The dilemma for such persons is that they are so deeply involved in the furtherance of their own cause, that they discover as they are on their crusade to bring down their political enemies, others in response find out quickly that they too live in glass houses.
What is most unfortunate about all of this is that now that the accusers have revealed their hypocrisy on the matter of torture, over time there will be less and less interest in getting at the truth of interrogation abuse, and attempting to understand how things went wrong over time; how well-meaning people in government let circumstances dictate behavior that, more than once crossed the line, not for the purpose of prosecution, but in figuring out how to avoid such things in the future.
Sometimes it is best to be silent. Speaker Pelosi should have heeded that advice three weeks ago. It just may be the case that if she now refuses to talk further, it will only reinforce the truth of the deception she has attempted to perpetrate in front of the American people.
Life in a glass house is difficult.
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Cross-Posted at RedBlueChristian