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. Terry

    DEM in HI has the best point! The Republicans want to pin Pelosi on knowing about the waterboarding as in 'how COULD she keep silent about such horrendous torture', and it's the same Republicans who want to try to convince us that 'waterboarding is NOT torture but is rather an ordinary technique used to interrogate prisoners'. Hypocrisy.

    May 17, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Larry

    There is something seriously wrong with the "main stream" of the Democratic party when they think :
    *The CIA lies
    *The U.S. Constitution is wrong
    *The Pope is wrong–Prayer is wrong
    *Mother Nature is wrong
    *Fighting terrorism is wrong
    *Individual freedom is wrong–the government knows best
    *Private business and capitalism is wrong
    *The United States needs to apologize for being wrong

    What is right ? Marrying the same sex and abortion.

    The Republicans need to be the party of "No"

    May 17, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. cabianni

    ACORN nuts who will never be objective

    May 17, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. kim

    You idiots don't get it. The dems are trying to prosecute the attorneys and certain of the Bush Administration people for the torture and waterboarding, so these people and the people defending them are saying if you are going to prosecute them, then you have to prosecute everyone involved, they need to know everyone that was informed. Hence, Nancy Pelosi trying to claim that she had no idea this was going on. How can someone who clearly knew what was going on, try to prosecute the people that were responsible for crafting the process?

    May 17, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    wow ol bonner has been busy that last few days . he is comming off as a junk yard dog .. but he is going after people that are trying to gety our country back on its feet ..were was he when the Bush adm. wanderd down that road of threats and lies and great spending . ?

    now GM is is trouble and looks like to Obama adm. is going to be blamed for cutting back .. it isn't the Obama adm. its the last eight years of crappy government..
    who does he think ran ENRON into the ground ( a big shot republican

    millions of people lost everything they invested in a crook and many people lost their jobs ..he wasn't finger pointing then

    and ol Bonner spends more time on talk shows jabbing the democrates than just pitching in and helping the country correct the mess his group got us into.

    this man is a freak show with no agenda other than flapping his lips

    May 17, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. kim

    Get over it and get on with real issues. This is what we are sick side against the other. We are all guilty because we elected(some of us) Bush and ignored what he was doing. It's over. Lets stop blaming each other and get to work on real problems.. Washington we are sick of your fighting. Work!!!

    May 17, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. John F

    What else is new with Speaker Pelosi? To be a Democrat one does not have to pay their taxes if they want a Cabinet post, they have to borrow recklessly and then overspend, and then stretch the truth (there is another word but I am concerned that the new big brother atmosphere in Washington might track me down and ship me off the soon-to-be vacant Guantanamo).

    May 17, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. omniscient

    Mr. Bonehead,

    You are right! She should be investigated for water boarding!



    May 17, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. James Bambrick

    It would appear that if Nancy Pelosi feels as strongly as she does on the issue, she should have asked very probing questions on the nature of the use of waterboarding. The session would have allowed for interaction between the CIA and the other participants. For her to say she was misled is actually pointing to her incompetence as she was to be a central figure in getting to the bottom of the method utilized to gain intelligence information, by not gaining clarification on what was actually occuring is a deriliction of her duty. The Democrats are now in power and they should stop slinging mud at the Republicans and get on with governing the country, there are enough problems that need to be addressed without having to worry about who said what and when.

    May 17, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. Charlie in Maine

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

    Wow someone should let Fox news know that because maybe Ollie North should be in prison instaed of on their show.

    So let me see if I get this staright the GOP claims that Waterboarding is not a crime but somehow knowing about it is. Since the whole Iraq war was built on lies and no one has been "investigated for that" suddenly we are supposed to believe that the GOP wants us to see lying to congress as a crime but when Ollie North did it it was patriotic.

    Good thing for the GOP leadesrship that it is not a crime to lie to the American people. It is not a crime however. I just pray that lying does not work for them as a campaign tatctic again (hey, I can dream can't I?)

    May 17, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. Arthur

    This is just beautiful.. The GOP is trying to go after Pelosi.. a peace advocate for lying about what she new about waterboarding.. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle Bush and Cheney take us to an unjust war with Iraq.. (invisible WMD's, remember) thousands of our soldiers killed.. OVER 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed.. and the GOP Bush-Cheney administration condoning waterboarding and RESPONSIBLE FOR DOING IT.. And the GOP is attacking Pelosi??? This is rich stuff.. Kind of reminds me of the GOP going after Kerry for his heroics in Vietnam when Bush and Cheney were draft dodging. Are we going MAD here?

    May 17, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. C W

    Robin: Until you – and every other Republican – can engage in civil debate (i.e., not resort to name-calling by referring to Nancy Pelosi as "Polaski"), the world will not take you seriously.

    Bush did lie about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, which is why his Administration cherry-picked the intelligence briefings they were receiving, in order to support the conclusions they wanted. It is also why he and Cheney didn't agree to testify under oath about what they knew when.

    The Republicans need to get their own house in order.

    May 17, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Tom

    Pelosi needs to step down from her position, as 3rd in line to the Presidency. She's a complete disgrace to the American people.

    May 17, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. scott

    Now look whos talking about lying. Boehner is a joke, I mean this guy is the same one that supported the same administration that gave the go ahead with these interrogations. You talk about a buch of hypocrites. Mr. Boehner must think that the American people are a bunch of idiots. This is deception on the highest level. Theres no way that i support Pelosi in anyway if she was part of this, because i think she should be voted out of office if it is true; but to hear this coming from Boehner, this is comedy. Vote Boehner and Pelosi out. This is what America needs.

    May 17, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. FRANK , FLA

    to andi and the rest of us that have some common sense,,,,,,its the same old story,,,,republicans trying to turn the story around,,,,and take focus on what obama is trying to do,,,,,get us out of the mess Junior and the evil empire lest us in,,, please GO AWAY you ignorant people,,,or just stay quiet,,,

    May 17, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Rob

    You know it Andi, If she knew about this that long ago, she should have used the power of her position to end it then. Instead shew waited and then opened her mouth for political gain only. In my view, this makes her twice as guilty as the W.

    May 17, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Thomas

    I can not see how keeping Pelosi as speaker of the house would help the Democratic platform.

    She is too much of a political liability and should be replaced.

    May 17, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. James, Ho. TX

    John Bohner, were you part of the operation on 9/11 ?
    Why aren't You in jail, much less in Congress ? Because You Sir, will and could never be Speaker !

    May 17, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Scott Larson

    I agree with Minority Leader Boehner!!! We should investigate and charge all democrats that had knowledge of what the republicans did and did not stop them. But lets keep our priorities straight. First we need to prosecute the leadership. We need King George to stand in a trail for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Personally, I think we should call on the world court to try him and his immediate staff (like Cheney, Rumsfield, Wolfowitz, and co.). Once the world decides what to do with these blood thirsty Nazis, then we need to put the Republican and Democrat Nazis on Trail that we in the House and Senate when the Patriot Act passed, and put them on trial for Treason!! Finally, any Republican or Democrat that was compliant with these acts of Treason, but were voted in after the fact need to be tried. If found guilty of being compliant to the treason (they did not speak out like Barbara Boxer did) they should be stripped of their citizenship and shipped to the middle east. This is America, and we can never let a rouge group hijack our freedom, or morals again. We need to take assertive action to say that we are better than this, and that no one is above our law, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN POSITIONS OF POWER. It will be a good day for the world when all these criminials are brought to justice.

    May 17, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. Edward

    Larry we are not allowed to call it Fighting terrorism anymore. (SMILE), but I do agree with everything you said on your post!!!!

    May 17, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Shecky

    Pelosi is a LIAR and an embarrassment to the Democrat Party. She needs to be SHOWN THE DOOR.

    May 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. pbj

    "I was briefed about the briefing but I wasn't at the briefing." Shall we add this to "I was for it before I was against it;" and "I smoked marijuana, but I didn't inhale," and the classic of all time, "it depends on what your definition of 'is' is" in the pantheon of democratic efforts to straddle two inconsistent positions to avoid actually telling the truth?

    May 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. jukinbone

    As a conservative, I say that if Bush and Cheney authorized torture then Nancy Pelosi should resign. It makes perfect sense.

    May 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. C W

    Charlie in Maine: Thank you for the reminder about Ollie North and the situational morality and ethics the Republicans so readily use.

    Oliver North took an oath as a Marine to uphold and protect the Constitution, which he broke by engaging in illegal acts and then lying to Congress about it. Because his doing so served the Republicans' purpose, he was called a "patriot."

    Total hypocrisy!

    May 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Jeff - Austin, TX

    Lying to Congress is a crime, except if you're a Rebublican.

    May 17, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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