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. Axle

    This adulterer is one to call for the truth?

    May 10, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Dave in Savannah

    Gingrich hasn't had anything important to do or say for over a decade. He has proven to be a man of the lowest moral character. If the media stopped giving him free airtime, he would simply disappear.

    May 10, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. trueblue

    Gingrich wants others to tell the truth!? He should start with himself!

    May 10, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. P. D.

    Enough already. Why should we listen to Newt? In fact, a lot of Republicans who are out of power just can't seem to leave the spotlight. Tom Delay, Rick Santorum and don't forget the lovable Dick Armey. These guys are the most dishonest, pompous hypocrites around.

    May 10, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. Ex-Repub

    Newt Gingrich? The beacon of morality? Finger-pointer of others' adulterous affairs while having his own?

    Who would have thought. And that coming from a Republican.

    May 10, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. Carter DeMoss

    Nancy has explaining to do because she is blasting the Bush administration for this, when she in fact knew it was going on and provided no objections. Shame on her for being so two-faced. Thank you to the Bush administration for using these techniques and keeping us safe. Dripping a little water on someone who established the plans for 9/11 doesn't seem like a bad idea, especially given that it revealed the plans for the west coast version of 9/11. People need to use a little common sense. Instead of blasting Bush, you ought to thank him for taking care of you and your family.

    May 10, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. reed

    Gingrich is the last person who should be believed in regards to integrity. Let him crawl back in his hole.

    May 10, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. David

    If Pelosi's involved or any other dems, they need to be weeded out along with any republicans, this isn't a party issue. If you twisted the law or were an accessory, what's the difference?

    May 10, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. H Downey

    It is terrifically frightening to read the supportive comments that excuse Speaker Pelosi's lack of integrijty because the accuser is Newt Gingrich, a Republican. Her lies have nothing to do with anyone except the current Speaker of the House of Representatives of our country. She is an incredibly powerful person who thinks that it is okay to lie to us, or even worse, she has rationalized that she is telling the truth.

    May 10, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. D. Tree

    SO let me get this straight: these people are defending torture, but pointing fingers at its critics?

    Where do these advocates of torture get off acting all high and mighty and moral all of a sudden?

    May 10, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. lucy bell

    Speaker Polosi is one of the most corrupt Speakers in U.S. history and CNN is afraid of her.

    Why doesn't CNN demand answers to questions ? She sounds so bloody foolish and CNN lets her skate every time.

    May 10, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Lynn

    Just another Republican smoke screen to put the emphasis away from the real issue: should America be involved with torture.

    Funny how the Republicans always think they are the party of values and defending the constitution BUT only when it is convenient to their own agenda.

    May 10, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. ib

    How can she tell the truth when she doesn't know what the truth is? This woman has never told the truth in her life on anything. She should be tried right along with the rest of them if that is what happens. If it does it will be a disagrace for this country. What was done should have been done to protect the citizens of this country.

    May 10, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  14. Andrew

    We can't trust any of them to tell the truth. We need an independent investigation.

    May 10, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Gregra

    Anything coming from this man's mouth is immediately in question given his own personal dealings, relationships, and quick withdrawal from the political scene. He should continue to remain out of sight. Why he recently thinks his character is worthy of entertaining opinions is beyond me.

    An old Georgia Boy

    May 10, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |

    There are a few things which I think every poster on this site should try to remember. 1. The briefing which Nancy Pelosi attended back in 2002 was a CLASSIFIED BRIEFING meaning that to reveal or discuss its contains would result in arrest and detention as a violation of United States security. 2. At the time of this briefing the REPUBLICANS were in control of the White House, both cambers of Congress and the federal judiciary so just what power or authority did Nancy Pelosi have? 3. This whole discussion by the master of deceit Newt Gingrich is only smoke and mirrors since it hides behind the real truth that it is those who designed, authorized and carried out TORTURE in the name of the American people that should be held accountable and placed on trail-not those who may or may NOT have been told about it under the gaze of classified national security! It does not really matter if Nacy Pelosi is a liar or not since under the law she cannot disclose what was said in a classified briefing! Let's get real here folks!!!

    May 10, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. CAM

    The issue that Newt is pointing out is hypocrisy & lying by the Speaker of the House. This is especially relevant since Pelosi always acted shocked and horrifed that this country would use enhanced interrogation techniques on 3 key terrorists to stop terrorist plans that were in process. Pelosi was the most strident politician in her attacks on the Republican administration for this type of interrogation. Turns out that she always knew and accepted waterboarding from the very beginning until it was politically expedient to act shocked to gain the support of her anti-american, suicidal supporters on the left.

    May 10, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. gordon

    I realize these 24 hour news outlets need to find material, but let's stop scraping the bottom of the chum bucket for opinion by pathalogical liars like Gingrich and Cheney. I suppose this is to be expected in the middle of the GOP power vacuum... a lot of sucking.

    May 10, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  19. Democrat thugs

    The current Democrackpipe party is viciously corrupt. It is raping the America as they sleep.

    May 10, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  20. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    Censure from an habitual liar and serial adulterer? I don't THINK so!

    May 10, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. GOPer

    What does this have to do with getting America back on her feet? Nothing. Why is the GOP in terrible shape. Has beens like Gingrich. Dear Mr. Gingrich, please build something and do something positive with your influence.

    May 10, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. MaryanneAZ

    Unless Newtie has some irrefutable proof of HIS claims, he needs to shut up. The Speaker of the House knows what she was told, and what can be proven. The fact is that no matter what she was told, she could not have influenced what was sanctioned or had already occurred. Next week we'll be foaming over some other issue.

    May 10, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. Wade

    Just like Newt, Nancy lies her butt off all the time.
    Who do I believe? Neither. They're both liars.
    Nancy will lie to you with a smile on her face.

    May 10, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  24. Joe Mama

    I noticed that all of the mindless liberals that are trolling this article have attacked Gingrich but not his point. Pelosi is lying through her teeth and should be held accountable. If it were Bush, Cheney , Trent Lott or Bill Frist, the MSM would trip over themselves to skewer a GOPer in charge. This administration continues to enjoy God-like worship from their own in the press. Meanwhile, back at Newties
    central point, : : : : crickets: : : :

    May 10, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. Gimee A. Breyk

    Good advice- tell the truth or say nothing at all. Since our speaker does not want to tell the truth, she may take the rcommendation and shut her mouth before she lies even more to us- those she serves.

    May 10, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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