Seemingly lost in the dispute over what Speaker Pelosi says she was not told are the implications of what she acknowledges she was told.
The speaker says she was made aware seven years ago that the CIA was contemplating using so-called enhanced interrogation techniques — including waterboarding — and that Justice Department lawyers had advised that such methods would be legal.
She said and did nothing in response to this knowledge. But now she says such techniques amounted to torture and were illegal. She supports a grand investigation to find out if the legal advice provided by the Justice Department was somehow a crime as well.
If she thinks that, then the obvious question is why she didn't object to all this when she had the chance at a time when the practices, as she understood it, had not yet been used. Such a complaint from a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee might have an impact.
But this is not even being discussed now, with Washington mesmerized by the sight of the speaker and the CIA accusing each other of lying.
The Democratic Party has suffered through the years from the perception that it is reflexively anti-defense and anti-spying. This spectacle tends to feed that notion, which may help explain why the president and his spokesman are staying out of the flap, in the obvious hope that it will somehow go away.
— Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for FOX News Channel.
With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume.