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. David Pollan

    Fox News does the Republicans no favors when Newt Gingrich is given all the airtime he desires....of course, it is Fox News that pays Newt tens of thousands of dollars for his pontificating on-air against the Democrats as if he's relevant...the network that "fair and balanced" only seems to offer employment to all those former Republican congressman who can't find a job lobbying go to work at Fox News ...

    Gingrich, Palin, Boehner, Cheney, Limbaugh et al are truly the poster children of a disgraced party....and each time anyone of them opens their mouth, the country moves further and further away from the Republicans because no one in their right mind would want to be associated with these wackos

    May 10, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. MESA MICK

    In the interest of national security, "she [Pelosi] has a responsibility to say nothing or tell the truth,"

    Hey Newt, who made you the master of the universe to be the "decider" on where, when and what people should say and the fore knowledge if what they are saying is true?

    Oh I forgot, your a repuglican't so you think god has personally given you the "divine right" and "special sight" gift.

    Go suck an egg Newt baby, you're a has been like the rest of the GOP..

    May 10, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Paul Lennon

    tell the truth Nancy

    May 10, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Roger

    Not only is Newt right-on on this one, his comments on many issues are relevant and should be listened to. Yes, he has made many personal mistakes in the past but this should not be used to shun his comments under the carpet. You may disagree with his views and comments but he should be listened to because this man is brillant and politically savy. Let's stop the bashing and analyze the issues and be thankful that there is someone who is fighting for America.

    May 10, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. John B. From New Hapmshire

    funny how they go after the ONE democrat name as someone who needs to be investigated further on EIT's. First: she WAS honest about the briefing and said these were methods that the Bush administration was contemplating using but had not yet brought into practice back in 2002. Second: Mr. Gingrich, if you're so concerned about what ms. pelosi knew... why then on that note are you not concerned about who gave these horrendous orders that make us no better than the people we continue to fight and hunt down?!?! why not ask Dick Cheney... seems he has ALLOT to say on this matter!! A truth committee is completely necessary to air this in the open and to further ensure that our values as americans and human beings never fall to the highest bidder ever again i.e. CIA!!!

    May 10, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. LaVonne

    Did everyone miss the point? The pertinent part of this story is that the CIA memo provided to CNN lists 40......FORTY briefings for members of congress from Sept 02 to March 09 re interrogation techniques. Pelosi may have been able to get by with her lie about 1 or 2 briefings, but after 40 briefings...... I gotta think the woman just lies.... And re the previous administration's role. They haven't lied about it. they did it. they said they did it. they told us why they did it. They completely believe in what their role is in the war on terror. Pelosi on the other hand blows with the wind .....one lie after another dependent on how the public perceives the situation at the time.

    May 10, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. Antionette from Florida

    Since when has Newt Gingrich become the moral compass of this country?. It is obvious the Republicans are attempting the cat and mouse game. Even if Speaker Pelosi had some level of information–how could she possibly act with a Republicn House/Senate and President?

    May 10, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. magella

    Wait. The Republicans say waterboarding is a completely acceptable means of interrogation. So if that's the case, Pelosi not remembering whether she knew about it would be like not remembering what she ate for lunch on 9/4/02.

    I am not a big fan of hers, but it seems to me the GOP can't have it both ways. It would seem lying or covering up about something is a big deal only if the lie or coverup was about something controversial or outright wrong.

    May 10, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Ken Sanders, Vancouver, Canada

    The whole works of these people make me ill. How can one tell if lies are being told ? Watch their lips. One accuses the other ad nauseum. Meanwhile the Country is still going down the drain. It's bad enough to BORROW the stimulus money but for Goodness Sakes at least start getting it out into the Economy. Jobs jobs jobs !!!! Thank you.

    May 10, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  10. Chris

    first they say there's executive privilege then they say there isn't. first they say we should not investigate any further, then they say release everything. first they say they didn't torture, then they say, "ok we did, but it yielded helpful information".

    gop dead yet?

    May 10, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. Candy Wilson

    I still question why he and Mr. Cheney are in the News EVERY Day and when in office you couldn't find them!

    May 10, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. John

    This isn't about Newt Gingrich. It's about Nancy Pelosi being a sociopath liar. She was proclaiming torture to be wrong all the while knowing all the details about what was going on, while doing absolutely nothing to stop it even though the Dems held the House & Senate.

    May 10, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. jrzshor

    pelosi is telling the truth when she states I "was ever told explicitly that waterboarding had been used on terrorist suspects".

    the EXPLICITLY part gives her the "truth" OUT. if she was just "BRIEFED", then she is not lying.

    May 10, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. frustated americam

    no problem....dems can lie all they want...
    look..Pelosi just forgot...she was so distracted bashing Bush..that is a full time job!
    give me a break...she should resign NOW!

    May 10, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Immune to the Rhetoric

    hey she-devil, pelosi! tell the truth!

    and why should you care what newt says? maybe because he was the speaker during the time of great economic prosperity in the 90's??? pelosi on the other hand has just been driving our country down into the dirt

    May 10, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. Nancy please

    I hope people can only see how she only says what is best for her. The policies implemented by her only reflect her flip flop on this issue. The next 4 years will see a flood of bigger government, and self fulfillment of traditional liberalism. We will see how this experiment works.

    May 10, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. chaz

    Well, Gingrich sure knows about lying, ya gotta give him that. And considering that the past administration also was familar with lying, I just get myself to believe anything that the GOP says.

    May 10, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. Noliving

    Whether people like it or not, he is correct, nancy is lying. Just because he is a republican doesn't mean he should be blown off. I mean if Osama bin laden said the US needs to admit to its abuses at gitmo, would everyone just blow him off? No they wouldn't. Yes he does look hypocritical saying they need to tell the truth but that shouldn't excuse nancy to be able to lie and get away with it either.

    May 10, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. frustated american

    instead of asking Pelosi for an explanation....the left in these comments attack Newt!!!!! amazing, amazing! there is a lot of hate that blinds ignorant americans

    May 10, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. Alex Ramirez

    "Pelosi denied being briefed in EIT, according to Republican sources". Or this author comes from another planet, or thinks we are all stupid.
    Nanci Pelosi has denied that, once and again in CNN, Fox, and Pravda, that is know by everyone and his sister, we have all seen her on TV denying that.

    May 10, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. Elly

    Newt and Cheney need to find the same rock they can crawl under
    NO ONE cares what either of you have to say!
    Anyone who endores torture is no better than the terrorists who brought down the towers!!!!
    there is no excuse for anyone who is *civilized* to approve torture- Bush Cheney, Conda leeza rice etc are no better than those who were part of 911 .!! Just bc those terrorists acted like a bunch of barbaric human beings does NOT mean the US government has to SINK to their LEVEL with torture and that says it ALL!!
    Thats what gets me about republicans they are suppose to be grounded on christian faith but their ACTIONS say otherwise!!!!!

    May 10, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  22. Oregon

    Judicial firings... 9/11... WMDs... Yeah Newt – let's talk about truth.

    May 10, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. Ivan

    Prove it Newt.
    There are no recordings or transcripts of what was said.
    It's a he said she said dilemma, and I will believe the Democrat version before I believe the Republican version.

    May 10, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Nancy SC

    Pelosi didn't know what the Repubs were doing as far as waterboarding. She is a Democrat and you know they wouldn't tell her the truth about what they were doing. You Repubs are stupid.

    May 10, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. Wayne, Greenville, TX

    What does Newt know about teling the truth???

    May 10, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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