House rejects probe into Pelosi CIA claims

May 21, 2009 7:29:42 PM PDT
Republicans in Congress tried again Thursday to ratchet up the heat on Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They requested an investigation into Pelosi's assertion the CIA misled her about the waterboarding of terror suspects.

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On the House floor Thursday morning, Utah Republican Rob Bishop called for an investigation into Pelosi's claim that in 2002, the CIA misled her by failing to disclose that waterboarding was being used as a technique in interrogating some terror suspects.

"And it is imperative that we try and find the truth of that matter to make sure that if it has happened it never happens again," Bishop said.

Democrats quickly voted down the request, but House Republicans are not inclined to let go.

"The Speaker's had a full week to back up her allegations and I'm frankly disappointed she has not done so," House Minority Leader John Boehner said.

At the American Enterprise Institute, former Vice President Dick Cheney defended waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques.

"They were legal, essential, justified, successful and the right thing to do," Cheney said.

ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain says Republicans in the House have found an opening they hope will lead to fractures in the Democratic Party.

"Possibly people on the progressive left will get increasingly mad at her and Blue Dog Democrats who are worried about the national security vote might lose confidence," Cain said.

The first part of that scenario is happening among Bay Area progressives at Code Pink. They have been protesting for years that Pelosi knew about waterboarding and did not speak up about it.

"Of course I'm frustrated that the mainstream media has not been all over this story for years," Janet Weil said.

Cain believes the far left will continue to be frustrated and disappointed in Pelosi and the president.

"Because I think all the political motivations are in the direction of centrism and caution," Cain said.

Pelosi's press secretary calls the Republican effort a partisan political stunt and an attempt by Republicans to distract from the real issue of creating jobs and making progress on health care energy and education.

Pelosi is getting some support from other lawmakers who say they too were not accurately briefed by the CIA. CIA chief Leon Panetta has admitted there were some inaccuracies in some of CIA's documentation of those briefings.

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