May 17th, 2009
12:36 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP leader on Pelosi's claim: Provide proof or apologize

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Minority Leader John Boehner turned up the heat Sunday in the escalating war of words between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, congressional Republicans, and the CIA over Pelosi’s knowledge of enhanced CIA interrogation techniques including water boarding.

Last week, Pelosi claimed that the CIA had misled herself and other members of Congress about whether it was actually using water boarding to obtain information from high-profile detainees during 2002 intelligence briefings.

The Ohio Republican said Pelosi should provide evidence that she was misled or apologize to the country’s intelligence community.

“Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime,” Boehner said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “And if the Speaker is accusing the CIA and other intelligence officials of lying or misleading the Congress, then she should come forward with evidence and turn that over to the Justice Department [for possible prosecution].”

“And if that’s not the case, I think she ought to apologize to our intelligence professionals around the world.”

After challenging Pelosi, Boehner sounded the praises of the nation’s intelligence gathering apparatus. “I’ve dealt with these people for three-and-a-half years on an almost daily basis,” Boehner told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “And I can tell you that I have never felt that I was misled. I’ve never felt that I’ve been lied to.”

The House Minority Leader described the information he’s received in intelligence briefings as “thorough” and “complete.” “They want to answer questions,” Boehner said describing the intelligence professionals he’d dealt with, “and there’s always, always an opportunity to object.”

“And Speaker Pelosi has, at times, objected to activities that were approved by the president. Those activities were changed as a result of her objection . . . in the intelligence environment.”

Boehner refused to say Sunday whether he thought it would be appropriate for the House of Representatives should begin an inquiry into whether Pelosi had lied about national security matters.

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Filed under: CIA • John Boehner • Nancy Pelosi • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. nick

    Why does CNN cover the GOP? They lost the election. They are losers.
    LOSERS. And they broke the law, they were a criminal regime. Its time to start putting these people in jail. Start with Rumsfeld and Cheney.

    May 17, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Dan, TX

    We are headed to 10% unemployment. We have two wars going on and we want to investigate Pelosi and Cheney?

    Who gives a crap! This has nothing to do with anything that affects my life. I want my daughter to have access to health care even though she has HPV. Will she be able to get insurance to cover a pre-existing condition?

    The congress needs to get serious or get out of the way. They are more interested in their little games than the future of our country.

    May 17, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Allen in Hartwell GA

    It ain't about Pelosi!!!
    Bush, Cheney, and their crime syndicate started this and lied about it to us and the world. These Republicans in Congress will have us lynching any Democrat available just to get the heat off themselves. Don't fall for these tricks.

    May 17, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. P.Barman

    May be Pelosi should step down and enjoy her winery and her church as she is not fit for speakership and will be better to run for state office and solve the issues facing California and please do not lie in future.

    May 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Kevin

    News Flash: Democrats lie too!

    Are we really surprised?

    May 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Dorothy M. Oliver, Greensboro, NC

    Does CIA use "If they don't ask, don't tell" as a means to keep Congress uninformed. For years I have read political journals: Foreign Affairs, Policial Science Quarterly, Presidential Studies, books on political topics and somewhere I read a person from the intelligence community say that they answer only what is asked. In other words they don't volunteer information. Briefing Congress then becomes a game of deceit, and the Bush Administration added it own touch to this game. The question is WHO IN THE WHITE HOUSE GAVE APPROVAL FOR TORTURE not what Nancy Pelosi knew and remembers or said. The latter is a side-show of no importance to the real issue of torture.

    May 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. acceptorchange

    So what is wrong with waterboarding if it saves American lives. War is WAR. When did it become like a kid's game to be played by certain rules? The real issue, to me, is if your loved ones lives could be saved by waterboarding someone who was being held for PROBABLE CAUSE, would the waterboarding still seem wrong to you?

    May 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Patriot1013

    Nice try Johnnie.

    This guy thinks all Americans are stupid. Pelosi was not allowed to take notes or comment publicly on classified breifings you idiot. What "evidence" beyond her statements now would she be expected to possess.

    This is the lamest trap I've seen the GOP try to set in a while. No wonder they couldn't catch bin Laden in 8 years.

    May 17, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. thetruth

    To Robin @ 11:59pm. Goerge Bush told several lies while in office:
    He said that Iraq had WMD's which were never found–unless you found them–thats a lie! his facilities and abality to produce chem weapons had been destroyed in the past
    He stood on a U.S. carrier and declared "mission accomplished",–that's a lie!– we are still in Iraq with the mission still unaccomplished several years later
    He said Iraq posed an immenet threat to attack the U.S.,–that's a lie!–they were no more a threat to attack us than Switzerland was
    He had Colin Powell say at the U.N., with phony pie charts, graphs, and sattelite photos, that Saddam had trucks or mobile units that had weapons ready materials–that's a lie! The "downing street"memos debunked those claims
    He claimed that Saddam was in league with Al-Qaeda–thats a lie!–that so called alliance was never true, Al Qaeda was never in Iraq until U.S. boots were entrenched in Iraq...remember all those foreign fighters coming into Iraq to join the U.S. resistance movement, with then unknown Muctadar AL Sadar
    He said "Brownie's doing a heck of a job"–that's a lie!, when in fact Michael Brown(frmr FEMA head) and the U.S. govt was a disgrace in its ineptness to take care of New Orleans as it flooded and people died.
    Thats just a few, but trust me the list goes on...

    May 17, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Josh Maloney

    Nancy Pelosi is only stating what she and much of the country believe. The CIA mislead us. The people responsible for approving water boarding should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Put them on trial in The Hague.

    May 17, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Cheryl

    Pelochio, what a joke! Come on, Dems, get with the program!

    May 17, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. george

    George, If you want to prosecute people for crimes, look no farther than the current president. There are innocent people in Pakistan that have being killed by American bombs on a steady basis since Jan 21st and under your definiton that makes Obama criminally responsible.

    May 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Marge

    Why doesn't CNN post every article about the republicans trying to blame everything but the Iraqi War on Pelosi. And pretty soon they are going to try to put that off on her.

    If I remember correctly, and of course my memory goes further back then four months.....bush was the president since 2001....cheney was the vice president, rice was the SOS, and we had a republican department of justice with republican lawyers.

    Now how in the devil could little ole Nancy Pelosi a member of the intel committee AND NOT IN CHARGE REMEMBER, be responsible for the waterboarding and other tortures the CIA...GOT THAT CIA, AND THE REPUBLICANS SANCTIONED, APPROVED and carried out.

    But then who ever heard of the TRUTH, certainly not the CIA who have lied over and over and over again about the waterboarding, and every other thing they have done for the republicans. And of course the paragon of truth...Newt Gingrich. Who was known to sneak around and lie about his affairs with women while his wife was dying of cancer. And how about him taking all the money from the schools he ran and put it in his own pocket. AND had to resign because of it.

    And by the way which republican do YOU believe unless you are one of those republican lemmings that would jump over the cliff following buttholes like mcconnell and boeher and cantor and RUSH THE MOUTH.

    May 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Mike

    These comments are usually more entertaining than the article itself!

    It is definitely clear that there are many American voters that were tricked by the Far-Left propaganda machine... and everyday I see that there is a lot of buyer's remorse for people that voted for the current Democrats in power. And the Far-Left people that frequent this site (and MSNBC and the daily attack sites) are going crazy somehow trying to defend this madness. And they usually get mean and use the politics of ridicule to try to change culture.

    Like it or not, America is still a center-right nation. And people are starting to see that there is no real "change" being delivered... just more of the same ol' dirty politics.

    May 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. b. duffy

    Pelosi has been a bald faced liar for years and she has finally been caught in her own web. She should do the honorable thing and start impeachment proceedings against herself.

    May 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. jimmy-ohio

    as a democrat who has run for office,organized and worked for other dems let me say this with a degree of sadness,,,Pelosi has to go.I am not saying sheshould be punished instead of Bush,Cheney<etc but along side of them.Everyone who stood by and let the torture continue is as guilty as those who did it.

    May 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Longhorn7

    She's lied. i knew when they made her speaker of the house it was a huge mistake. Then her stand against Hillary even made me more dislike her. She is like the Kennedys a cancer that needs to be discarded from the Democrat party. Why you people keep voting them in Mass. for. Do they own you. If they do that is a shame. They are nothing but crooks. Gangsters would be a better word. People's lives mean nothing to a Kennedy and Pelosi is their woman. Get rid of Both and never let a Kennedy conection enter politics again.

    May 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. John

    I agree with Larson. Get EVERYONE responsible. You want Pelosi, fine, but also prosecute those that REALLY committed the crimes. Thanks to FOX and CNN(Fox-lite-wannabe) for constantly giving the ridiculous a BIG soapbox from which to sound important...if only we still had just 3 channels that had to put out a 30 minute news segment that they actually really investigated before reporting. Oh well, journalism is dead...

    May 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Keeth in California

    “Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime,” Boehner said.

    He should know; he is a George W. Bush Republican, after all.

    WMDs. 'Nuff said.

    May 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    Nancy lied but the media is covering for her because she's a democrat!

    May 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Where is your parties new budget that you promised Rep. Boner? Seems to me you and your party are all Preperation and no H.....

    May 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Eucawells

    CNN, this is a story for FOX, it is very unbecoming of CNN to keep this nonsense going.

    May 17, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. Brian

    Charlie in maine....what are you talking about?? Who has said that knowing about waterboarding is a crime?? Ms. Pelosi is apparently indicating that she didn't take as strong of a stance on water boarding because the CIA was not honest with her that water boarding was taking place or atleast to the degree that it was taking place. The GOP, not believing her, is simply stating that if she is going to make those types of comments, she should prove it....because if that is true, that she was lied to, then the CIA, or members of, should be prosecuted.

    Its not the waterboarding or knowledge of waterboarding that is illegal....its the alleged lack of truth that is illegal.

    You talk of the GOP lying.....are you saying that the DEMS dont!!?? I hope your not that naive!!

    May 17, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Noreen Samsa

    Boehner is again playing the Republican song and dance, make a firestorm out of the small stuff, and Americans will ignore the big stuff. This is just another way to divert from the real legal question – did we torture and should those who did be held accountable? Smoke and mirrors to divert the course of the debate from the actual torture crimes, to whether or not one democrat knew about the torture. If Pelosi knew, then hold her accountable, have an independent investigation. Come on, Mr. Republican Boehner, call for that. Can;t do that because most of the really culpable members of congress are the republicans who rewrote the law, ordered the torture and ignored national and international treaties – and now we find out it was mostly to get proof that doesn't exist about WMD and Al Quida connections for an immoral and illegal war. Your smoke and mirrors may work for a while, but it will come full circle and back to the question – Do we torture as Americans, or are we better than that?

    May 17, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. jimmy-ohio

    of course this thought also comes to mind,,,,if pelosi should go because she was a congressional leader who knew about it and remained silent,,,,doesn't that apply to boehner and mcconnel as well?

    May 17, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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