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. Lauren

    This is the situation that many and myself have an issue with: the Bush administration condoned and ordered the torturing of criminals in Iraq. It is well documented that not only did the Bush administration lie about justifications for invading Iraq, but so did the cherry-picked members of the CIA who said there was a "clear and present danger" and that there was weapons of mass destruction. This is really disgusting, in my opinion, that top republicans are trying to intentionally put focus on what Nancy Pelosi knew and when; this political strategy is conveying nothing, but ignorance, arrogance, and fear. The Bush administration and republicans are desperately attempting to get the sole attention off of themselves and in doing so, is making them look even more pathetic. Focusing on someone like Pelosi instead of the officials that lied about intelligence and condoned and ordered torture in Iraq is where the attention should be. The republicans are really infuriating many people by this political move. A bi-partisan, independent committee needs to investigate the Bush administration and CIA officials. Now that Pelosi has made these claims that she was not aware that waterboarding was being used, she should provide some evidence to back her claim and be done with it.

    This is really a gross attempt by the GOP.

    May 17, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. FactCheck

    and everyday I see that there is a lot of buyer's remorse for people that voted for the current Democrats in power.

    Wow, you Republicans are more delusional than Bhagdad Bob. Enjoy the pretty colored skies in whatever world you are in because in this country, you have a 21% demographic... and that's shrinking by the minute.

    May 17, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Elizabeth

    We would all do well to pause and honestly consider what might actually be accomplished if our elected representatives (both Democrat and Republican) spent as much time getting down to the nation's business as they spend working to rake one another over the coals. I've concluded that each and every one of 'em is more interested in keeping their "position" than they are in representing their fellow Americans. Shame on them all!

    May 17, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Diana

    CNN, why do you print rantings like Scott Larson's? And Scott, please read some history before you start throwing around the term "Nazi". This is not a term that should ever have its meaning or weight obscured by people with a political agenda.

    May 17, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. neil

    We should release the photos of our decapitated and dismembered soldiers to show the world just how evil these animals are, come on Pelosi knew and is pulling a Bill

    May 17, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Jim

    Alright! lets burn her right after we take down all the Republicans like Cheney, Bush and anyone else in the Republican party that may have been involved.

    May 17, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. NC Paralegal

    So they can lie about Iraq, but not waterboarding. Most likely, she was ushered into a secure meeting without being able to take notes and not quite certain what Enhanced techniques involved. She was told that it was legal and she had no reason to believe that she was being misled. I believe they told her just enough to get what they wanted. That's how the game is played. So do I think she knew torture was involved no, but she knew enhanced techniques were.

    May 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. modene45

    The woman is a nut and should have been removed long ago!!!

    May 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. John

    And I'm sick of this idiot comment about waterboarding being excusable because it worked. If a person sells drugs to your children, but the money goes to charity, does this make it okay? On a smiliar note, if the GOP sells missiles to Iran(read: Contra affair), but uses the money to fund freedom fighters in a foreign country, is it illegal? YES AND WE PROSECUTED PEOPLE FOR IT! Quit screwing around, find your courage, and DO THE RIGHT THING!

    May 17, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Jean B

    Either Pelosi is lying or she has lost her marbles.
    If USA tortured the three barbarians to save AMericans – which side are you on?
    If USA tortured via waterboarding then USA has been torturing Navy Seals, Pilots and Special Forces – heck the Colleges have more serious hazing than that.
    All of this is a diversion from the fact the present ADM (who can't make a decision and keept it) is making a mess of our economy like no one has, and are taking over the Auto INdustry and giving it to the UAW (Chicago Mafia who get alot of the money). What do you expect from a politician from Chicago however.
    Jean B

    May 17, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Sara

    Democrats on this blog have requested proof that the Speaker of the House was briefed on interrogation techniques and water boarding by the CIA for the last seven years.

    Your request will be provided to you this week in definitive detail, and will clearly indicate her participation and full disclosure in these briefings, which will require her resignation from the Senate.

    May 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    the day Alex Castacrap mouth changes party to Democrate will tell the country that the republicans are done

    May 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Susan

    Why Mr. Boehner, if we follow your ideas, we should call in Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, Yoo, and all the rest for lying to Congress as well, should we not? According to you, they have committed crimes, and must be held accountable. I KNEW a Republican could say something that made sense.

    May 17, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. Jack CArlson

    So called AMericans who don't want to save the lives of AMericans by waterboarding (which are ARmed forces do as a training excercise) perhaps live in the wrong Country. We had spies in World War two in the Politiical world than as well, MR. White and others.
    Pelosi is a forced smiling fake, and she's lying through her false teeth.
    Jack C

    May 17, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. Annie

    Why is Nancy Pelosi taking most of the heat for something the Bush/Cheney administration did? This blame game our elected officials play out in public time and again has to stop. Can't we at least expect a reasonable level of maturity from our elected officials? And do Republicans really want to be pointing fingers right now?

    May 17, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Jane Johnson

    Pelosi is third in line for President, what a frightening thought.
    Jane J

    May 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. shnarf

    shnarf, shnarf

    May 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. wassup

    to 'thetruth'.

    Couple of clarifications:

    1) The entire intelligence community throughout the world knew Iraq had WMD's. Yes everyone. Show us one or put those talking points away. Even the UN believe that........that's why they passed resolution after resolution.

    2) Mission was accomplished. The US military had conquered the Iraqi military in record time. Something to be proud of, not ashamed of. If you are an american, of course.

    3) Colin Powell has never been known to do something against his will.

    And the entire waterboarding situation keeps front and center because of liberals and morons like you. Sounds like your Dem friends knew about them as well but did not do anything at the time. That's something you're going to have to deal with. Get over it. It saved lives. Thank goodness. And it was applied sparingly.

    May 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Tom Jones

    HEY GUYS THERE WAS 40 BRIEFINGS IN WHICH 30 different DEms were in hearing the harsh interrogations.
    I'm so ashamed of my father's party – he'd be so upset if alive. Punish good AMericans that keep us safe, kill babies, kill a fetus (word fetus means life, the true English meaning) and say "we are here to help:"
    Makes me sick and have become an Independent.
    Tom & Lois

    May 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. CityGirl

    I don't think the Republicans began this media event. I think this is a Lou Dobbs thing. I saw King's interview with Boehner, and he did not want to go there. King had to pull what was basically a non-answer out of him. I question the ethics of using that particular answer that was drug out of the interviewee to headline a story. It was not what Boehner was there for. It was the only time I have felt sorry for him. Lou has had a hard-on for Pelosi for a long time. Who knows why? I think CNN should quit trying to breathe life into this still-born story. The real ethical question now is about CNN. I hope Pelosi ignores it. It will go away in a few days.

    May 17, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Haysoos Kristo

    If Pelosi knew about waterboarding, then it is a crime and terrible torture.
    If she didn't then it's a valuable tool that's saved millions of lives.

    May 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. Clay

    How's this for proof: Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and George Tenent, Bush's CIA chief, all lied to Congress and the American people about everything leading up to the war in Iraq, and Colin Powell who, in spite of his objections, delivered the Bush and Tenent lies before the United Nations. The American people are owed an apology all right and perhaps we'll even listen, after they're prosecuted. Colin Powell could well be the star witness for the prosecution.

    May 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. DrMan

    Oh my the libs are in quite a quandry aren't they? They've been screaming "Republicans lie" for years, and now that there's a possiblity that the left is just as prolific at bending the truth, do they yell "Democrats lie"? Of course not! Get off your sanctimonious high horse and admit it – the left is just as bad as the right!!!!

    May 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. charlie

    Humm...let's see here Demy's, you're so quick to bash Bush, Cheny and the Republicans for lying...a few Democrats comments: I did not have sex with that woman...I didn't know the Rev Wright was a racist...I didn't know my staff I chose were tax cheats...want me to go on? Pot calling the kettle black seems to me!

    May 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Grace Needed, NY

    If a lie is defined as NOT only NOT telling the truth, but not telling the whole truth, than the C.I.A. has NOT only lied to Pelosi, but Bob Graham and many other representatives of Congress as to their own testimonials. This whole concept of congressional oversight for the C.I.A. by these briefings is rather bizarre, since the representatives of Congress aren't allowed to take notes, ask questions, discuss anything with anyone because it is all top secret. How is that oversight? It would appear that Congress needs more powers in this regard if they are to take their oversight seriously and to be able to hold the C.I.A. accountable for their actions, if that be deemed part of the oversight function, which is usually what oversight entails.

    May 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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