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. Kristin

    NOW the republicans care about who's been lying????? One question Snoot- Where are the WMD's your boys promised they had intel on? What about all the lies about Katrina? How about all the Cheney lies? Good thing for the republicans that there's no Pinnochio Effect we would all have to duck and run. Could you imagine if it happened simulteneously – LOL- windows would be blowing out, mirrors would be breaking, people's eyes would be getting poked out, computer monitors would be breaking, tanning bed lights would get shattered, it would be a catastrophy!!!!

    May 10, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Doug, Atlanta

    Everytime she opens her big mouth a lie comes out..

    May 10, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Col Kilgore

    Is that the same Newt that was playing around on his wife while spearheading the Clinton witch hunt for exactly the same thing ? I guess that makes him a liar and a hypocrite too. Hes perfect for the GOP.

    May 10, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. William

    If Nancy Pelosi seems a bit too slippery, maybe its because she s aprat of the corruption that run amok in Washington. Se is, after all, an old, dear friend of President Bush. (Or did you think there was another reason she was so soft on him all those years?)

    As for you, Mr. Gingrich, you aren't the most honest politician in the country yourself. We still remember your "Contract on America," which started us on a long slide to corruption and failure. So maybe you shouldn't be throwing stones.

    May 10, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Peter E

    Yes, Newt, we get it. You are running for president therefore you have to call the media each time you have an opinion about something. Now go back to the 90s where you belong old man!

    May 10, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. w.l. jones

    That sound like a person who never wore a military uniform talking about here say. If you were not present when it taken place it never happen in the real world.

    May 10, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Pelosi is the perfect example.....

    of "people who live in glass houses.....".

    May 10, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Pam in Oregon

    I agree that politicians should be honest. However, most are not. Newt is a total loser. People seem to have a short memory about the Newt. He had to leave office in shame. He lied and continues to do so. He also told his wife he was divorcing her when she was in the hospital. Talk about family values. He is dishonest. I wish the loser sector of the Republicans would let it rest. We are really tired of hearing from them.

    Pam in Oregon

    May 10, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Lisa Florida

    Gingrich should shut up and leave Nancy along he's only doing this because she's a woman.

    May 10, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Joanna

    If Nancy was in on this she should go to jail as well. Why doesn't the GOP get it? Its not about party. We didn't go after Bush because of party. He was an idiot that broke many laws.
    But i seriously doubt Nancy knew they were doing this. The GOP is just trying( but will fail) to shift blame.

    May 10, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. I used to like CNN but not anymore!

    Newt has no credibility! He was a big time ethics violator back in the day! That's why he is known as the " FORMER" GOP Speaker of the House of Representatives he got booted cause he's as crooked as they come! No credibility whatsoever! He needs to close that yapper of his!

    May 10, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Mike in Texas

    That is the problem with cable and internet media. Too many people are asked their opinion when their opinion means squat. You have to fill up space with their drivel. Face it folks we are in a different age and everyone seems to want to put their 2 cents in and the media is willing to publish it

    A truthful politician. That is an oxymoron. So who do you believe? You believe the person who you identify with more that is who.

    May 10, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. jim

    If Pelosi lies anymore she will be qualified to be President.

    May 10, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. ken

    The Democrats like to travel by bandwagon. They support Iraq until it's unpopular, the supported warentless wiretaps until the NY Times became outraged and now it seems they knew about these enchanced interogation techniques since 02-03 but pretend that they were never consulted. Pelosi is a liar that wouldn't only tell the truth if it benefited her. This lady is 3rd in line to be President?

    May 10, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Renee

    Says the man who was not truthful to his wife...

    May 10, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Artemisios

    If Pelosi had a hand in torture, then she needs to be in jail - along with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, ... This is not a partisan issue. It is an issue of humanity.

    May 10, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Simon in BC

    Treat them all the same, Dem or Rep – if they knew about torture and approved it or did nothing to stop it then send them off the The Hague as war criminals.

    May 10, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Howard

    How, precisely, would Newt know whether or not Pelosi is telling a fib? The man is making these kinds of remarks to maintain his visibility for a 2012 Presidential candidacy.

    May 10, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. Michael

    What's really frightening is that it has become apparent to me that numerous Americans are willing to support this woman solely on the basis that she is a Democrat. You don't have to choose between Newt and Nancy. He is gone, and she should be, too.

    May 10, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. grahame

    typical Republican comment. The usual Republican drivel to decry anybody who they perceive as being non Republican just like the very vast majority of people who will not put up with hate and torture.

    It just proves the point that the more a political party becomes irrelevant the louder they scream.

    Welcome to the death throws of the republican party.

    May 10, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Sally

    And he knows this because - oh, that's right, he's had no legal access to any of the security briefings.

    And Gingrich lecturing anyone on telling the truth is as rich as Britney Spears telling someone else to wear underwear.

    May 10, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. jwn in south carolina

    What is a cheater but a First Class Liar! That's you, Mr. G!

    May 10, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. Sue

    Wonder whether or not CNN will use their censorship pen on me for this comment (because you can't elude, with letters, to what you are thinking!)-why do we care what Newt has to say? Funny how the repubs always cry foul when the dems do what they have been doing forever (lying). Why didn't he say anything about Shrub and dick while they were in the WH leading our country in to a war for nothing more than supposed rights to oil and to grease the pockets of their campaign contributors?

    Now CNN, will you let one comment be posted? We will see.....

    May 10, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. MBFLA

    When it comes to the whole torture issue, Nancy Pelosi is way down the list of people who have a lot of explaining to do in front of a war crimes tribunal so zip it Newt!

    May 10, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. rich

    So all of you responding by attacking the messenger think it is fine that one of our leaders obviously lied for political gain?

    That is whats wrong with our country. It is fine if a politician does anything, as long as they are on our side.

    This really sickens me.

    May 10, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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