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. Ralph

    I'm with Scott Larson. We should put everyone on "trail", whatever that means. What the heck, it couldn't hurt. When everyone is on "trail", they can walk wherever they want.

    May 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Kate in SW Fla

    Again, these are the hypocrits who said that the CIA's "faulty intelligence" was at fault when we found no WMDs. If we do not ratcher down the politics, and actually work to get things done TOGETHER, we are doomed.

    May 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. independent Jim

    Great joke on Leno this week. He says, "Pelosi spent 8 years telling us how stupid Bush was, and now she says, 'He tricked me!'"

    This is all set up to become a trade off – the Dems don't want further problems for the Speaker, and the Repubs don't want attempts to prosecute anyone for torture. Sounds like they will all agree to just walk away from all of it.

    May 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Greg

    I actually saw her recent Press Conference......It was like watching a Train Wreck! I think she's as dumb as a post! As an American, I was embarrassed!

    May 17, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. keith rees

    Republicans are just as guilty so if they want her prosecuted they need to be standing right with her faceing the same music this is wrong trying to get what they want once more.

    May 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Jactar7

    It is a LIE to say that the Bush Administration "lied about WMD in Iraq." The CIA told the President that such weapons WERE in Iraq. Acting on faulty intelligence is NOT lying.

    May 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Walt from Canada

    Absolutely amazing, Bush, Cheney and Rice Ok's waterboarding and other torture and the American Media climb all over Nancy Pellosi!!
    What kind of a media are you?? You let that administration do whatever they wanted for 8 years without saying BOO, including an unjustified WAR and now you are shooting a non-messenger!!
    What a farce!!

    May 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Susan

    acceptorchange May 17th, 2009 12:25 pm ET

    So what is wrong with waterboarding if it saves American lives. War is WAR. When did it become like a kid's game to be played by certain rules? The real issue, to me, is if your loved ones lives could be saved by waterboarding someone who was being held for PROBABLE CAUSE, would the waterboarding still seem wrong to you?

    Yes, it is still wrong! Torturing another human being is against God's law, international law, and US law. The reason for that is that no credible information is gotten by dehumanizing someone. The two guys who were tortured the most were giving plenty of information to interrogators under normal means, but they were not making the case for an Iraq-9/11 connection, so Cheney ordered them tortured...and they still did not say what he wanted, because there IS no connection! This was all a big fantasy so Bush could look like a cowboy give money to his no-bid contractor friends, and kill people. Torture is wrong. Period.

    And life is not "24." I think that show is a Republican torture propaganda machine...sick.

    May 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Robert

    Pelosi never Lied.
    Pelosi is not a Liar.

    Suppose even if she lied, no body is harmed.

    When Bush and Cheney Lied about Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction:

    1. 4200 US Troops Died.
    2. 46000 US Troops got injured.
    3. 100000 Iraqis got killed.
    4. Billions of Dollars spent on War.

    Pelosi has my Support. Go Pelosi Go.
    Put all these Criminals in Jail.
    These Criminals will always hate you.

    May 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. DL

    Once again, the republican slight of hand, they try to put your focus on one thing so they can attempt to escape any liability whatsoever. If they are so 'dead set' on Pelosi, fine....but lets start the investigation at the top and all the Republicans who were in power, this falls at THEIR doorstep, they had power, they were responsible. Start the investigations there, where they RIGHTFULLY belong, then you can work your way down instead of starting at the bottom and passing the buck.

    May 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Jason

    I think it is amusing that people explain their version of how this situation probably went down or will point the finger at someone else that did worst. Let's deal with the situation in isolation and ignore politics. If she lied about what she was told, then there should be consequences. If she was misled, then whoever misled her should have consequences. Find the facts and stop aquitting her without asking for evidence or lynching her before we know more.

    People drink way too much Kool-Aid in this country. Who cares what Bush did or what Hitler did or what Stalin did. The question is what Pelosi knew and whether she lied. Just because someone else may have done worse and wasn't punished doesn't free her of responsibility.

    May 17, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. bill

    so its a crime to lie to congress but not to the american people. the bush adminisration lied so why not prosecute them. they broke the law.oh thats right they made the law fit so that it would't be against the law.

    May 17, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Bill in Illinois

    Just one more prime example of the extremes to which "Nancy Pants" will go in order to dupe the public into thinking that she is doing her job.

    Sorry Nancy – most of us are pretty much sick and tired of you and your charades, which we all know by now are just a thinly veiled attempt to cover up your glaring incompetence.

    Do us all a favor and step down so that we can see some true leadership once again.

    May 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Karen

    Who cares who knew and when, the point is it was done, it was wrong! Admit that, apologize, and move on. There is no need to further exploit the people we tortured by flashing there pictures all over the news. That only enrages people and plants ideas in the minds of evil people. The president is not a flip flopper! Open mined people, given new information, gain more insight which awakens new ideas. Stop trying to close the President up in a tiny "no" box, where only the party of no lives! There minds are too narrow to conceive a new idea based on new information. They just stick with plan "A " (NO) even though the rest of the world has moved on. NO NEW IDEAS, NO PARTY LEADERS, NO PLANS TO GET US OUT OF THE BOAT THEY PUT US IN AND NO MIJORITY ANYWHERE! THEY LOOK FOR CHANGE BUT ONLY IN THEIR OWN POCKETS! I do want that party to get it together, it's no fun watching them pick silly fights. If they were back in charge, Heck yea, I'd feel less safe. A wise man chooses his battles, they fight about everything! The right is so wrong!!!!! The election results prove that yet your guys still think you're speaking for AMERICA! Wake up and Snap out of it!!!
    P.S. Ronald is dead so let him rests, please!

    May 17, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. JB

    CNN, please post:

    I am not suprised by the posts I see. In fact, as far as I am concerned, it just shows how uninformed CNN viewers are. With that said, I would think that EVERYONE here would want to know the truth if the CIA was lying to Congress. If they are lying to Congress, they must be lying to the citizens. A CIA that lies is not in anyones best interest. But instead CNN viewers take this opportunity to politicize this. If you are an R or a D, if the CIA is lying we all should want the truth. Pelosi needs to prove the CIA lied to her, or she needs to apologize and step down. A lying speaker is not what is in our best interest.

    And finally, a metaphor. A teenager is going out on saturday night. His curfew is midnight. As he is walking out the door, he tells his Mom that he will be home at 2am. The Mom nods in acknowledgement, and the teenager walks out the door. The teenager comes home at 2am, and the Mom goes balistic for him not being home at midnight. The Mom has no right to complain, she was made aware of the situation and did not complain or express dissatisfaction.

    Insert the players as you see fit. Oh, and one more thing. The definition of torture is an act that causes long term psychological or physical problems. Does waterboarding? I would guess not, and can see why GWB would think the same. Physically, there is no doubt it does no longterm harm. Psychologically, my guess, no worse than any situation where you almost die. Getting shot at would probably cause the same psychological problems, but, I aint no Dr. : )

    May 17, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Nancy SC

    Maybe she knew only what the Republicans wanted her to know but why not submit the MEMO's to show that she got this in writing, because the Repubs can be lieing as well as Pelosi. Either way no one will ever know because the Repubs wants Obama to fail. Repubs try to enhance your group to become respectful and willing to help this African American President or continue to suppress his views and ways to make this country better. Repubs learn from your own mistakes, because if you have notice it or not, BUSH is not a Republican anyone, he is a Bushian who don't care about this country or what has happen in the last 8 years.

    May 17, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Fredrik

    The GOP is demanding that Pelosi apologize.

    How about she apologize AS SOON AS Bush/Cheney and the GOP apologize for outing a CIA agent, Valeri Plame?

    May 17, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. MBFLA

    I'm not crazy about Pelosi but when Bob Graham says he was not told about waterboarding either, he's telling the truth. I believe him 100 % as an honorable man. Let's hear the CIA say he is lying also!
    Besides, let's go after the war criminals; Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, et al and not be distracted by this bunk.

    May 17, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Tracy W

    You libs are CRAZYand anti-American. You have all forgotten how you felt after 9/11. Everyone was afraid. Quit with the WMD lies you say only came from Bush. There were plenty of high ranking Dems that agreed, like Bill Clinton, etc.
    Waterboarding is not torture. Our military goes through it because others use it, and the others do not have Drs. standing by to check on the well being of those being waterboarded. These are terrorists we are talking about, people. They would slit your throat or blow you up in a New York minute. Nancy Pelosi is trying to save face because she is a lying hack that does not want her constituents to see her REAL side.

    May 17, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Proud American

    What difference does it make if she knew or not? I doubt she could have ordered both Idiots to stop. Is this all the Republicans have

    May 17, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. Fla.

    So with all of this desperately faux attention from Republicans on Pelosi, are they finally ADMITTING that their torture policies are WRONG?!

    May 17, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. P from CA

    Not sure what Nancy knew or not but that is not the question... The question is why Bush/Cheney approved torture. And Boehner is hardly a person to question anyone. He is posturing for make a run for President and all he is ... is noise.

    May 17, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. JF

    LUDICROUS !!!!! I suppose Cheney, Bush, and all the other yahoos stand exonerated while Nancy Pelosi gets to be the scapegoat???
    One consistency: you can always depend on politics to provide enough "smoke & mirrors" rhetoric to defer the blame long enough to confuse the American public. The time is here – WAKE UP AMERICA – this lot (Repugs) is NOT interested in the common good and advancement of this nation ...they are only interested in protecting their own sorry behinds and doing whatever necessary to have people believe that the evil & lies are coming from the other party !!! Haven't we been manipulated and lied-to long enough ????

    May 17, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Proud American

    She should apologize the day Bush, Cheney are sent to Prison for war crimes. Morons.

    May 17, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Obama - NOPE

    Pelosi a fair weather friend. She has but one conviction – herself.

    May 17, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12