May 10th, 2009
07:19 PM ET
5 years ago

Gingrich: Pelosi not truthful about waterboarding issue

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday that Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the current Democratic House Speaker, has a lot of explaining to do about her knowledge of the CIA's use of waterboarding.
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday that Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the current Democratic House Speaker, has a lot of explaining to do about her knowledge of the CIA's use of waterboarding.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has denied she was ever told explicitly that waterboarding had been used on terrorist suspects, "has a lot of explaining to do," former Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday.

Gingrich, who held the House post from 1995 to 1999, said Pelosi keeps changing her statements on how much she knew about the practice and when.

In the interest of national security, "she [Pelosi] has a responsibility to say nothing or tell the truth," he told "Fox News Sunday." "In this case, it's clear she wasn't telling the truth."

A CIA memo provided to CNN by Republican sources lists 40 briefings for members of Congress from September 2002 to March 2009.

The first briefing - on September 4, 2002 - was for then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss and Pelosi, then the ranking Democrat on the committee.

The subject of the briefing is listed as "EITs," or enhanced interrogation techniques, "including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah," a suspected al Qaeda leader imprisoned at U.S. facilities in Guantanamo Bay.

One of those techniques is waterboarding, which simulates drowning and which has been described by critics as torture.

Initially, Pelosi said she had not been briefed on EITs, according to the memo provided to CNN by Republican sources.

However, a recently declassified Justice Department memo from 2005 says, "The CIA used the waterboard 'at least 83 times during August 2002' in the interrogation of Zubaydah."

That was before the September 4 Pelosi-Goss briefing.

Pelosi released a statement in December 2007 that said, "I was briefed on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future. The administration advised that legal counsel for both the CIA and the Department of Justice had concluded that the techniques were legal."

Last month, Pelosi told reporters she was told about the legal justification for the interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, but was never told the technique had been used on any detainees.

"We were not - I repeat - were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used," she said Friday.

In a statement issued Friday, Pelosi said: "Of the 40 CIA briefings to Congress reported recently in the press, I was only briefed once, on September 4, 2002, as I have previously stated."


Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. cabianni

    Nancy Pelosi lie? Noooooo.

    May 10, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. suzyku

    It just doesn't mattter what Gingrich, Cheney, McCain or the rest of the gang think anymore, they are now all irrelevant!

    May 10, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Brandon V in DFW

    So the GOP things the world should be made at Nancy instead of the jerk offs who authorized the torture, sorry Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.

    So again, be mad at the possibility that Dem leaders were briefed, but don't be mad about Cheney, Rumsfield, Rice, and their ilk pushing for and justifying the use of torture, keep forgetting, Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.

    Newt, you are no longer relivant, were you anywhere near this meeting. Were you briefed, were you asked for input. NO, so shut up!

    May 10, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Tim

    Newt is right on this one!

    May 10, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. D in Phoenix

    Newt – the standard of integrity and transparency! I'm sure all of his ex-wives would agree!

    May 10, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Jamey

    Pelosi is a liar... we need term limits

    May 10, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Jim

    Bush/Cheney hoodwinked everyone into "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction" just like the torture. Peloski is their scapegoat. Republicans want a democrat's head for this issue being brought up. I am of the opinion the republican party are liars and there is not truth in them. Who woke Gingrich up anyway!

    May 10, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Steve

    I am baffled. Why are we even listening to this man? Is there such a void int eh 24 hr news cycle that we are willing to fill it with any philandering, disgraced politician crawling for a comeback who is reduced to taking on any trivial controversy so it keeps himself in the game

    May 10, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Jonathan

    ...because Republicans are sooooo honest.

    May 10, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Jim

    Newt seems to be making a lot of demands for someone not holding an elected office.

    May 10, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Tom

    Remind again why I care about anything that comes out of Newt's mouth?

    May 10, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. TheThinker

    Gingrich talks out of both sides of his mouth. He is an epic hypocrite. He proved that back in the late 90's.

    May 10, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. pattydking

    WOW, Gingrich, you'll say anything to stay in the lime light. You can comment on Pelosi but what have you said about the crooks who ordered water boarding...you and your repub buddies are so out of touch with the American people. You guys can't stand the fact that you're not controlling the country, getting freebies on the backs of tax payers, keeping mainstream America out of the loop..well wake up!
    Along with all the great things Obama is doing, he's showing the country just how crooked the banks, insurance co, CEO's, and the rich repub are. Mainstream America can now see how the top 1% cheats the system

    May 10, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. C Spurgeon

    Pelosi, Cheney, Gingrich..Pigs all 3 of them..Talkabout a pot calling a kettle black..What a trio of losers.

    May 10, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. tjaman

    This guy doesn't know what _he_ knows until Rush tells it to him. How on Earth can he presume to know what Nancy Pelosi knows? You'll recall Speaker Newt led the rabidly partisan charge in the House to impeach a perfectly good president over an illicit trouser smooch we as a nation spent millions investigating. He has no credibility at all and should slink the frak off toward anonymity.

    May 10, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Stu-Florida

    Yea, like he's creditable.
    Newt is a newt... a slimy little ground creature...

    May 10, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. Reality Check

    Pelosi caught in a lie. She's changed her story on what she knew three times already. Put her under oath and let's have the "truth commission" on her dishonesty?

    May 10, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Dan, TX

    I agree with you fully. Democrats are liars including our president. Barack Obama wants to show that he is a great president but he has borrowed too much form our children and grand-children. He has increased taxes on well-to-do families. It is Democratic agenda and media is backing them up.

    May 10, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Frank

    Look !! It's the the Pot calling the Kettle Black !!!

    Gingrich and his quests for witch hunting and demagagoury are laughable.....come up with something positive Republicans. America needs to build up not tear down..... you Neo-cons still don't get it !!!

    May 10, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Frank Lee

    Newt, just seeing your name in the news is torture to most Americans.

    Now just crawl under that big old rock and get comfy..............good boy.

    May 10, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Darla

    Newt may have some skeletons in his closet, but everyone does. He is one of the few that have the backbone to run this country – and is much more intelligent than anyone in power today. Instead of blasting him, listen to some of his words....he is generally right on target.

    May 10, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. republicans hate america

    Its just typical that the Rush Limbaugh Party would find outrage in whether a democrat knew or not about what crimes the administration was doing rather then being outraged about committing the war crime itself.

    May 10, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Lee in Ohio

    Even though I am a democrat I have always been disgusted by Pelosi. She is manipulative, vengeful, and wants power simply because she likes it. In the context of this particular issue, she is trying to draw a distinction without a difference. As though the public cannot see that.

    May 10, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Ray Fisher

    How soon Newt forgets the Boot Newt movement which expelled him from politics, maybe he and Nancy can ride off together because they are both worthless!!!

    May 10, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Lynn West Bloomfield, Michigan

    Newt hates. Newt hates more. Newt hates the most.

    May 10, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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