As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, May 15, 2009

"All Now About Her"

Adam Nagourney, amazingly taking the position of questioning the Democrat in a debate:

I don't know why Nancy Pelosi wants to get involved in a fight with the CIA that is all now about her, questions about her credibility.

Here's the media drill. The CIA puts out a bogus list of assertions. Nancy Pelosi questions them, along with practically everyone else who was briefed. And the story becomes about Nancy Pelosi rather than the discredited assertions of the CIA. And of course all of this misdirects the key new information about torture, that the Vice President has been charged by top officials of desiring to torture detainees to extract false confessions about a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda and justify the invasion of Iraq.

Multiple news accounts this morning report that Pelosi’s credibility is in question after yesterday’s press conference, in which she accused the CIA of lying about what they told members of Congress about the agency’s use of torture. This theme was sounded by MSNBC, WaPo’s Dan Balz, the New York Times write-up, and many others.

That’s as it should be. But I challenge you to find a news account that stated with equal prominence that the CIA’s credibility is also in question.

Let’s briefly recap. Three senior Democrats — Pelosi, Bob Graham, and Jay Rockefeller — have all publicly claimed that the CIA didn’t brief them about the use of torture in the manner the agency has claimed. Meanwhile, the CIA itself has conceded that its own accounting may not be accurate.

Yet key facts that cast doubt on the CIA’s claims have been buried or completely omitted from multiple news reports. The Times’s first mention of Graham’s claims came today, five days after he first made them, and they were buried in the 22nd paragraph of the paper’s write-up. Neither The Time nor The Post have even mentioned Rockefeller’s claims once. The networks have refused across the board to mention the CIA’s own unwillingness to vouch for the accuracy of its information.

Even Leon Panetta's response to Pelosi today fails to stand behind their documents, hedging his bets by saying that "it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened." And Pelosi, for her part, wants to evaluate all the evidence, another fact left out of the news reports.

Everybody's talking about Nancy Pelosi's press conference yesterday. I'm listening to Republicans on cable yapping about this contradiction or that contradiction. But what I've seen very little attention to is the fact that Pelosi had an answer that really answers all the questions, a plenary answer you might say: she supports a Truth Commission [...]

That says it all. She wants it all investigated. The whole point of this storm about Pelosi is that her critics want her to be embarrassed and stop supporting a Truth Commission or any sort of examination of what happened. But she's not. She still says there should be an investigation. Her critics still want the book closed. That says it all. She'll have to stand or fall with the results of an actual investigation. Her opponents on this are simply risible hypocrites.

And who are her opponents? The media swarm, which is chasing the soccer ball of the latest conflict rather than exercising any judgment about the relative merits of all the claims or the additional circumstances.

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