May 17th, 2009
12:36 PM ET
12 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.


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

    Bohner is adhering to the Bush post-911 policies, namely that you are guilty until proven innocent! How about the GOP prove Pelosi was lying? Any WHY is this an issue? Is this ALL the Republicans have left? All they have is to try and pick at words that were said YEARS ago?? During a time when a GOP President was lying to the WHOLE COUNTRY?

    If the GOP presses this more, I say launch the FULL investigation into Bush/Cheney war crimes and let's see what dirt WE can find against them! how about Cheney ignoring federal warrant after federal warrant??

    May 17, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Dan

    I think she is lying and trying to cover her butt. Throwing mud back at the Republicans doesn't change that. According to everyones logic on here it is okay for her to do it since the Bush administration did? Come on people you can't have it both ways. She needs to go. By the way I'm a Democrat and voted for Obama

    May 17, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. JR

    Yeah right, "prove that you weren't told", exactly how does someone do that? This is the same twisted logic that got us into Iraq. How about one of you neo-cons prove that the CIA DID tell her details on using torture, huh, how about that.

    May 17, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. David

    For any person with half a brain her lies have been proven. Pelosi should go!

    May 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. Independent

    Yep, just throw Nancy Pelosi under the bus, while the media and the party of NO keeps Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rummysfeld out of the news....It's NOT working.....CIA was wrong about Iraq

    May 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Kristy

    wait... why are the republicans spending time on this when they claim waterboarding ISNT torture nor have we ever done torture? Again, speaking out both ends of their mouths. Were we not "misled" according to the Bush administration about WMDs? Did he apologize for the intelligence agencies for calling them out?

    May 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. KirksNoseHair

    So, let's see.....the President (Bush) and his entire cabinet mislead (lie) the nation into an utterly and completely useless war, what was arguably the most massive blunder in US Foreign policy history, but that's ok, because Nancy Pelosi may have lied about what the CIA did or did not tell her about torture.

    Am I in the twilight zone here?

    I mean, seriously......

    Talk about obfuscation......the Republicans just continue to be an unmitigated embarrassment to this nation.

    May 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Clinton Fringer

    All I can do is laugh.... Nancy has FINALLY hung herself and her supporters are dropping like flies. It is time for her to go. She did nothing good during the Bush administration and she has proven that she can't do anything good for her own parties administration. Oh and just my two's not anybody's job to prove her wrong. She made the accusation and it's her responsibility to back it up. Everybody knows she can't........that is why they are jumping off her sinking ship. I think she was warned not to open that can of worms........I bet she wishes she could close it.

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. sam


    You say "He and Newt should realize that nobody cares what they say." If this is the case then why are you on here whining? The documents do prove she knew about the waterboard techniques. It is documented. She now needs to prove she was told or given documentation that defends her case. She can "talk" about all she wants, but where is her proof?

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Larry from RI

    Yes boner, lying to Congress IS a crime!

    So when do we prosecute Bush and Cheney for lying to congress and the American people?

    If Pelosi was complicit in this then she should be investigated and prosecuted if warranted – but let's not be distracted as to who actually authorized and committed the crime of torture in the first place!

    This is like trying to lay blame the gun dealer instead of the criminal who pulled the trigger!

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Ruty

    I believe Nancy Pelosi is telling the truth. Isn't the CIA and the Justice Department the same ones who told is there were WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION? What are THEY hiding or covering up? Maybe they should get Bush and Cheney involved.

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Larry

    By the way ...

    Pelosi never claimed anything until the first Republican lie was thrown

    Get out of my computer BOEHNER ...

    Just another big mouth Republican with nothing positive for America

    Republicans ... The Party Of NO ... THING

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. coach

    Pelosi's choice of words was poor and she should acknowledge that in a most professional way. However, this is a diversion from the real issue and should be quickly disposed of.

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Darin

    I thought this was about torture and who authorized it? How did what Nancy Pelosi knew and when come into this? I am no fan of hers but I think finding the person(s) responsible for this atrocity is a bit more important than setting her down a peg.

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Crash Master

    i'm sick and tired of hearing things
    from uptight-short sighted-narrow minded hypocritics
    all i want is the truth
    just give me some truth
    i've had enough of reading things
    by nuerotic-pyschotic-pig headed politicians
    all i want is the truth
    just give me some truth

    The lies emanating from Bush, Cheney and Co. for 8 years can be ignored while you go after Pelosi for lying, right Boehner?

    You should study what John Lennon wrote up above and try to understand why you come across as sore loser with nothing of value to say.

    May 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Independent

    Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime??? Then why isn't Bush, Cheney and the rest in jail for their lies????????????

    May 17, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Franky

    You know, that's what Pelosi gets. For a good time she was just chillin, relaxing and letting the Dems do their thang and here she comes being a tough girl and all that. Personally, I think she was just trying to say that it wasn't as consequential or as importance as it was in that time and therefore her making that claim that she was misled or is based on inaccurate information is just based on instances when she was around the other words, she did get the assignment in class where everybody else got it, Pelosi was just trying to show off. I don't think she was trying to say she had no knowledge or information about it but that she wasn't aware of what was going on, therefore she doesn't wanna pay attention to the situation. Just the fact that it wasn't more serious back then doesn't mean Pelosi gotta turn the tables around, as a matter of fact, she is talking like if they were trying to hide something. I don't think it matters what happen, you also gotta remember so many factors, like the vote on Iraq. It wasn't until many years later we were beginning to get more info on what was going on, the only thing that is new here is the fact that Pelosi was not informed or that she didn't know, maybe she doesn't remember or fully comprehend what happened and now, she's learning the hard way.

    I'm not saying everybody knew or what was going on, this stuff is confidential and quite frankly guys, it ain't none of our business because it is on paper and on record. Just the fact that Pelosi said the CIA misled her is really another way of saying that's inaccurate, I'm sure she remembers, she just gotta think before she speaks and when she does, she should understand her history as well...

    California women...what is it about them? I think she saw Miss Cali so she wanted to be tough, that's my analysis for Pelosi, LOL!!

    May 17, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Clinton Fringer

    Crazy CIA, How about they provide us with the transcript of what they told Nancy.

    Mike, I believe the offical word from the CIA is that they are waiting on Obama to declassify this informaiton and then they would be happy to priovide all memos. Nancy is through.............she should just bow out gracefully.

    May 17, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Michael McDowell, USA

    John Boehner's (I cannot even let myself honor this fool with mentioning that he is the Minority Leader of Congress) assertion that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should present evidence of lying by CIA officials since lying to Congress is a crime is the height of hypocrisy. If Boehner wants anyone who lied to Congress to be prosecuted, then lets put George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Alberto Gonzalez, Donald Rumsfeld, and many other Administration officials under the same process for not only lying to Congress, but to the American people and to the country as a whole!!! Although I can't personally stand Nancy Pelosi, and would like to see her replaced as Speaker because she is just as reprehensible as Boehner is many ways, to put her under the truth statement microscope while letting the Bush thugs escape their day of justice is absolutely the stupidiest thing to come out of a politicians mouth since George Bush said "So help me God! at his inauguration in 2001 and 2005.
    And Newt Gingrich, Limbaugh, Jindal, Romney, Norquist, and the other Reichsfuhers of the GOP need to shut their lying yaps and go take goosestepping lessons off a pier into the Potomac. These vain, brain dead, egotistical politicians are pus filled boils on the butt of the American people, and we need to lance and drain them from our sight.
    Also Boehner needs to realize that the only reason President Obama has had to make several key decisions that flip-flopped from his earlier positions, has been because of the blatant stonewalling and lack of cooperation the GOP has become famous for the past 100 days. The GOP is determined to ruin our country rather than work with the President.

    May 17, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Jillie

    I'm soooo sick of the vicious ways of the Republican Party....I doubt I'll ever vote Republican again. They've become sickening!

    May 17, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Bill/CA

    Give it a rest, boner. If lying to Congress is a crime, should we start prosecuting all the Bush officials who did just that? It's funny how, rather than denouncing the crimes of torture that occurred on the GOP's watch, and with their blessing, they're diverting the attention to Pelosi. Americans aren't dumb, GOP...we know who was responsible for this travesty, and who we will continue to hold accountable in elections until you take some responsibility for your actions rather than creating bogus controversies to try and shift the attention elsewhere.

    May 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Kathy

    This is nuts. Anyone remember Major General Antonio Taguba and what happened to him? By the time his report was made public, even me, an ordinary citizen with no access to nothin' knew there was torture going on. What happened to him during the Bush Administration? The current investigation should be about why no one in the Bush Administration did anything about torture and whether there should be indictments in U.S. courts before courts in other countries issue them.

    May 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. P Alfonso

    This whole thing is idiotic. The problem comes from calling something that we do to our special forces during training “Torture”. Only wimps would imply or believe that creating an illusion of drowning without physical injury is torture. How can you extract information out of someone unless you scare the living days out of him?
    All of this nonsense is just a distraction to keep people from seeing the real problems that we are facing. Such as the chaotic shape of our sinking economy and the loss of our personal wealth and future. That is the real job of the news media in today’s world. So you fools out there while you are wasting your time reading this irrelevant garbage, someone is writing you employment termination notice or filling out your eviction papers. Wake up America!

    May 17, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Terry

    I don't get it, really. On the one hand, waterboarding and other torture techniques have been talked about by the media in connection with Guantanamo for the last two or three years as if it is presumed and known by everybody that it was being done. I didn't know anybody was denying these things were happening; even Obama ran on the pledge to close Guantanamo because it is associated with torture used on its prisoners. On the other hand, I can wholeheartedly believe that the CIA under the Bush Administration would lie and mislead everybody. "Apologize" to the intelligence community? That is the stupidest thing I ever heard. No other group, other than the Bush Administration itself, has less reason to be apologized to!

    May 17, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Cindy

    I can remember the republicans calling me un-American which is definately a lie. I can remember Bush telling everyone there was weapons of mass destruction. I remember Bush saying US doesn't toture. I believe Pelosi on this one because it is true the people that worked for Bush lied constantly. When I get an apology for thoses things then I will ask Pelosi for one but not until. Beohner is an idiot.

    May 17, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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