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Why Speaker Pelosi Should Step Down

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May 20, 2009 | Vol. 4, No. 20



Why Speaker Pelosi Should Step Down


by Newt Gingrich


The case against Nancy Pelosi remaining Speaker of the House is as simple as it is devastating:


The person who is No. 2 in line to be commander in chief can't have contempt for the men and women who protect our nation. America can't afford it.


To test how much damage Speaker Pelosi has done to the defense of our nation, ask yourself this: If you were a young man or woman just starting out today, would you put on a uniform or become an intelligence officer to defend America, knowing that tomorrow a politician like Nancy Pelosi could decide you were a criminal?


Would you?


<H1 style="LINE-HEIGHT: 15.75pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center>This Isn't About Politics. It's About National Security</H1>The controversy swirling around Speaker Pelosi isn't political - she may think it is, other liberal Democrats may think it is, and the media may want it to appear that way.





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But this isn't about politics. It's about national security.


At issue is whether Speaker Pelosi was informed, at a briefing by intelligence officers on September 4, 2002 when she was the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, that the CIA had used and was using enhanced interrogation techniques - specifically waterboarding - on captured al Qaeda terrorists.


<H1 style="LINE-HEIGHT: 15.75pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center>From a Question of Memory to a Question of Criminality</H1>Prior to her now infamous press conference last week, Speaker Pelosi insisted that the CIA had not told her in 2002 that waterboarding and other enhanced techniques were being used. At last week's press conference she went beyond this position to assert that "the only mention of waterboarding at [the September 2002] briefing was that it was not being employed."


In contrast, Leon Panetta, the current CIA director, wrote a memo last Friday to CIA employees in which he stated that "our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of [Al Qaeda terrorist] Abu Zubaydah, describing 'the enhanced techniques that had been employed.'"


And so the question, prior to her rambling press conference, was one of memory: Did Speaker Pelosi remember correctly the briefing she received in 2002?


If she had confined the controversy to her memory versus the CIA's, Speaker Pelosi may have saved herself. She would be guilty of irresponsibility and incompetence perhaps, but that would basically be it. Not good, but not disqualifying.


<H1 style="LINE-HEIGHT: 15.75pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center>Pelosi on the CIA: "They Mislead Us All The Time"</H1>But Speaker Pelosi did not confine the question to the reliability of memory. Instead, she made the allegation last week that the CIA intentionally misled her - misled Congress - and not just once, but routinely.


"They mislead us all the time," she said.


She charged that the CIA, deliberately and as a matter of policy, violated the law by lying to Congress.


And with that allegation, Speaker Pelosi disqualified herself from the office she holds.


<H1 style="LINE-HEIGHT: 15.75pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center>Why Did Pelosi Escalate the Controversy into a Full Scale War With the CIA?</H1>And the question that remains is why? Why would Speaker Pelosi escalate the small skirmish she found herself in over the 2002 briefing into a full-scale war with the CIA?


Perhaps it's because if America knew that Speaker Pelosi consented, fully informed and without complaint, to waterboarding back in 2002, it would reveal the current liberal bloodlust over interrogations for what it is: The Left's attempt to hunt down and purge its political opponents.


Remember what America was like in September, 2002, less than a year after 9/11.


America was terrified. As I said on ABC Radio last week, our entire defense, intelligence and justice establishment expected that there would be additional al Qaeda attacks, we just didn't know where and we didn't know when.


<H1 style="LINE-HEIGHT: 15.75pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center>If Pelosi Consented to Waterboarding in 2002, the Bush Policy Is Vindicated</H1>If Nancy Pelosi believed that waterboarding was justified in 2002 - just like Porter Goss, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and CIA Director Tenet - then a policy of selectively using enhanced interrogation techniques in carefully circumscribed ways in order to prevent future attacks - in other words, the Bush Administration policy - is vindicated.





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But rather than admit that President Bush, when faced with an array of difficult choices, made the hard choice that kept the nation safe, Nancy Pelosi has instead retreated into the cheap sanctity of ignorance. She didn't know, so she claims. That's why she didn't do anything about it.


But President Bush did know. It was his job to know, and he made the tough choices needed to save American lives.


It was Nancy Pelosi's job to know too. But to avoid culpability for the choices she supported, she's now telling us she didn't know. And she's calling the intelligence officials who say otherwise liars and criminals.


Shame on her.


<H1 style="LINE-HEIGHT: 15.75pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center>Speaker Pelosi Has Made America Less Safe</H1>Speaker Pelosi has damaged America's safety.


She's made America less secure by sending a signal to the men and women defending our country that they can't count on their leaders to defend them.


And every day they spend worrying about being politically persecuted is a day we are made more vulnerable to a nuclear attack on one of our cities, a biological attack on one of our subways, or a bomb going off in one of our malls.


America is losing ground because of Nancy Pelosi's contempt for those who defend her.


Democrats owe it to their country and our national security to replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.



Your friend,


Newt Gingrich

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My feelings are this: If they can impeach Clinton for lying about have sexual relations with that girl..............they should go after HER for all of the Lying she has done and is doing.

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