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

Gingrich: Pelosi not truthful about waterboarding issue

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. MIKE IE

    This advice coming from a guy who lied at the alter, what 5 or 6 times. Please, his opinion means squat.

    May 10, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. GOPBslapper

    Odd that the words Gingrich and Truth be used in the same sentence without God sending a thunderbolt down to smite him.

    May 10, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. lb from pa

    come on, are you for real?
    Pelosi, as well as everyone else who denies knowledge, is an outright liar! Any citizen who reads for knowledge and information knows that we do this as well as all the other "civilized" european countries. No one on capitol hill can deny this, no one can deny knowing about rendition and no one can deny activities in this country. Someday, you will all know the truth and it won't come from the media.

    May 10, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. Rob

    Pelosi should just admit that she sat through an important debriefing meeting while her mind was somewhere else and the cameras weren't rolling to record her opinions ... so she missed making some inquiries and connections she would have made if she had she been paying attention or if the cameras been there to put a spotlight on her opinion. What else is new?

    May 10, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. William Hootman

    Why do you tell us that you got these documents from "Republican sourses"?

    May 10, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. Mac

    I am a Democrat and on behalf of my fellow party faithful, let me tell you the truth – Mr.Gingrich who was having an affair with another woman while he was married and pulling all strings to impeach President wants to run for President and he wants everyone to pay attention to him! So there you happy Newt?!

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

    Nancy Pelosi is a vulagr NorCal liar, so what's new. Gingrich is jsut plain vulgar, has no reason not to spew hate and is really a quite pathetic person. We The People are tired of the attitudes of Gincgich, Pelosi, all of them. There is always time for a new revolution.......

    May 10, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. Dee G. - CT

    Hey Gingrich! SIT DOWN AND SHUT-UP! Better to keep your mouth shut and let people *think* you're an idiot then to open it and prove them right.

    May 10, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Charlie

    It is funny that The Dems are trying to defend Pelosi and discrediting Newt. The GOP are trying to defend Newt and discredit Pelosi. The funny thing is that both the Dems and GOPs don't know that they are lied to by their own leaders. What a joke !

    May 10, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. Says Cession

    Of course the blind followers of the Obamessiah will not care that their minor prophets (Pelosi, Dodd, etc.) are lying about the very things that got the obamessiah coronated. Uh, we knew nothing about torture...well, I guess we knew about it. Uh, we knew nothing about AIG bonuses...well, we added the language to enable taxpayer funding of the rich (but we want to continue the lie that it is the Republicans who are always trying to take care of the rich). As the string of lies, deception, and unethical behavior grows for the democrats, the best that their followers can shout is "who cares what Newt...Palin...or even Justice thinks"

    May 10, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. Expat American

    Much of the country and much of the world is still waiting for the 'Patriot' Republicans to finally admit that they were wrong, and that they failed.

    May 10, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  12. Joe the Troll

    Does it make it not torture if she was told?

    May 10, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Jim in Asheville

    Hey Jim (the one mentioning Newt Gingrich "making demands" while not holding elected office), since when does a citizen need to hold office in order to demand that our elected officials come clean on the issues?

    May 10, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. tcaudilllg

    If Nancy had blown the whistle, it would have triggered a full scale partisan confrontation. Maybe even a civil war.

    May 10, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. mariel

    Newt, Cheney, McCain, Limbaugh – the 'new' extremely old face of the GOP. Irrelevant.

    May 10, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. CHANGE we need

    Her Majesty, Queen Nancy has sooo much on her can she remember something like this when she is trying to label earmarks for her constituants! She is worried about what is in her back yard vs. worried about DOING HER JOB in DC.

    Send her back home, California!!!

    May 10, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. indy

    So, if I have the straight, it's okay for her to lie about what she knew and did nothing to try to stop. Is she on record anywhere in that briefing saying she objected or didn't understand what they meant? Of course, since she's a Democrat that's okay. If she did nothing to try to stop it, should she be charged with aiding the other criminals of the administration?

    May 10, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. Ron

    You Pelosi supporters are all hypocrites. You say that you are for transparency in government, but apparently you must mean only when that transparency is focused on Republicans. What a bunch of morons. Did you really think that you could focus all of your hatred on Bush and the Republicans and that your dirty laundry would never come to the surface?

    May 10, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  19. red state Tenn

    Obama 52% Rep. 48% Gingrich is trying and may move 2 1/2%. He is right on

    May 10, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. Ribber

    Mr. "Glass House" himself. I sure hope Newt becomes the voice of the GOP. He'll guarantee a Democratic landslide in 2010 and 2012.

    May 10, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  21. John

    I see you ultra liberals will defend the socialist Pelosi to the bitter end.
    She's contributed to the mess in California that has the state falling under it's own weight. She's clearly misleading about waterboarding. She, like most people, in 2002 were more concerned with protecting the country than EIT's on those who whould murder us. I don't blame her for that, but she should admit it.

    May 10, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  22. Tes

    Please wake up people all he is saying is if the Dems want to punish everone involved for this water boarding then they better also be prepared to look at there own too. Lets be honest there is no honesty when it comes to politics...

    May 10, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  23. Marduk

    Wow Democrats really are blind and stupid. If it were ignorance it would be excusable but stupid there is no cure.

    Pelosi is either a liar or incompetent. Perhaps both. Just like Bill Clinton was not disbarred from practicing law in the state of Arkansas for a ........ It was perjury and obstruction of justice. aka high crimes and misdemeanor.

    Please take note every time the Democrats debated during the primaries the Dow Jones tanked. You voting for your measly $800 a year put six million out of work. Just something about the promise to rob people’s houses on January 20, 2009 those who saw the light moved their valuables out of the house.

    May 10, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  24. James Gilson

    The weakest speaker in the history of this country has told a lie. From all of the reports she was informed and was aware of the methods used. She is telling a lie to go along with the president and his bumbling ways of understanding war.

    It has past time for her to leave the congress and return to her state of confusion.

    May 10, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. George

    Newt is right. He has another Contract On America ready for us. Pelosi needs to come clean on what she knew and when she knew it. Also Cheney needs to come clean on what was agreed to in his Energy Policy meeting.

    May 10, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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